Monday, July 14, 2008

Hellboy lives up to expectations

Hellboy II: The Golden Army was able to hold up to my lofty aspirations for it. Guillermo del Toro brought to life a whole new world of other-worldly creatures and even spruced up the ones he had before.
The first Hellboy movie was a comic-book nerd's dream come true. The second fits right along side of it as Hellboy (aka Red), his love interest, Liz, and their associate Abe (aka Blue).
The story was hindered a bit by the incessant love story b.s., but overall the plot was intriguing and better than the first film. Red gets pulled in to the middle of a war that existed ages ago and was brought to an end by a truce between the king of the invisible world below the surface of ours and an ancient king of men. The king of the non-human creatures is still in power and his son decides its time to start that war back up again.
Red and Blue head into the seedy underworld of mythical creatures to try to maintain the truce. One of the more interesting subplots that was extremely underexplored was the idea that HB was not a part of the world of man, but belonged with the other world and the rebelious prince was trying to convince Hellboy that he should not stop, but rather help the mythical world take over. If they has spent less time with the love-story drama and delved into the inner turmoil drama, the movie could have been drastically better.
The only other problem was in the lack of backstory with many of the creatures and with the other world in general. Mr del Toro will have to learn to explain more when he gets behind the helm for the Hobbit because Tolkien's world is the best mapped mythology of any literary work in history.
Even with these flaws, the film was as enjoyable a movie as anything that has been released in recent memory. It will have trouble finding an audience this coming weekend as Dark Knight takes on all comers and will likely sit atop the box office reciepts for weeks to come. But for anyone who can't get tickets for Batman next weekend, go see Hellboy instead.
I'm giving Hellboy II an A-.
--John Berry, Online Editor--

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