Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army



  • Released Internationally on 10/07/08
  • Released in Malta by KRS on 10/09/08


Preview (01/09/08)

In a nutshell

Hellboy is the government’s secret-weapon – a cigar-munching, down-to-earth demon who’s big on brawn and quite efficient at battling anything nasty or paranormal. He made the jump from comic-books to the big screen in 2004, and based on that film’s financial and critical success, he’s back for a much-anticipated sequel.

Why we’re hyped

Visionary director Guillermo Del Toro was given the chance to direct the original Hellboy film after the success of his Blade II. He proved his love for the subject matter by creating a visually impressive and fun comic-book film, which was successful despite being much lesser-known than other comic-book heroes. Since then, he turned in the equally stunning Pan’s Labyrinth two years ago. And based on his short but impressive CV, he’s now been picked by Peter Jackson to direct the two eagerly-awaited Hobbit films. In the meantime, Golden Army promises to be bigger, better and just as fun as its predecessor.

Who’s in it?

Ron Perlman reprises his role as the title character, although he’s quite unrecognizable under the make-up. Selma Blair and Doug Jones return as his partners at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence, and John Hurt returns in a brief role as Hellboy’s adoptive father.


Review (07/09/08)

Tried and tested

Since the first film was so well received, the basic formula is preserved for this sequel, and once again Del Toro manages to craft it into an enjoyable action film with lots of creatures to feast our eyes on. As he has shown on more than one occasion, he loves fantasy creatures, and along with the main protagonists, we are now introduced to a host of new ones – from the impressively designed evil henchman Mr. Wink, with his detachable metal fist, to the eerie angel of death and his wonderful peripheral vision. Not to mention the Golden Army itself, of course, which holds up pretty well in storage and can sweep the battlefield when called upon.

Not just a monster showroom

Despite the creatures of Del Toro’s world taking centre stage, they’re not playing out a vapid plot or merely acting as accessories. These creatures form the essence of Del Toro’s contemporary fairytale, and their interaction with everyday city scenarios and present-day news items is one of the reasons why Hellboy is so fresh and original. In between battling ogres and elves in the underworld, Hellboy is having problems with his girlfriend, and also clashing with the Washington authorities over his sightings by news crews and video clips on YouTube. And to top it all, there’s a wonderful buddy moment when Hellboy and his spindly aquatic sidekick Abe down a few beers to the tune of Barry Manilow.

Much to look forward too

The Hellboy comics are sure to be full of further material should another sequel be planned, but the film’s ending leaves us unsure whether we’ll be joining this motley crew again anytime soon. In the meantime, this highly entertaining sequel should serve as a good appetiser for Del Toro’s upcoming trip to Middle-Earth.




Trailer: (High-res QuickTime)


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