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Hellboy 2: The Golden Army: Movie Review

Submitted by on August 17, 2008 – 8:16 pmNo Comment

The trailers for Hellboy 2: The Golden Army were (too put it nicely) utter pap! It is sad to think then that Guillermo del Toro (GDT) had taken the beloved tale of Hellboy and flushed it down the lavatory. I had hoped that Hellboy wouldn’t turn into a collective superhero movie as the humorous is what made the film great (along with ’s work of course). If you watched any of the trailers, you could get an idea about what the movie is like. You’ll probably notice that whilst the smaller creatures look convincing, the larger creatures (such as the rock “creature”) look very very fake. It is a relief then to find that when watching it on the big screen, the flaws of the trailer are all but gone. Okay so the large monsters aren’t exactly photo realistic, but you only think this after being awarded with some of the most impressive (and outfitted) creatures that I’ve ever seen. So much detail has gone into each of these creatures (from a different world) that it seems natural to see them walking amongst ours.

So this time Hellboy is accompanied by a slightly different voiced Abe and a stressy girlfriend who insists he does the dishes. Unfortunately Rupert Evans (as Myers) does not return for the sequel, but he is missed for only the shortest of time. Tom Manning (played by the quite excellent and bald Jeffrey Tambor) returns as the boss and yet has somehow lost his cojones since Hellboy 1. A replacement is brought in (in the guise of a German voiced by Seth “Family Guy” MacFarlane). Unfortunately this character (Johann Krauss) is somewhat disjointed to say the least. There are times when his introduction into the group feels natural. Unfortunately there are more times when his stereotypical German character feels misplaced. Overall though you get used to the oddity of this new member of the group and the film goes on.

Luke Goss (from boy band BROS – how embarrassing) shows that he can act, but unfortunately doesn’t have as much screen time as you’d hope. There is one thing that is really bugging me though and that’s his introduction. It is seen in the trailer so you can watch it online. He has a very unusual way of saying “Not at all”. In fact he puts so much emphasis on the word “at” that you’d think he was shouting at deaf people.

Some excellent screen wipes are in place throughout the film and have I mentioned how great the different creatures look? GDT is certainly proving himself worthy to take up the Hobbit movies. This attention to detail deserves recognition. The cinematography though is let down a little by the soundtrack. A hard rock soundtrack would have leant itself so much better to the movie (instead of the amount of classic music used). GDT has managed in two films what most are unable to do in one. That is making something that is supposedly out of this world seem more human than the people indigenous to it. A quite memorable scene where Hellboy and Abe share a drink and despair over women (whilst listening to a song) is quite brilliant.

Okay, so I am praising this movie (perhaps a little too much). It does have flaws though (as does everything). The title characters of the movie (The Golden Army) are in it for an incredibly short amount of time. This is a great shame as they really did look good. Tom Manning turned into a 200 pound weakling from Hellboy to Hellboy 2. The ending felt rushed (as if all the budget had been used) and I think that Seth MacFarlane should stick with Family Guy. Other than these (quite minor points), this film deserves your attention. Any director (and writer) who can give this much life(and ) to inanimate objects deserves recognition. Thankfully it is not a superhero movie. It is more like an ongoing comical conversation interrupted (continuously) by some evil nasty type beings.

I’m looking forward to the next Hellboy movie with great anticipation. I can only hope that GDT will continue to write and direct them. It would be a shame to entrust anyone else with the job of making a large red demon likeable….even loveable.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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