Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
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Well, Hellboy 2 is still an entertaining action movie... But it misses everything, that made Hellboy 1 so special.
It's not very cynical, no "very bad language" and is filled 100% political correctness.
It means you could easily change the main characters into the ones from "Spiderman" or "Thor" or "Captain America" or whatever... It wouldn't make a difference.
So for me, this is just another superhero movie. I mean, it is not a bad one, but just one out of a hundred. That was simply a bit disappointing.
They really nailed the tone with this one, and I couldn't be happier.
The story, although arguably not the strongest part of any superhero movie, held my attention and made sense. Although the film's plot and even its antagonist were never mentioned in any of the comics, that didn't stop the story from being interesting. The film also transitioned very nicely from the first one and I'd recommend watching that one before you watch this one.
The action scenes were another strong part of this film. Although Hellboy himself may not have the coolest powers or fighting abilities, watching him fight against Luke Goss's character was a real treat. They really stepped up these action sequences from the first movie!
Ron Perlman's portrayal of Hellboy is perfect; there was really no one else who would've suited the role better. Doug Jones also brought a lightness to Abe Sapien's character that wasn't really shown in the comics but was greatly appreciated. I loved the chemistry between Hellboy, Liz, and Abe in the film. The rest of the main cast also were good in their parts--they were very well cast.
Over all, I'd definitely recommend this film to any superhero fans and especially fans of the Hellboy/BPRD comics. Although the story and the characters may not be completely true to the comics, I didn't mind the changes at all. The movie took me on an emotional train ride: there are parts where I laughed out loud and parts that were definitely touching. Although I'm biased, being a huge fan of the comic books growing up, these two movie installments of Hellboy will always be my favourite superhero movies and I hope you enjoy the movies as much as I did.
The visuals and special effects are incredible. There are always new and abstract characters being introduced with all these unique designs. The fight scenes are all epic and wonderfully creative. There's just always some new wonderfully designed creature just appearing right around the corner in this movie. It of course helps that the main character is very enjoyable. I actually do get the relationships these characters have, even if there's not that much screen time devoted to it. It was made by the director of "Pan's Labyrinth" and it's really easy to tell with the design. This film lacks that movie's emotion, but is still a lot of fun. ***1/2
Ron Perlman dons red make-up once again to play the titular character, a demon working for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence. Together with his girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair) and amphibious man Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), Hellboy tries to prevent elvish Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) from activating The Golden Army—a battalion of metal soldiers—and waging war on the human race.
In the process, Hellboy and pals encounter a swarm of ravenous tooth fairies, fight a massive elemental forest god, travel to the troll market where all manner of magickal monsters do trade, and, of course, duke it out with Prince Nuada and his mechanical army. All of this is realised with a stunning array of state-of-the-art special effects, making the film a feast for the eyes, while a keen sense of humour helps to ensure a good time even when the narrative is treading water.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is at once an altogether superior sequel as well as a highly entertaining standalone adventure movie. The characters are terrific, the action sequences genuinely thrilling, the comedy hits the mark (it rarely did in the first film), and the visual design is at times among the most original and unique of anything I've ever seen. Go see this movie to enjoy the craft of a great director on the rise. You don't have to have seen the first film to enjoy this one.
For me, this is on par with Iron Man as the summer's best action entertainment so far (The Dark Knight, of course, soon cometh). While no character in this shines as brightly as Robert Downey Jr's ultra-cool Tony Stark, the ensemble here is better, the action is just as good, and the creativity and visual imagery are terrific. When I saw the first Hellboy I didn't care if the series continued; having seen it's brawny, spunky, and imaginative sequel, I cannot wait for another installment. **** (out of five) Rated PG-13 for creepy images, action violence.
The sequel could have been more. It could have either taken the time to elaborate on the mythology, or it could have ignored it all together now that the origin had been told.
Had they gone with the latter, it would have been a fun adventure film that didn't share the same frustrations that the first one held.
Instead they opted to explore just a little more of the Mythology, but again, not deep enough to really establish anything the audience could mull over. It missed it's chance to get into the deep mythology of things like X-Files. Instead it hinted again, at more story that would never be told or explained.
That sort of thing leaves audiences a little frustrated.
