(4/5) – fantasy, super-hero, action, sci-fi
2008 is the summer of super heroes. First came the terrific Iron Man, then Ed Norton’s Incredible Hulk and Will Smith’s Hancock. The Dark Knight (Christian Bale’s Batman) comes out soon. And then there’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
I was surprised how much I liked the original Hellboy (2004). This second treat did not catch me off guard. While the beginning was a bit slow, the wonderful second half made the movie very enjoyable. The movie is Marvel comics meets Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars.
In Hellboy II Selma Blair and Ron Perlman are a bickering, but seemingly happy, married couple. What can I say, I melt a bit whenever I see Selma. She’s a Dale-type through and through. Perlman’s performance captivated me in the second instalment as much as the first. Perlman, Blair and their comrades must save the world from trolls and elves that have broken a millennial long truce between man and elf – or some such thing.
Frankly, the plot didn’t much matter to me. What made this movie wondrous were the breathtaking special effects by Guillermo del Toro who did both Hellboys as well as the Oscar winning Pan’s Labyrinth. The CGI and cinematography are as magical as Hollywood can produce. I wanted to pause and rewind the scenes to examine the excruciatingly detailed beauty. What an imagination this man has. This quote from Variety’s review is apt:
Not to disparage the f/x guys, but what’s onscreen in Hellboy II is all about the seismic eruptions in del Toro’s head. Comparing his work to most fantasy cinema is like comparing cave drawings to the Cathedral of Cologne.
The newcomer Anna Walton played Princess Nuala. The only reason I bring this up is because throughout the movie I thought I was watching Calista Flockhart. They really look alike. I had to laugh at the main villain’s side-kick (pictured on the right). He looks uncannily like Morn from Deep Space 9 (the alien always sitting at Quark’s bar).
I still don’t understand why Abe, the fish-man, needs a breathing device in some scenes but not in others.
While I was a tad bored for the first part of the movie, the net effect of Blair’s cuteness, Perlman’s performance and the fantastically gorgeous cinematography and special effects resulted in my enjoying Hellboy 2 even more than the first.