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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 moments and a few touching scenes, but overall it didn't come together quite as well as the original.

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 film and on the source material, but it's a whole lot of fun and well worth the price of admission.

8 Juicy squirts out of a maximum 10 ejaculations

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©2008 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this without my permission and I'll sing a new song out to the lord of Westboro Baptist Church. Those mother fuckers are psycho, man!