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Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Review Written by: Alex Sandell
As a fan of the comics and of the first movie this one left me
feeling slightly disappointed. The first Hellboy film (which was
absolutely excellent) did a better job at maintaining the feel of the
comics and had a more consistent tone than the slightly slapdash
sequel. It was darker, more emotional and had more of those terrific
Ray Harryhausen inspired scenes of terror that are such a large part of
what makes the comic books great. This one did have a couple of funny
and a few touching scenes, but overall it didn't come together quite as
well as the
The first mistake was made when the
powers that be decided to not directly adapt one of the
mind-bending graphic novels and instead created some vague Lord of the Rings'
rip-off plot involving a crown instead of a ring. Then there was the
overall inconsistencies. First half = non-stop comedy. Second half =
epic fantasy without an epic story to back it up. It was like two
different movies loosely tied together to
make one uneven film. The lighthearted first half was too zany for its
own good (much more slapstick than the first film or the graphic
novels) and the second half felt too hurried and conventional to leave
a lasting impact. The haphazard tone was largely caused by a story that
needed more flesh on its bones to create a Hellboy
worthy of the Mike Mignola penned graphic novels.
Valid criticisms aside, there is
still plenty to like here. The special
effects are incredible (seriously, this shit looks great!), the visuals
every bit as powerful and
imaginative as anything visionary screenwriter and director Guillermo
del Toro has committed to film (or that incredible notebook full of
sketches he carries around with him), and the monsters and freaks take
center stage instead of playing second fiddle to the boring fucking
humans like they did in the first movie.
All in all it adds up to one great popcorn flick with enough
monsters to make the creature from the black lagoon green with envy.
The plot isn't nearly as deep as I would have liked or
as developed as I would have desired based on the original
on the source material, but it's a whole lot of fun and well worth the
price of admission.