in Review

Seeing Red

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Guillermo Del Toro follows up his 2006 triumph, Pan’s Labyrinth with this much improved sequel to the somewhat flawed Hellboy. And although it’s not half as memorable as Pan’s Labyrinth it’s still a very entertaining way to kill two hours while awaiting the release of The Dark Knight.

This time around we find “Red” fighting the evil Prince Nuada, who is set on unleashing “The Golden Army” which will wage war on all of mankind because they treat creatures like him and Hellboy with disdain. Not really the most imaginative story, but still an improvement on the first Hellboy, in which I had hard time following the plot some of the time and wasn’t really sure of what the intentions of the somewhat underdeveloped villains were. Also, the colorful cast including Hellboy’s sidekick Abe, played by Doug Jones, (although he isn’t voiced by David Hyde Pierce this time around), Hellboy’s girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair) and the addition of Johann Kraus (a robot-type dude voiced by Seth MacFarlane) make for an endearing band of heroes. Also Ron Perlman once again has plenty of fun as Hellboy, a very likeable lug who never seems to run out of amusing one liners.

However, what really makes Hellboy 2 worth seeing is the awe-inspiring special affects. Del Toro’s attention to detail on the makeup and design of the many mythological creatures included in the film really show what makes him one of the most interesting directors around. I don’t really have any idea how closely these creatures resemble anything from the Hellboy comic books, but one things for sure, you won’t see any superhero movies half as visually spectacular as Hellboy 2 this summer.

However, after a while it kind of feels like Guillermo maybe went a little too all out with the special effects, seeing that he was given a much bigger budget than any of his previous films. Still, Hellboy 2 makes for another very respectable addition to the slew of comic book movies that are being released this summer. Also, del Toro’s ability to handle a big budget blockbuster like this definitely raises my expectations for his adaptation of The Hobbit.


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