Movie: "Hellboy II: The Golden Army"
Year: 2008
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Writing credits: Guillermo del Toro and Mike Mignola

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 7/14/2008

Plot: Hellboy has to save the humanity from annihilation... again.

Review: For those of you who are fans of the comics, I'll letcha know right off the bat that I've never read a Hellboy comic, so my review is entirely based on the movie itself and not how accurately it does or doesn't follow any of the comics. That being said, I enjoyed Hellboy II: The Golden Army almost as much as the first movie, and in all honesty, I could easily see why some people would like this sequel even more.

For starters, it definitely has better visuals than the first flick. The characters, the costumes, the troll market... they were simply a lot of fun to watch. Guillermo del Toro continues to impress the hell out of me as one of the finest directors out there who can take some of the most grandiose cinematic concepts and deliver them with style.

This big sequel also features Hellboy and Abe Sapien singing their own drunk rendition of Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You". Just stop for a moment and try picturing that in your head and you'll quickly understand why it's one of the greatest comic book movie scenes of all time. Simply hilarious. I also got some good laughs from the tumultuous relationship between Hellboy and Johann Kraus (who is definitely a welcome addition to the cast).

The storyline itself is where I had some problems with the movie. Aside from being a bit more predictable, I didn't find myself caring about the characters as much in this story. Maybe it's because we weren't being introduced to them this go around and, in all honesty, they're not facing a truly evil enemy. They're more or less just facing a frustrated one who's gone wacko. But come on... in the first movie they were going up against a purely evil Nazi wizard and his pals. It's gonna be hard to make an ancient elf prince, who is pissed at humans for treating the world poorly, come off anywhere nearly as evil as a Nazi wizard hellbent on destroying the world. I was also reminded of the X-Men films when some of the public were upset with Hellboy when he was just trying to help out. The whole "they'll never except you because you're different" theme is just a little played out in comic book movies for me, but I still can easily understand why they'd have it come up in this of all Hellboy flicks. Don't get me wrong, it's still a really good story, but it just didn't interest me as much as the first movie did. It doesn't seem like there's as much on the line in this one.

There were also some characters from the first movie that I definitely missed in this one. Though there is a brief flashback scene with him early in the movie, Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm was definitely missed as Hellboy's father figure. I also really loved Karl Ruprecht Kroenen in the first film, and while Prince Nuada had even greater ninjarific skills, Kroenen was a more visually interesting character. Then again, perhaps Prince Nuada suffered from surgical addiction as well... he just hid it better. Fortunately, his sister, Princess Nuada, was a surprisingly great performance by relative newcomer, Anna Walton. The love story that blooms between her and Abe is more entertaining than the one between Hellboy and Liz Sherman if you ask me. It doesn't hurt that her character has a fantastically ethereal beauty either. And as I stated before, Johann Kraus (voiced by the one and only Seth MacFarlane) was definitely a nice new character for the Hellboy series. It really comes down to what you prefer to see on the screen: old professors and Nazi ninjas or an ectoplasmic roboman and some elves.

And speaking of Sherman, what happened to her cool blue flames? Sure, it's a nitpicky point and is perhaps their way of commenting on her getting more control over her fiery anger, but I'd much rather see her shooting out blue flames to kill everything in sight instead of a traditional orange blaze. Maybe it's something from the comic books that I'm simply unaware of, but I prefer the blue.

Lastly, I was hoping to see the Golden Army do a lot more. I'm not going to spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen it, but I was expecting a lot more from the so-called indestructible army. Suffice it to say, I was really surprised that the titular army was on screen for maybe 5-10 minutes of the entire film. I'll take more Golden Army footage and less "flashback of Hellboy as a kid" footage any day of the week, thankyouverymuch.

In the end, Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a visually superior funfest that you definitely should see on the big screen because it really is an artistic achievement at the very least. Ron Perlman also proves once again that he was born to play the role of Hellboy. Just don't be surprised if you find that the story itself isn't quite as interesting as the original Hellboy film.

On a final note, I can't be the only one who would really like to see the Elemental fight Cloverfield. It'd be like a modern Godzilla vs. King Kong. Come on Hollywood... make it happen.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

1.21 Gigawatts!!!
Jul 14th, 2008, 09:34 AM
I agree that the movie was visually awesome and there were some hilarious scenes (The “I’m not a baby, I’m a tumor” one is a perfect example). The plot was weak in some parts, and they could have done a little more on character development, but I view that it was more of a bridge for a potential third part in the series. While evil Nazi’s would be good, it may get a little repetitive and predictable (i.e. Indiana Jones); so I am glad for a slightly different storyline.

I also like the fact that the story makes you wonder if Hellboy was fueled by the right motives, as Prince Nuada antagonizes the main character in a similar fashion as Magneto to Xavier (nice catch on that one, Rog). It also makes you anticipate on what the third movie may have in store. Without giving too much away, Liz meets a character that tells her that she will “suffer worse than the rest”. In all, I still say that this was an entertaining movie and cannot wait for the third installment.
plastic bag
Jul 14th, 2008, 10:15 AM
i haven't seen Hellboy II yet, but i plan to. Just gotta say that you should definitely check out the comics, they are awesome.
Forum Virgin
Jul 14th, 2008, 10:16 AM
I think the absolute best thing about this movie is that it is a pleasure to see that there are some people who are still backing up great make-up and physical effects with the support of CGI for larger effects rather than a whole fake-feeling all CGI movie. It is much more visceral that way. That said, I loved this movie visually more but enjoyed the first one story-wise more as it had less "hokey" elements.
Last of the Time Lords
Jul 14th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Just saw it. It is, indeed, the equal of the original (and awesome to look at). I really need to read more of the comic books, I've barely touched them even though the stuff I have read was great.
Jul 14th, 2008, 11:34 AM
I've never read any of the comics either, hell I didn't even see the first movie. But there was something about the trailers for this movie that got me really interested, and I plan on seeing it.

