Review: If you’re not a superfan, ‘Hellboy’ is hell, boy

This image released by Lionsgate shows David Harbour, left, and Sasha Lane in a scene from "Hellboy." (Mark Rogers/Lionsgate via AP)

Hellboy is back and he’s got a dirty mouth and a man bun.

The third film in the comic adaptation franchise has a new director, a new writer and a new look — led by a swashbuckling hellion who uses expletives and wears one of the most ridiculed hair styles in decades.

“Hellboy “ is a reboot of artist and writer Mike Mignola’s fantasy world that rather rudely brushes aside the first two films as if they never existed. It’s like your new girlfriend blithely tossing out all the accumulated stuff in your medicine cabinet. It even ignores in its title that we’ve already had a “Hellboy.”

Out is director Guillermo del Toro, a monster maker of epic proportions. Out is the original Hellboy, Ron Perlman. Out is the PG-13 rating. Now we’ve got an edgier, R-rated brightly red hero in a film that can best be described as tedious.

This “Hellboy” stars the always likeable David Harbour of “Stranger Things” in a film even his charm can’t save. It’s really series of violent vignettes strung together, getting more and more outlandish and introducing characters at such a blistering pace that you just want it to stop already.

Casual fans or the uninitiated are in trouble right from the beginning. Andrew Cosby’s screenplay doesn’t unspool a coherent story so much as violently shoehorn in diverse elements from the comics, overstuffing every scene and only then trying to explain why it’s been included. Director Neil Marshall leaves anyone not familiar with this world grasping and gasping. Scenes seem to just end abruptly, as if Marshall was the one trapped in story panels. A fight sequence with three giants is really the only astonishingly realized bit in the whole film. (It looks like a different set of filmmakers made it).

What you need to know is that Hellboy is a devil who ends up working for the good guys, the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. (These civil servants aren’t too good at their job, by the way: They find out that one of their enemies is causing chaos on the streets outside — from watching Sky News.)

Hellboy is basically a monster who hunts monsters, rejecting his DNA by cutting off his horns and stalking around in a ratty raincoat with no shirt. He deals with sorcery and ancient curses, utters strip club jokes, hears standard comic book lines — “Revenge is the only sustenance I require” — and has a hand in gore, beheadings, eyes gouged out and deep ugliness.

The movie starts in 517 AD, then goes to modern-day Mexico, Colorado, London, the English countryside and Siberia. The soundtrack is a bro-fest that includes entries by Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper.