Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Guillermor del Toro has a way with movies. He has such an imaginitive ad unique vision that transcends the screen and captures the audience. And his approach to films is generally refreshing and welcome, however sometimes a little overpowering. The first Hellboy movie really felt like the Hellboy we all know and love, just with del Toro directing it...think 80% Mike Mignola and 20% del Toro. Hellboy II: The Golden Army seems to be 50% Mignola and 50% del Toro. This doesn't mean that Hellboy II: The Golden Army is bad by any stretch of the imagination (and del Toro does stretch the imagination to its limits), but at times you tend to forget you're watching a Hellboy film. The same cast of characters are here reprising their familiar roles. Ron Perlman is still Hellboy/Red, Selma Blair is Liz and Doug Jones is Abe. Luke Goss plays the newcomer in this film as Prince Nuada, the Prince determined to resurrect the Golden Army and break the truce made between the humans and elves. The primary characters are comfortable in their roles and it shows; this film is like revisiting a familiar group of friends. And Goss fits in quite nicely as the merciless prince fighting to regain the world for him and his kind. Pearlman once again steals the show, but he definitely shines when sharing the screen with Blair and/or Jones (there is one particularly amusing scene involving Hellboy and Abe and lots of beer). The story is paced well with great action scenes interspersed throughout the film. At the core of the film is a story about how the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development (B.P.R.D.) is shunned by the humans, despite all they do to save the humans. This obviously puts Hellboy in a tight spot as one of his latest "valiant efforts" leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the crowds. Unfortunately, this storyline wasn't really touched upon until about halfway through the movie, and even then it was kind of forgotten as soon as it was mentioned. It seemed at times that the story was about preserving the planet (seems to be all the rage these days), but at other times it seemed to be about the struggles some face for being perceived as different. And then at other times it felt like a Jim Henson Creature Workshop movie. I'd be remiss if I reviewed this film and didn't mention the sheer creativity in it. No matter what you may think of del Toro, you have to admit that he has a brilliant imagination. I cannot stress that enough. When the crew visits the Troll Market, its like Labyrinth and Lord of the Rings rolled into one. Creatures of all shapes and sizes move through the market like people, and at times I really felt that David Bowie would appear on screen. Of course there are some CGI parts, but most of the film was heavy costumes and make-up and it really showed and lended to the overall story. When the Golden Army comes to life, I was reminded of The Fifth Element, at the beginning when the robots arrive on Earth to pass on the key. I really liked the first Hellboy, and everything that was good about it del Toro made better in the sequel. My one minor gripe is that at times I forgot I was watching a movie featuring Hellboy as the main character, even though Mignola helped write the film. Perlman's performance alone is great, and there are numerous moments of great humor in the flim that fits in well with the action. And there is one moment which is a blatant setup for another film, so it'll be interesting to see where the film franchise goes from here. I was pleased and got exactly what I expected from the movie, and would recommend it if Hellboy is a hero you're interested in. Overall Score: 80 out of 100


  1. Have you seen any of the animated movies? What do you think of them?


Post a Comment