Oh, and the part "they'll never except you because you're different" made me shudder.
Sapper Whacker
Jul 14th, 2008, 01:47 PM
I haven't seen it yet, but from the trailers you can really see the infulence from Pan's Labyrinth, which is only in french or spanish and is something up a cult film. If you can track it down, it's about the spanish civil war and has more of that awesome-rific graphical wonderment. I don't even know if it was released in the USA though.

About the first film - WHY did they take away the retractable claws and trenchcoat Kroenen had in the first part? They really were a unique look, reminding everyone that yes, he was a nazi, but he was also an insane bladefighter. I just didnt go for the spandex bodysuit that came later in the movie...
taco loving zombie
Jul 14th, 2008, 04:31 PM
i really liked it i have to admit my paisano memo del toro has some awesome imagination
Shining Beacon of Virtue
Jul 14th, 2008, 11:21 PM
You're kidding, right? Four pickles? That's four pickles too many.

I've been a pretty hardcore Hellboy fan for like five-six years. I'd even go a far as saying that I've never enjoyed a comic series as much as I've enjoyed Hellboy.

That being said, when I heard they were coming out with a Hellboy 2 I was slightly skeptical. After seeing the trailer and learning that Magnola (Or however you spell the creator's name) wrote the story himself, I got pretty hyped.

I went into the theater with high expectations, only to be disappointed within the first couple minutes. Hellboy, as a cute little child, watching cartoons? That's odd... So, after only a couple minutes I realized they completely and utterly dropped the dark style of the comics. Well, fine. I can live with that.

Then, they made Liz Sherman sort of whiny. They turned Abe into C3P0. They pretty much screwed up the characters big time. But, you know what? I can live with that. I'm not one to get my panties in a knot when movies break away from the source material... I just watch it, and appreciate it for what it is.

That being said, I still hated it. It was corny. It was a corny love story mixed in with alittle "They'll never understand you because you're different!" There were a number of very stupid scenes. I hated it, every minute of it. I left feeling very unsatisfied. When I told my company that I wasn't crazy about the movie, they all got personally offended, like they were the freaking producers or something...

OK so yes it was very visually appealing, but that doesn't save poor writing. I could forgive them butchering the source Material, but I couldn't appreciate it as it's own thing, because it was just bad.
The Goddamned Batman
Jul 15th, 2008, 12:28 AM
I just saw it tonight and loved it. I'd put it about on par with the first movie in terms of overall enjoyment (stronger visuals but weaker plot) and would also have given it four pickles. The Troll Market was awesome, and Johann Krauss was fucking AWESOME. That guy needs his own movie, seriously.
Jul 15th, 2008, 01:41 AM
Originally Posted by JJ_Maniac View Post
I haven't seen it yet, but from the trailers you can really see the infulence from Pan's Labyrinth, which is only in french or spanish and is something up a cult film. If you can track it down, it's about the spanish civil war and has more of that awesome-rific graphical wonderment. I don't even know if it was released in the USA though.
yeah it got a wide release here, so i don't know if it would really count as a "cult" film :/
ni kar'tayl gar darasuum
Jul 16th, 2008, 03:20 PM
Anung un Rama Returns!
Doug Jones kicked ass and didn't disappoint in the vocals.
Seth McFartlande was expectedly just a slightly more masculine Klaus- but liked Krauss as a whole. the expanding glove towards the end was awesome, all in the details and they're everywhere.
Praise for this movie, though always going to be wanting more from Hellboy- you KNOW GDT will give Smaug the respect he deserves, NAY DEMANDS!!

Remember, first weekend of Batman will be packed with crybaby kids who won't shut the fuck up. Check out Hellboy 2 again before you OD on Dark Knight, Red needs the cash
LOVES the tubal ligation!
Jul 16th, 2008, 06:00 PM
Quick question for the people who HAVE read the comics. Does anything in the new Hellboy movie have anything to do with anything in the comics? In the comics is there even mention of "the golden army" or the elves?
Jul 16th, 2008, 10:24 PM
I want to know why the left out John Meyers.
Geek Wench
Jul 17th, 2008, 01:33 AM
I just got back from seeing the movie, and I think I agree with the four pickle rating. I did connect with the characters a little less in this one, and I'm a sucker for the heavier Lovecraftian elements in the first film. However, I think I am ok with the ambiguity of the enemies in this one. It's fairly common for a second-act film to have villains that make the hero question whether or not he's doing the right thing. And I thought the Forest God was handled very well: it's a threat, but it's passing is a very sad (yet beautiful!) thing. Very nicely done.

And Ron Perlman was SO born to play HellBoy. I've seen him in other stuff, and enjoyed his work, but he just IS HellBoy.

And the creature design was fantastic, especially the Angel of Death.

And Doug Jones rocks. That is all.
1.21 Gigawatts!!!
Jul 17th, 2008, 09:17 AM
I want to know why the left out John Meyers.
There was mention of Myers being transferred to a new assignment due to Hellboy. If I remember right, it was Antarctica.
grants but one wish
Jul 20th, 2008, 08:44 AM
is this just me... but does anyone else look at hellboy and think someone hammered corks into his head?
Forum Virgin
Jul 20th, 2008, 04:49 PM
Forest God = Win!
Jul 25th, 2008, 08:26 PM
"they'll never except you because you're different"
Except vs Accept.