Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

The trick is always to wait until they’re drunk to the gills before you tell them your brother is going to be feeling this great disturbance in the Force. In his pants.

Abe Sapien needs supervision around booze, so that he won’t accidentally get his neck stuck in those six-pack plastic loops.

Hellboy II hits a lot harder than the first movie did, but although I respect the strength behind the bat it’s clear that they aren’t able to connect every time. Shit, that analogy was fucking awesome! You’d better give me props for that, Chris; I hate baseball. Anyway, there are only a couple of problems with Hellboy II that I have. But they are gigantic problems.

First off, we have the “Entwined lives” plot device of the elven twins. As cool as that sort of thing usually is, it always has a predictable end if one of those twins turns out to be evil. More unfortunately, this plot device makes everything BUT that predictable end not make a whole lot of sense (As far as both of their lives go – especially the Luke & Leia thing). The entire dramatic, forseeable climax boils down to a hostage situation (That clearly won’t work if the brother will hurt or kill himself if he hurts or kills his hostage sister) and a last-moment crisis that seems as if it could have been averted if one of several friendly people had bothered to shout “Look out!”

And then there’s the very end of the movie, in-between the climax and the credits. It made no sense at all to me. I can sort of see why Hellboy might do that, but the Bureau has always seemed pretty friendly in the movies and I really don’t see why newcomer Johann and the others would join Hellboy in ditching the Bureau for a very-barely-apparent reason.

Hey, but it’s not all bad! In fact, really, only a little of it was bad. More… confusing, than bad, I guess. Potentially. Unless you can’t stand director Guillermo del Toro’s penchant for doing unusual things with eyeballs and monsters (Really, that tumor creature? That was just disappointing).

The action scenes are furious and the effects are really quite good – there are barely any movies that make “super jumps” look realistic at all, and this one made Hellboy look limber and real at very nearly all times.

The emotional drama is also pretty heavy, and it hits one out of the park (I can’t escape this analogy, uh-oh) with Abe Sapien. That stuff was fantastic, but seeing Hellboy’s problems with Liz or Agent Manning are boring and, I feel, a waste of time. Wasn’t that stuff what the first movie was about?

Hm, I sound more like I didn’t like this movie than like I did like it! I guess it’s just a lot easier to sum up what’s fucking awesome about Hellboy II. Did I mention those kickass fight scenes?

If you liked the first one at all, this sequel’s right up your alley. It’s not everything I was hoping it could have been (And normally I would say that it was solid but not awe-inspiring, but I think I have to label this one awe-inspiring but not solid), but it kicks the Hellboy franchise up a couple of notches without apology.


  1. that made no sense…I meant to say I thought it was better than the first, whatever. I really dislike typing anything on the iphone…it is really an unpleasant and frustrating experience.


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