Movie Review 2008 #67: Hellboy II the Golden Army

So what turned out to be a very stormy night, I went with a co worker after work to see “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”, directed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Ron Perlman and Selma Blair.
The movie makes a few concessions to people who may have seen the underestimated previous entry, sketching in who and what Hellboy is, a demon from another dimension working for the not-very-secret Bureau of Paranormal Investigations. A misfit in a group of Misfits, Hellboy wants to fit in, be recognized, be loved for what he does: thumping those who go thumping in the night.
This time, instead of Rasputin and Gods of Chaos, we have an Elf Prince as the antagonist. A bedtime story by Hellboy’s discoverer in a flashback tells us the tale of the Elves and their Golden army, an unstoppable force that is put to slumber for a long time–until Prince Nuada decides that humans have raped and pillaged the Earth enough, and will even kill his father for the chance to start up the army again. And then there is his twin sister, who opposes his plan, but is bound to him all the same…
With a surprising amount of pathos, regret, and complexity to the storyline and the conflicts, Hellboy II hits on nearly every cylinder, every time. Dealing with a rampaging forest god, the last of its kind, gives a surprisingly poignant tone, for example.
Del Toro shows his penchant for fantasy creatures, too, with a Goblin Market which is the fantasy equivalent of the Mos Eisley cantina in the sheer number of strange creatures. The Bureau team, including Hellboy himself, look completely unremarkable in this amazingly detailed space where I couldn’t possibly catch everyone and everything happening on the screen.
Love, hope, sacrifice, rollicking action, and a healthy dollop of humor, the cinematic experience of the movie was a treat for both me and my friend from work. As a story and a film, its not quite as good as the superb Pan’s Labyrinth, but as a comic book movie, it gives Iron Man a real run for its money.
I liked it a lot, and I will definitely buy it on DVD. I think the movie is enhanced for seeing the original, but its not strictly necessary to do so.

One thought on “Movie Review 2008 #67: Hellboy II the Golden Army”

  1. Hellboy is dependably fun; for sure that director has an amazing imagination, reminded me a lot of his work in Pan’s Labyrinth

Comments are closed.