It couldn’t be much worse than the first film, which is why there was a high level of expectations for Guillermo del Toro’s HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY. Not only was the film expected to be better than the first, the internet fanboys have basically declared del Toro as the next Spielberg, putting him so high on a pedestal that they were only setting him up for failure. There was no way, shape or form that HELLBOY II would meet its expectation, but even with all of the anticipation, the film managed to entertain just enough.
Here’s the plot crunch: After an ancient truce existing between humankind and the invisible realm of the fantastic is broken, hell on Earth is ready to erupt. A ruthless leader who treads the world above and the one below defies his bloodline and awakens an unstoppable army of creatures. Now, it’s up to the planet’s toughest, roughest superhero to battle the merciless dictator and his marauders. He may be red. He may be horned. He may be misunderstood. But when you need the job done right, it’s time to call in Hellboy (Ron Perlman).
Please, don’t be fooled. HELLBOY is going to razzle and dazzle you with cool special FX, incredible puppetry and take you to a world equally badass; but all of this magic is a facade for what lacks in other places.
For the most part, the film is action-packed and smart, but there are various places that the film took a turn for the worse. For example there are two love stories intermingled within the action that are not only useless, but nearly unbearable. They drag the film out and put all of the fun to a screeching halt. One of the love fiascos involved Pincess Nuala (Anna Walton) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), which was painstaking to watch not only because of the poor character connections, but because Abe was just plain annoying. He become the Jar Jar Binks of the HELLBOY franchise.
Another downfall of the film is the constant request from Del Toro for us to bring out our suspension of disbelief. How many times do we have to shrug our shoulders and just let it go? When you see how the film ends, it’s almost as idiotic as when you see Frodo throw the ring in a pit of fire and hitch a ride home on a giant bird (when he could have just rode a bird there).
Still, HELLBOY II is fun enough for a summer movie. Del Toro does take the viewer into a world that is both beautiful and filled with wonder, his use of puppets blended with CGI is masterful, and there’s enough action and one-liners to get you through all of the slow parts. In the end, what you’ll get is another fun, yet forgettable summer blockbuster. THE DARK KNIGHT’s when?
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