Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (quick and dirty review)

So, like everyone else, I went and saw Hellboy II: The Golden Army tonight and the gist of my opinion is...better then the first, solid film, but not great.

The overall story is good, but it starts with so many plot threads that unfortunately the movie lacks focus. A lot of stuff to cover. The relationship between Hellboy and Liz, Hellboy's desire to be noticed by the world, Hellboy's regret at being noticed by the world, Abe Sapian falling in love with the elf princess Nuala, the relationship between Princess Nuala and Prince Nuada, Johann taking over the BPRD, etc etc etc...

Once the main story really kicks in, it steams along at a nice clip. The action is well done. The fight with the Golden Army is pretty cool to look at. Lots of stuff happening but not so much that you lose focus of what's happening (unlike, say, Transformers).

The characters...oh, let me say, I'm glad Abe Sapien makes it through the whole movie. In the first one he disappears halfway through with no explanation. This one he's a pivotal player. Alas, David Hyde Pierce does not reprise the voice. *Tear* But speaking of voices, Seth McFarlane as Johann is probably the stand out character of this movie. A wonderful job. McFarlane's Family Guy and American Dad might suck ass, but his skills as a voice actor are impressive. Johann...if there's a third Hellboy (please please please, people, support this movie so we can get the final part!) they really need to highlight this character a little more. He's a funny and intriguing character that, unfortunately, doesn't get enough time. Ron Perlman, of course, is Hellboy. He really brings the character to life. Now, my one complaint, and this is something I forgot as I haven't seen the first movie since it was released in theaters, is this Hellboy is so immature! At least with Selma Blair. Their relationship needed a little work. That's all I can say. That was one thread that, honestly, could have been jettisoned to tighten up the film. That or the whole part about Hellboy's need for public attention. Regardless, the characters are all well done and the actors are convincing in their roles. In short, they're all likeable. Also, Selma Blair is hot. Oh, and Anna Walton as Princess Nuala. I'd totally do her.

But none of that is important compared to the visuals. Yes! The reason to see this is Del Toro's amazing little world he's created.! The troll market is cool, monsters are so damn cool...that winged guy towards the end? Oooooohhhhhhh.....incredible. The look of the film was incredible. The Prince and Princess, the little Irish monster.....everything. These little demons they call tooth fairies.....vicious little bastards. You can argue about the plotting and pacing, but the visuals of this movie are its greatest strength.

Oh, and Del Toro? Doing the Hobbit? Yes, that movie is in excellent hands. I have no doubts that the Hobbit is going to be a most excellent film in his hands.

Two things I should mention, if anything detracted from the film it was that I was tired, didn't get enough sleep and my eyes were heavy at times, and the fact that the SOUND WAS NONEXISTANT!!!!!!!!!!! Fuck! Seriously, this movie needed the sound FUCKING cranked. It wasn't there at all. Big sound makes for better experience and this theater dropped the ball so hard. In fact, I think it was the exact same screen I saw Iron Man on. I guess their sound system is fucked, but they really need to fix that. Low sound at a summer blockbuster? Might as well just be hearing it in mono for all the good it does.

Overall, good movie and I would say you should see it. The plot might leave something to be desired, but I guarantee your eyes will be swimming in the visuals.

Here's an interesting and brief article from Reuters about Hellboy II.


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