Review of 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army'

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�)Z I am a big fan of the first movie telling the story of an unusual super-hero – A devil that is thrown as a child through a rift from hell into our reality. The reason it works so well is the character of Hellboy himself – A big and powerful being yet with human foibles such as an affectation towards cats, chocolate bars and classic television shows. A cool character to be sure.

Where the first movie was a dark, brooding affair setting up the main characters this movie very quickly gets to the action and story which generally moves along very well. An evil, mythical, prince is determined to raise the “golden army” – An army composed of golden mechanical constructs which do the bidding of their master. It is up to Hellboy and the rest of the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) to save humanity. Along the way they battle “tooth faeries” (the scariest of the baddies, in my opinion) and an “elemental” (finally revealling themselves to the rest of a, rather hateful, humanity).

The effects are second to none and the dialogue is as witty and intelligent as ever. Big red is played so well by Ron Perlman the character is just brought to life. It is also nice to see Abe Sapien (played by Doug Jones) get a large chunk of the storyline as well which provides a bit more of a dynamic for the BPRD team. Similarly, a key story element involving Red's love interest, Liz Sherman (played by Selma Blair) also progresses the story quite nicely.

Del Toro's fingerprints are all over the picture with his sensibilities and style very much in evidence, perhaps even more than the first Hellboy movie, with particular characters and settings very much mirroring similar elements from, particularly, Pan's Labyrinth (which is not a bad thing, by any means…).

A lot of fun – Very enjoyable.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2008-08-20

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Studio: Dark Horse Entertainment

Year: 2008

Length: 120 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Guillermo del Toro:

Other reviewed films by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson: