Hellboy II: The Golden Army

"Excellent"

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review


Get in a discussion about comic-book movies and someone will indubitably bring up this theory: Part one of a comic-book movie anthology is always just OK; the series peaks with part two; and in part three (usually the final chapter) everything falls apart. (Think X-Men, Spider-man, and Superman). Hellboy II only furthers this theory. Part one, though visually sensational, delivered a weak jab in terms of its story, characters, and writing. But its sequel connects with a mighty punch, delivering everything you could possibly want from a summer blockbuster and more.

Hellboy II takes the fantastic make-up artistry, creature creation, and set design that we grew fond of in Pan's Labyrinth and combines all of these elements with mindblowing CGI and stunning choreography. The script this time around is sharp and witty; you'll be laughing for most of this movie (which is good, because Hellboy II would look silly if it took itself too seriously). Most importantly, the movie contains some of the best (i.e., least-fake-looking) action sequences I've ever seen in a comic-book movie, and lots of them, too, which makes it even better than Iron Man, its biggest summer contender next to the upcoming Dark Knight.

Even the chemistry between the characters seems to have improved this time around. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and Liz (Selma Blair) have been living together for some time, and their relationship is on the rocks. Liz's icy stares are enough to make it clear she's unhappy about something. (Just what exactly we don't know, but that stare is something most of us guys can relate with.) The couple occupationally fights supernatural creatures alongside Abe (Doug Jones), a slightly annoying but tolerable alien who can perform ESP -- and apparently pregnancy tests -- on whomever he touches. Hired to lead the team is a mysterious Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth Macfarlane), a cocky and seemingly omnipotent ball of gas residing in what appears to be a funky space suit.

The team stumbles into a mission to save the world (and they're so damn nonchalant about it), and... let's just leave it at that for plot summary: The story isn't all that intriguing, but all in all the movie's a fun ride with enough spectacular visuals and clever gags to keep you engaged. I've never said this about any film, but in Hellboy II's case, the visuals alone make the movie worth watching on the big screen.

My only minor complaint about the movie was that after the first 10 minutes or so, Liz does virtually nothing in terms of fighting enemies. In some scenes, she awkwardly stands around with a pistol that you know will be useless against the team's demonic foes; she looks like a token, attractive female character. But at one point we learn Liz is pregnant, and perhaps I can accept this as a justification for her idleness: Her super power is to self-combust, and that can't be good for the baby, right? At least to compensate, Hellboy pummels the hell out of a ton of foes with his gigantic, bell-shaped fists, and the impressive choreography makes these scenes more interesting than they sound.

Now we can only pray that part three doesn't make the Hellboy saga another example of the what-goes-up-must-come-down theory prevalent in comic-book movies. But after Guillermo Del Toro proved his brilliance with Pan's Labyrinth and then this film, I'm hopeful he'll be able to break free of the part-three curse.

The severe haircut will hurt them more than the gun.



Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Facts and Figures

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th July 2008

Box Office USA: $75.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $141.3M

Budget: $85M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Dark Horse Entertainment, Internationale Filmproduktion Eagle, Mid Atlantic Films, Relativity Media, Lawrence Gordon Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 185 Rotten: 28

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Hellboy, as Liz Sherman, as Tom Manning, as Abe Sapien, as Trevor Bruttenholm, as Prince Nuada, as Johann Krauss / Bethmoora Goblin, James Dodd as Johann Krauss, as Johann (voice), as Princess Nuala, Brian Steele as Wink / Cronie / Spice Shop Troll / Cathedral Head / Fragglewump

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.