Starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Hurt
Written By: Mike Mignola
Directed By: Phil Weinstein and Tad Stones
With the DVD release set for February 6th, I just couldn’t wait until then to pick it up and give it a review. The cool thing about it was that the Cartoon Network aired the movie a couple of times before the thing even comes out on DVD.
Sword of Storms isn’t a sequel to the Hellboy movie, but a standalone movie unto itself. The three major players in the movie do the voices for their characters with Ron Perlman as the definitive Hellboy, Selma Blair as Liz Sherman and Doug Jones as Abe Sapien. Sword of Storms is basically a Hellboy comic story in animated form. With animation, you can do things that you could never do in a regular film without blowing your budget sky-high. Sword of Storms provides you with many examples of things that you could never do in Hollywood.
The story is written by Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy and one of the most distinct artists in the comic book industry. Hellboy is summoned to Japan along with fellow B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Detection) agents Liz Sherman and fishman Abe Sapien after a renowned professor unleashes two destructive demons hell-bent on bringing about the end of the world. Most of the movie takes place in a fictional feudal Japan that overflows with mystical creatures and demons…nothing new for a Hellboy story. Hellboy must find a way home but faces a dilemma…the Sword of Storms that he carries is his only way home. In order to find his way back to his world, he must break the sword in two, but breaking the sword will unleash the demons that it holds. To quote Hellboy himself, “Aww crap.”
The animation is very similar in style to Batman the Animated Series or Justice League. I would prefer to have seen a Mignola-style animation but I guess he can’t do everything himself. The animation is very good in that cartoony, americanized way. The voice acting was great, mainly because all of the movie actors played their movie alter egos and played them well, they did. I was also impressed with the score. It wasn’t overwhelming but when a soundtrack was needed for a fight scene, it was right on the money. I really enjoyed the Japanese back-story and the feudal Japanese setting. It felt like I was watching Hellboy in an episode of Ruroni Kenshin.
Overall, I was very impressed with Sword of Storms. Most of the direct to TV/DVD stuff is direct for a reason, because it’s usually crap. Sword of Storms had a great story, top-notch animation, and the most important thing, Ron Perlman as Hellboy. If they came out with a new Hellboy animated movie every month (which may just be the case) I would pick it up without a second thought (as long as they don’t get rid of Ron Perlman). If you liked the Hellboy movie, Sword of Storms is not really a sequel, but you know the characters so think of this as an independent Hellboy comic book story come to life. With another animated movie set to be release soon, you should most definitely check out Sword of Storms first and foremost. Or else, chump!
Bottom Line: If you liked the movie, you’ll like the animated movie.
Favorite Scenes: The scroll story, Hellboy facing the undead samurais, the final battle with the demons
Running Time: 77 minutes