28 July 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy Returns, and Better than Before

Well, AMC does not honor Hollywood Movie Money, so I had to pay for my ticket. This leaves just The Mummy 3 for this free ticket. I went into Hellboy II: The Golden Army with some reservations. I was not over impressed with 2004’s Hellboy. I know that critics loved it, but I guess I just did not get why. I now have a deeper respect for the original, but I definitely enjoyed this second entry more.

It opens with a young Hellboy being told a bedtime story by returning actor John Hurt. It is the story of the Golden Army. It is almost the same story as the Lord of the Rings with all the truces and things being split up. We then cut to modern times and see that Prince Nuada is planning his revenge on the human race. With the assistance of another monster, they steal back the part of a mystical crown given to the humans in the truce. He then goes and tried to talk his father into giving him his piece, but he finds that he is not welcome. So, he is forced to kill his own father and claim the throne. Now, his twin sister, Princess Nuala, possesses the final piece to the crown to rule the Golden Army.

We then see Tom Manning trying to keep himself out of trouble, as head of the United States Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. He was played once again by Jeffrey Tambor from Arrested Development fame. He was joined by Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones all reprising their roles from the first film. They investigate the mysterious deaths at an auction house, where Nuada and his partner stole the piece of the crown. They are joined by a mystical colleague in the form of Johann Krauss, voiced by Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane.

For the remainder of the film, the team searches for the Prince and tries to stop him from raising the Golden Army. There is plenty of adventure along the way. Guillermo Del Toro is back behind the camera and wrote the script as well. He knows what he is doing when it comes to CGI and creatures. All of it looked so real. The characters are what really make this movie enjoyable. Ron Perlman is fantastic as Hellboy, and his interactions with Blair’s Liz Sherman are intense. Abe Sapien, Doug Jones, falls for Princess Nuala, making things more difficult. Where this one is better than the original is completely with the characters and their interactions with each other and the situations that they are forced into.

After much hesitation, I was asked by a co-worker if I wanted to join him in seeing this movie, so I obliged him and tagged along. I was not disappointed. Verdict: For fans of the first one, you have undoubtedly seen this already. Fence sitters, you should see this. Newcomers, I would recommend renting the first one before seeing this, but by all means, see it. Sadly, Hellboy II will barely match its budget domestically, so unless this makes a load internationally, there may not be a third. The way this one ended left me wanting more.

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