Review: ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’

I’ve only seen the first Hellboy once and didn’t care much for it.  And I’m a little puzzled as to why there would be a sequel to a movie that only grossed $99 million worldwide.  Yes, I am aware that it probably gained a following on DVD, but on the Movie Superhero Ladder of Awesomeness, Hellboy’s placed somewhere between the Fantastic Four and Daredevil (read: not very high). I’m also questioning Universal’s decision to open Hellboy II: The Golden Army in such a crowded marketplace; there have been numerous superhero films this summer (Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Hancock and the 800-pound gorilla, The Dark Knight) with bigger followings (all the hero films have grossed over $100 million).

Hellboy II is not a terrible movie–it’s highly watchable–but it’s not that memorable, either.  It’s the perfect film for a September opening.

What’s it about? Hellboy (Ron Perlman), a self-loathing demon (sans horns–he’s files them down) is still fighting big bad monsters for the US Government’s Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense with Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), an amphibious telepath,  and his live-in girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair), a pyrokinetic (she’s a human torch).  A millennia-old truce between humans and elves is in jeopardy when elvish Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) wages war against mankind, pitting 4th-century tooth fairies (they eat your teeth), a menacing giant and an enormous plant monster against Hellboy and co.

What’s good about it? Director Guillermo Del Toro (who directed the first film and the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth) has a wildly inventive imagination.  The monsters are great and great in number.  There are some fun action sequences and a great scene where Abe and Hellboy sing Barry Manilow.

What’s bad about it? For all the imagination crammed into two hours, Hellboy II feels kind of dull and not that memorable.  It kind of feels like you’re watching the season finale of a really expensive television series.

Perfect for: Hellboy fans, those who root for underdog movies.


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One Response to “Review: ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’”

  1. patrick Says:

    Hellboy is fun; it’s refreshing that he’s a superhero but he doesn’t take himself too seriously… then he fumbles about like an average guy

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