You can never have too many tentacles in a movie, or too many Nazis. The 2004 comic-book adaptation Hellboy delivers on both counts. It borrows heavily from the Indiana Jones trilogy, which yields both the Nazis and a welcome B-movie sense of humor. Granted, like its eponymous hero (Ron Perlman), the movie isn't terribly bright. It's made of the same comic-book DNA as X-Men, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Men in Black: mutants, knife fights, wire work, romantic triangles, extensive use of underground locations, "the seven gods of chaos," world domination, Armageddon, etc. Crucially, however, Hellboy is free of the portentousness that weighs down those films (not to mention the Matrix movies). After so much overreaching among the post-Batman comic-book crop, it's a relief to enjoy a film that doesn't treat its source like scripture. Although his origins suggest Milton and Paradise Lost, Hellboy's idea of poetry is, "Let's go fight some monsters." Call for showtimes. (PG-13) BRIAN MILLER

Feb. 3-6, 2012

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