Sunday, July 13, 2008

This Golden Army Is Silver At Best

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” marks the fourth film in a blockbuster season that can easily be called “The Summer of the Superheroes”. This sequel follows Hellboy and his paranormal fighting team as they try to stop a rogue prince from unleashing an ancient Golden Army. The Golden Army consists of hundreds of indestructible mechanical soldiers that were locked away when mankind made a truce with the forest creatures. As if the Golden Army was not enough to deal with, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) must also come to terms with his desires to be treated as a human and his relationship woes with girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair). The scenes between Hellboy and Liz were one of the highlights for me in the original Hellboy movie. To be honest, Hellboy’s interaction with his team is by far the most entertaining aspect of this sequel as well. I enjoyed his scenes with Abe Sapien, especially an amusing Barry Manilow inspired moment. I also thought that the power struggle between Hellboy and new team member, Johann Krauss, was developed well. Yet in terms of big budget summer films, there is nothing that really makes Hellboy II standout from all the other films currently on the market. In fact, it does not even standout that much from the original “Hellboy”. The action is pretty much more of the same stuff that you have seen before. Hellboy makes witty banter while fighting, or shooting, creatures of all shapes and sizes. Yes Guillermo del Toro is a master at creating visually stunning creatures; but his work in vastly lower budget films, such as “The Devils Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”, was far more breathtaking. Even the Golden Army, which should have been the films big crescendo, was not as eye popping as one would hope. In fact a lot of the strictly CG creatures were under-whelming. The only real creature that was truly inspired was the faceless creature, with eyes attached wings, who was both “the giver and taker” of life. It is one of the few scenes were you get flashes of the genius displayed all throughout “Pan’s Labyrinth”. Still I did find “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” to be an entertaining way to kill a couple of hours. While not the best superhero film out there, it does keep you content until The Dark Knight hits in a few days.

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