Still, like the first, Hellboy II is a fun adventure film, like the first it has a sense of humor. Like the first it is still entertaining and fun to watch.
It is worth your time if you want fun turn-your-mind-off escapism.
To the plot, is a simple one on the one hand and informative on the other, to keep it simple an elver prince wants to awake the Golden Army in order to overthrow the human dominance of the world and it is up the Bureau of Paranormal Reasearch and Defense to stop him off course. The great thing is that with these plot we get also some history of how the creatures of the myths and the Humans interacted and you get why the villain of the story wants to do it. To add to the creatures the designs are incredible and the line between this a puppet , this cgi or both, is not very clear and you think that this being are there this includes Hellboy , Abe Sappien and Dr Kraus as well.
The sad thing is that like with the previous installment this movie was not a big box office hit because, like with 2004 movie who open the same year with Spiderman 2 ,it open the same year with Dark Knight and Iroman show the audience went to these movies and completely forgot Hellboy. I do not say that these movies are bad no Spiderman 2 ,Ironman are great and Dark Knight is my favorite superhero movie and movie in general, what I mean is that we have to be more open to what entertainment is given to us ,both to keep the variety high and to open the door to artists who want to show their own unique style, being also stated that these product is good and worth your time and money!
Over all if you haven seen these underrated superhero flicks do it ,you will see that they are enjoyable at the very least and to the fun out there of The Hero from Hell, gross fingers and lest hope the Del Toro has not lost his style.
I have long felt that the first Hellboy installment is one of the most underrated films of the 2000's. The first thing you notice about both the first film and this more than worthy successor is the passion. Everything is simply beautiful (not in the typical beautiful sense, but in that you appreciate the art that it is), and it should come as no surprise as the film's director, Guillermo Del Toro, is a long time fan of the comic stories on which the movie is based. Del Toro turned down multiple high profile projects, including multiple Harry Potter films, so he could work on the Hellboy series, which we all know will not gross as much money. Del Toro's passion for excellence is evident in this wonderful sequel, which is better than the first, and cements Del Toro's place as one of the top filmmakers of today.
The first thing I liked about the movie: the easy transition from the first to the second movie. Though I don't remember exact plot details, it was very easy for me to get back into the story, world, and especially our three main characters. I'd reckon that you could watch this movie without having seen the first and still have a great time (though, it helps). A great cast with great chemistry more than sets the tone and makes this one very watchable.
First, you've got Ron Perlman. For those of you who don't know this terribly underrated actor, he's one you can't afford to miss as Hellboy. Even though he's covered in make-up and prosthetic's, Perlman does a great job of making us love him as a hero, and a man. This is something most of the superhero performers do not (or perhaps cannot) do. The just-as-passionate-as-Del-Toro Doug Jones leaves a HUGE mark on the viewer here, not just for his performance as Abe Sapien, but for his remarkable range as a couple of other characters in the movie. Luke Goss is the film's villain, and I really saw the dedication in his performance as well, something required for his character, who is of course a dedicated man. He's not necessarily the typical 'evil' character, but a somewhat misguided one, and I think Goss got that across to me very well. A fact often ignored by critics in the comic book/superhero realm of films is the supporting heroine. Most times, without the audience knowing it, this character makes or breaks the movie. Selma Blair, boy does she make it. Not only does she look absolutely stunning as Liz Sherman, she takes the final act into her hands and does wonders with it. Definitely the best performance I've ever seen from Ms. Blair. Add in a hilarious and great performance from Seth MacFarlane (yes, the voice of multiple Family Guy characters, I know I looked it up too!! Have to give it to him) as Johann Kraus's voice, and Anna Walton as Princess Nuala, and you've got the best ensemble of the year thus far.
As for the action, it's stunning. Hellboy has a LOT more to work with than the traditional superhero film, and Del Toro more than takes advantage of it. With action ranging from lighting fast and well shot sword fighting and hand to hand combat to Hellboy versus a giant plant (the Last forest Elder) and what a fight it was, it's a sight to behold as we watch a legendary director in the making perfect his craft once again. There were multiple times where I found myself saying "holy crap", or "wow". Del Toro also keeps some humor in there to balance the much darker tone of the film.
