Hellboy 2: The Golden Army Review
Written by: Constantce
Hellboy II: The Golden Army was the biggest letdown of my movie-watching year. I loved the first Hellboy, and Del Toro is one of my favorite directors. Not to mention, the trailers are kick ass, as visually stunning as anything out of Pan’s Labyrinth.
The film absolutely delivered cool new characters, like Prince Nuada (played by Luke Goss, of Blade II) and Princess Nuala (Anna Walton). The monsters were also really neat, but so wasted. The chthonic Forest God was like a sidenote in a battle scene that seemed to be more about Hellboy (Ron Perelman) carrying a baby, an effort to keep it safe. In the first film, that worked with the box of kitties, because there was still a hell of a fight. There was no wind in the sails for this one.
Hellboy and Liz (Selma Blair) have moved in together, but their fiery relationship keeps away the soft and fuzzies. Romance has its place in movies, but in this case, it totally dominates the plot, and makes for a really strange film. I mean, for goodness sake, "Can’t Smile Without You" is so relevant that they use it over the closing credits. Yikes! Barry Manilow? I understand irony, but this is almost double ironic, making it sincere.
Also wasted was Abe Sapien (Doug Jones). He’s been watered down by another romantic subplot. I wanted to slap him out of it. Yes, he is a brainiac, but again, he was used far more effectively in the first film.
Nobody needs a slap as much as Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor), now in charge at the agency. He snivels in the presence of Johann Strauss (voiced by Seth McFarlane), an ectoplasmic being and is up Hellboy’s red ass about being too public. That part of the plot was interesting, with the conflicting attention hungry desire of Hellboy against Liz’s anti-social tendency.
I’ve read a lot of rave reviews about this film, but I am sad to say that it didn’t deliver for me. It is true that my expectations were really high, but the overwhelming romantic theme was a real turnoff. And I’m a woman! I’d rather watch the first, or even the supremely well done animated movie, Hellboy: Blood and Iron.