Movie Novelisation

Author: Yvonne Navarro
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50
ISBN 0 7434 9289 7
Available 02 August 2004

Born in the flames of Hell
and brought to Earth as an infant to perpetrate evil, Hellboy was rescued from sinister forces by the benevolent Dr. Broom, who raised him to be a hero. In Dr. Broom's secret Bureau from Paranormal Research and Defence (B.P.R.D.), Hellboy creates an unlikely family consisting of the telepathic "Merman" Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman, the woman he loves who can control fire. Hidden from the very society that they protect, they stand as the key line of defence against an evil madman who seeks to reclaim Hellboy to the dark side and use his powers to destroy mankind...

The movie novelisation of Hellboy is, and I'm sorry for stating the obvious here, only really going to appeal to those that enjoyed the film. If you are a Hellboy fan who felt disappointed by the movie, then you are not going to enjoy the book, and if you are not a Hellboy fan and have not seen the movie then I doubt you will be thinking about picking up this book.

Due to the fact that movie novelisations are, by their very nature, mass market products designed to be readable by all members of the cinema going public, it will come as no surprise to learn that this book is fairly simple to read. The lack of any real in-depth descriptions and background to the characters in the early chapters makes the events appear extremely one dimensional.

Most novelisations are based on the original screenplay and add much to the movie - filling the reader in with a few additional nuggets of information and expanding the movie to some extent. This novelisation differs somewhat in that there is practically no new information that wasn't present in the finished movie.

If you're not expecting to garner any additional information from what you saw at the cinema, then you may enjoy this. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a little more depth to the movie then you won't find it here. My advice would be to save your money and buy one of Mike Mignola's original Hellboy collections instead. Disappointing.

Nick Smithson

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