In this continuation to the adventure of the demon superhero, an evil elf breaks an ancient pact between humans and creatures, as he declares war against humanity. He is on a mission to release The Golden Army, a deadly group of fighting machines that can destroy the human race. As Hell on Earth is ready to erupt, Hellboy and his crew set out to defeat the evil prince before The Golden Army can destroy humanity's existence. Written by
I honestly didn't expect much when I first saw this movie. I was a fan of the first film, though it wasn't anything spectacular and I figured this would be more of the same. Wow, no. This movie was SO much better than the first, in my opinion; it was easily one of my favorite movies from 2008. I'm not saying the first was bad, I just found myself bored a lot easier at times. But this film was just flat-out more entertaining. Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense find themselves caught up when an elven prince declares war on the human race and attempts to awaken the invincible Golden Army to aid him.
Whereas the first film delved into more occult themes, the sequel is full of fantasy and mythical elements. The film is full of some of the most imaginative creature creations I've seen in years, and most of it was done with animatronics and puppetry with very little reliance on CGI. Wink, the prince's monstrous bodyguard/henchman, was a full-size costume with animatronics and CGI used to enhance it and it was amazing. I was blown away by the Troll Market scene and how much detail went into creating that never-before-seen world of fantasy creatures. When you see some of the amazing creations of Del Toro and his crew, you'll be baffled as to how they managed to do most of it practically (the Angel of Death rocks, BTW).
Most of the key cast have returned from the first film...Ron Perlman, Selma Blair (HOT), Doug Jones, and Jeffrey Tambor. The writing was sharper in this film and the cast are better than they were before. I especially liked how Liz Sherman (Blair) was given more to do than sulk in this installment. In addition, the BPRD receive a new agent in the form of Johann Krauss, an ectoplasmic entity in a containment suit voiced by the awesome Seth MacFarlane. For me, Krauss stole every scene he was in and I really dug his introduction to the film series. I definitely hope he's brought back in any future sequels. Also a bit different this time around was the "villain", Prince Nuada (Luke Goss)...rather than the usual world domination motivation, he is jaded at how his people have been treated by the humans and is determined to retake their "rightful" place in the world. His intentions are noble in a sense but his methods are severely flawed and he presents Hellboy with views that cause the hero to question his place as a defender of humanity.
Seeing as how I've never read the comics, I can't say how faithful the film stays to the Hellboy canon but, as a film-goer, I loved this movie. It was a drastic improvement on the first in my opinion and I really hope Del Toro is given the chance to continue the series in the future with the seeds he planted in this film for ongoing plot-points.
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