Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Movie Title: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Year Released: 2008

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2h

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi,

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro (based on the comic book series by Mike Mignola)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander, James Dodd, Seth MacFarlane, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, Jeffrey Tambor, John Hurt, Brian Steele

Review: The fate of humanity hangs in the balance when a ruthless prince (Luke Goss) awakens an unstoppable army of creatures and wages war with the human world. Now it's up to Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and his team of paranormal outcasts to face off against the forces of darkness and put an end to their reign of terror.

Guillermo del Toro's first Hellboy is a fun, original, and highly entertaining superhero movie. It certainly sets a high bar for a sequel and Hellboy II: The Golden Army clears it, naturally, and then some.

Our heroes are back! Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) have grown as characters and seem much more comfortable in this world and the fantastical situation that they find themselves in. And the world of royalty, goblins, and creatures that del Torohas created is both striking and beautiful. The art direction and creature design alone make this one worth the watch. Especially the creatures who's heads look like clay sculptures of cathedrals. It's truly amazing work!

I think the first films had two flaws - pacing and tone. Hellboy II: The Golden Army learned from its predecessor and made big improvements to get everything right. The screenplay really trims the fat that I think the first film had and tells it's own story instead of just being a weaker retread like so many other sequels seem to be.

The action, makeup, and special effects are all first-rate. Plus, the story is very much like a lost Grimms' Fairy Tale that you can't help get involved in the plot and it's unique characters. I rather enjoyed ol' fishstick Abe Sapien's flirty romance with Princess Nuala (Anna Walton). It's a sweet and innocent love story that's a nice subplot that works wonderfully in the story.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a wild, imaginative ride that is unlike anything you've seen before. It's one of my favorite comic book movies and definitely one of Guillermo del Toro's best!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The young Hellboy was played by an adult (thirty-six years old in 2008) woman, Montse Ribé.


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