The film has also an incredible awesome version of the song lovesick. but that's for you to find out.
Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is a reluctant government agent who arrived from another world. He loves cats, television, and his wife, Liz (Selma Blair), but is discontent with his sheltered and secretive existence in the basement of some government facility in the middle of nowhere. He wants, as the saying goes, "to fit in". But of course, considering the fact that he happens to be a crimson devil, complete with horns and tail, that isn't going to happen. I did like Perlman's performance. Hellboy is a beer-drinking, gun-toting badass with a surprising outlook on life. He's an irresistible character, if a tad shallow and impulsive. But the other characters are significantly less so. Both love interests in the film are extremely boring, Del Toro seeing it fit to give them the most clichéd and hackneyed lines in the book. The villain is ridiculous, and the other characters simply aren't there enough.
The narrative is innovative, but lacks depth and even entertainment value, relying on strange action scenes (most of which lack fluidity) while barely ever giving us a break. I suppose that that could be taken as a pro, but I'm going to put it down as a con, simply because the running time is too short to have all that action without sufficient emotion or character development. I mean, if they could squeeze the character development and emotion into the action, I would have been happy.
Hellboy 2 is basically this: Years ago, humans massacred elves, and now, one of them is deciding to bite back by reawakening the "Golden Army", which is literally a massive army of golden cyborgs hidden underground.
Sadly, much of the film is forgettable, excluding some neat set pieces and a few solid action moments. But even the action scenes lack fluidity and movement, opting instead for a slow, blow-for-blow which lasts usually about five to ten minutes, making them rather plodding and unspectacular. Some of them are simply senseless, and some of them focus on Hellboy way too much.
What I wanted from this film was del Toro to put the same love he did into making his characters into shaping his characters. There is tension, yes, but the tension is often laughably clichéd. The characters develop in tiresome, by-the-book ways. It becomes difficult to care for anybody excluding Hellboy.
Creativity alone is enough to designate this film as a good film, as creativity is so often lacking in modern blockbusters. However, this film falls short past the realm of visual creativity, creating a story that is poorly paced and executed, characters that are for the most part tiresome, and action scenes that lack motion. All in all, Hellboy is a fine visual piece, but rather a dull film.
The movie achieves a perfect balance between great directing and great script and boasts fairly decent acting and plot.The movies strong points include awesome CGI and very deep well thought out characters as well as great action and comedy which you cant help but smile at.
The movie is not without its flaws though.The plot which is fairly decent is almost predictable and repetitive.The main villain in the film is a let down and never really poses any threat to Hellboy.
Hellboy is a watch worth considering, while it does have flaws, it does have some great elements and there is something that appeals to every viewer.In conclusion if you liked the first Hellboy you'll love the second but if not at least you wont be totally bored.
Directed again by creature designer Guillermo del Toro, this sequel has lots to offer. Initially starting out before the events of Hellboy (2004), fans see a young Hellboy being told a bedtime story by Professor Broom (John Hurt - more as a cameo) that gives us the premise of the film. A long time ago, humans made a treaty with another humanoid race in order to keep peace. However, a prince known as Prince Nuada (Luke Gross) seeks to take over the planet with a crown that controls an ancient Golden Army. In order to command this force, he needs to have the three pieces of the crown put back together. Everything from down to its characterizations and development to the acting is top notch. Ron Perlman as Hellboy will always be the right choice. His wisecracks and personality are the same as before. Selma Blair as Liz Sherman hasn't changed either. The role of Liz changes for the better as well, which helps Hellboy develop in return.
Doug Jones as Abe Sapien maintains his character personality as well and develops more in depth feelings too. Also like the animated films, Abe was also voiced by Jones and not David Hyde Pierce. It is strange though that in the animated films Jones didn't sound as good as Pierce, yet in this film Jones sounds more identical to Pierce's voice. No matter the voice, Jones still is Abe. Jeffrey Tambor as nonstop complaining Tom Manning returns but has a more limited role with the introduction of a new supporting character Johann Krauss voiced by comedic talent Seth MacFarlane. The character of Johann Krauss is an ectoplasmic being who contains himself inside an airtight mechanical suit and has special abilities that make him quite useful in problem solving and battling. He too also has a character arc. Also once the viewer knows Krauss' voice belongs to MacFarlane, it'll be difficult to imagine anyone else voicing him. Luke Gross as Prince Nuada and his sister Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) are interesting to watch as well. Luke Gross plays a memorable villain and Anna Walton's role is important too in plot and character development.
The only flaw in the writing that doesn't make sense is some of its continuity and it accounts for a very small amount. A lot of the continuity is on point, for example there's a brief explanation to what happened to Agent John Myers (Rupert Evans) from Hellboy (2004). As to why other sequels can't throw in small explanations like these to missing characters is beyond me. This kind of solution is the simplest of things to fix and several sequels to other franchises don't do this. However, the one piece of continuity that doesn't make sense is Abe Sapien's ability to be out of his water tank without his breathing apparatus. At first, it seemed like that was his only way of being out of his tank (like a fish). Then, somewhere at the quarter mark Abe no longer wears it. Okay,...so did he really need it to begin with? If not, it was kind of like excess weight for no reason. This however is the movie's smallest issue. The action is given a helpful boost in energy and creativeness. There's sword/fist fights that are fast paced, deadly and are fun to watch.
Plus with this being a Guillermo del Toro fantasy film, the special effects and creature designs look great. The Golden Army are intriguing to see in their mechanical forms along with other creatures like the Angel of Death, Wink and the Tooth Fairy (not what you think it is). The cinematography carried out by long time del Toro collaborator Guillermo Navarro looks great as well. There aren't many wide spanning landscape shots but for what there is, it looks beautiful. For one thing, the camera is always steadily moving to try and give the viewers a better idea of theirs' and the characters' surroundings. As for music, the score changed from composers from Marco Beltrami to Danny Elfman. Unfortunately with this transition, the main theme for Hellboy itself was lost. As to why Elfman couldn't recycle the theme I don't know. However, it wasn't a total loss. For one, Elfman creates themes for the Golden Army itself and for the love themes between characters. For the love themes, they are actually reminiscent to that of Elfman's early work dealing with this set of emotions. It's beautiful and euphoric.
Aside from one very minor continuity error, everything else to this sequel is crafted expertly. The old and new characters continue to develop, along with fun action sequences, polished special effects, great looking camera-work and music that has memorable themes.
'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' Synopsis: The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.
'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' works big time as an entertainer. The Screenplay is brilliantly complimented by dazzling visuals, sharp direction & efficient performances. Guillermo del Toro's Screenplay & Direction, are top-notch. The narrative flows with an infectious tone, while his Direction is as stylish as it could get. Visual Effects are absolutely dazzling. Cinematography & Editing are neat. Art Design is excellent. Make-Up is superbly done. Action-Sequences are expertly choreographed.
Performance-Wise: Ron Perlman as Hellboy, is tough as hell. He nails the part. Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, is super efficient. Doug Jones as Abe Sapien, is super. Seth MacFarlane voices Johann Krauss, flawlessly. Luke Goss as Prince Nuada, leaves an impression, as well.
On the whole, 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' is simply WOW. Two Thumbs Up!
Quality: 4/10 Entertainment: 8/10 Replayable: 2/10
Get rid of the fish guy. If there was ever a more irritating character I'm not sure who it was. OK, Jar Jar Binks and all the Ewoks were worse but fish guy is in the top 3.
Take all the time devoted to fish guy and add more Like Goss.
Movie is fixed. Simple
Now I need more lines of text. So I can talk about my flatulent dog who is far more entertaining than fish guy or just meander about other things till I test my line count again. Made it.
For starters, I must confess. I am a Guillermo Del Toro fan. The only movie of his I didn't give higher than a 7 to is mimic. And even then, I still didn't mind mimic and enjoyed my time watching it. But I can honestly say that this is his best work. It's not quite as serious as Pan's Labrynth, but it's also not as silly as Pacific Rim. It is everything I could want from a comic book movie.
Ron Perlman plays Hellboy, a demon that was raised by the US Government to be a hero, this cross makes for a very interesting anti-hero which often leaves you clueless to just what he will do. Selma Blair plays Liz Sherman, who at first glance just seems like your average, "I don't need anyone else's help," kind of character. But there's more to it than that. She is very original in the fact that the movie doesn't try to make her sexualized in the slightest. People may say this has been done before, but not like this. She doesn't strike you as a female character, she strikes you as a character. And even though I love Black Widow's character from the Marvel Universe movies, I'm constantly reminded that she is a female character. Seth MacFarlane voices Johann Krauss which is moved around by John Alexander and James Dodd. Not only is he an interesting character, but it's my favourite character that Seth MacFarlane has played. He fits so well in the universe that when you first see him, you're surprised for a second and then you think, "well, what do you expect from this universe?" Doug Jones plays Abe Sapien and it is an amazing role. Guillermo Del Toro uses Abe Sapien and another character, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss,) to really bring out his unique character designs. Both look stunning with the loads of make-up covered on them and yet you still believe that they're those creatures, not just actors.
The story is very interesting because it allows what seems like a straight forward, open-and-shut case, show that there's a lot that can be done to these stories within the visuals and experience that makes it unique. For example, there's a scene where Prince Nuada is fighting some guards and ends up killing his father. Now, that sounds straight forward and a bit clichéd, but for anyone who's seen it, if you ask them about it, they'll tell you how fast paced and colourful it appeared. How well the special effects were and just how realistic it was. Sure, you can say that about a lot of movies, but this one does it so well that anyone who hasn't seen it can listen to you and say something along the lines of, "that's how most good movies are," because they haven't lived it like you have.
Guillermo Del Toro does not waste any time, making only a few scenes about 60% way through the movie for comic relief, which is very welcoming as the movie is trying to push a lot on you at once, and the humour isn't only necessary, it's actually quite funny! Such examples as the Hellboy vs. Johann fight or the drunk singing. I also love just how interesting these character designs are. Some characters had so much make up on, I was mesmerized by the way the looked and they only got about 5 seconds of on screen time, which is a truly amazing piece of work. Most movies would only put that much effort into a main character and Guillermo Del Toro makes sure just as much effort is put into characters you could miss if you blink! The Troll Market especially, one of the best scenes in the movie. There's over 60 different looking creatures and you have to pause just to see them all, not even counting the ones that probably walked around and didn't end up walking where the camera was shooting, just there in case they did walk by the camera. It is an amazing amount of effort on Guillermo Del Toro's part and it really gets overlooked.
In conclusion, there are many amazing comic book movies and there are a lot that are very close to how much I like Hellboy 2. But Hellboy 2 stands above them, it is my favourite Guillermo Del Toro movie and my favourite comic book movie. If you haven't checked it out, you have to immediately. It is a must watch, and definitely work the $35 or so for the special edition Blu-Ray.
It's also a fascinating movie in that we get to see more of the world behind the veil as Hellboy - still played beautifully by Ron Perlman - and his team have to infiltrate the fey world and meet its various inhabitants in order to prevent global destruction by Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) and the eponymous Golden Army. And it's in this fey world that del Toro's vision truly shines. The troll market, for example, simply overflows with imaginative, unique and quite creepy creature designs, each more wondrous than the other. Then there's of course Johan Krauss, a German psychic inhabiting an empty diving suit, who joins Hellboy's team as its new leader. Great, wonderful design and excellent voice work from Seth MacFarlane.
Still, the movie is not without its flaws. Hellboy still feels like a side character in his own movie. The script doesn't allow him enough room for us to really delve into his psyche or being. Part of this is poor writing, but there still exists the problem of there being way too many characters. Also, the main villain of the film is a bit weak. Prince Nuada belongs to this race of emo goth vampire elves... close enough. And yes, he looks absolutely ridiculous and follows the proud cliché of being a whining "my daddy never loved me" archetype. To Luke Goss's credit though, he does manage to instill at least a little bit menace into the role, but it's still a pretty poor showing.
To sum it up, Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a mixed package. The visuals, the imagination and the creativity of it all are absolutely phenomenal. The returning characters have all improved, Johann Krauss is a fine addition to the mix and as a whole it's a decent fantasy adventure film. If only the script had been a bit stronger and the villain more original, this might have been just as good as Pan's Labyrinth.