HELLBOY (15) ★★ ★★★
HELL hath no fury like wisecracking demonic spawn with surrogate daddy issues in this laboured reboot.
Spewed from the flaming bowels of the Earth during the Second World War, Hellboy (David Harbour) wages war on creatures of the dark as a valued member of the Bureau For Paranormal Research And Development (BPRD).
Under the command of his adopted father, Professor Butterholm (Ian McShane), Hellboy travels to Tijuana to rescue fellow agent Esteban Ruiz (Mario de la Rosa) from a vampire’s nest at a Lucha Libre wrestling ring.
When the mission goes sour, the monster hunter ventures to England to accompany Osiris Society president Lord Adam Glaren (Alistair Petrie) on the hunt for three rampaging giants.
In the ensuing melee, Hellboy is reunited with a girl from his past, Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), who is a spirit medium. Her ability to communicate with the dead proves vital when hulking wild boar Gruagach (Stephen Graham) reassembles the severed limbs of a powerful witch (Milla Jovovich).
Captain Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), head of Special Ops for M11, and soothsayer Lady Hatton (Sophie Okonedo) accompany Hellboy on a mission to slay the diabolical crone.
LITTLE (12A) ★★★ ★★
GROWING up with the benefit of battle-scarred hindsight is child’s play in Little, a surprisingly heartfelt bodyswap comedy. Regina Hall and
Marsai Martin as 14-year-old Black-ish star
Jordan Sanders Marsai Martin are well matched as two faces of a control freak protagonist.
App designer Jordan Sanders (Hall) mistreats her staff, especially her overworked assistant April (Issa Rae). Workers scurry for cover when Jordan slinks into the office but the bullying boss meets her match in a magic-obsessed girl (Marley Taylor), who angrily waves her plastic magic wand and proclaims: “I wish you were my age.”
The following morning, Jordan stares into her mirror and her 13-year-old self (Martin) squints back.
“Wishes don’t come true or I’d be on maternity leave with Michael B Jordan’s baby by now,” quips assistant April, the only person that a distraught Jordan trusts with her secret.
Soon after, Agent Bea (Rachel Dratch) from Child Protective Services informs April that she faces a spell behind bars unless teenage Jordan enrols at Windsor Middle School.
With a business pitch to her company’s largest client just 48 hours away, Jordan nervously trudges back to school where she is consigned to the misfits table in the canteen alongside Isaac ( JD McCrary), Raina (Thalia Tran) and Devon (Tucker Meek).
Little is a mirror image of its central character: imperfect but extremely likeable when it dares to wear a fragile heart on its sleeve.
David Harbour as Hellboy