Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is an action packed - comic book - high fantasy orgy!

The story begins with a tale about a war between humankind and the realm of the fantastic. In this ancient war, the realm of the fantastic commands an unstoppable Golden Army of soldiers that inevitably conquers the humans. The ruler of the realm of the fantastic, the Woodland King, calls a truce with the humans and the Golden Army is put into dormancy until they are needed to wage war again. Hell breaks loose when the truce is broken and the fantastic unstoppable creatures set out to conquer the human world. It is up to Hellboy and the heroes of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) to stop the ruthless Prince Nuada (exiled son of the Woodland King) and his high fantasy army from conquering the world.

The performances are spot on and this time around we definitely got to see more of each character and their individual abilities and powers. Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellboy and he totally kicked butt. I liked Selma Blair's performance, as pyrokinetic Liz Sherman, much better in this sequel as her character was more dynamic than in the first film and she successfully plays the disaffected outcast and the compassionate loving girlfriend. Doug Jones, as aquatic empath Abe Sapian, has a more important role in this film and I was ecstatic to see his character grow and that he was given more than just the stereotypical sensitive intellectual role to play. James Dodd, as the protoplasmic mystic Johann Krauss, is the newest member of the BPRD and he successfully contributes to the wit and comic relief. Luke Goss (from the 80's Brit pop group Bros), as Prince Nuada, did a stellar job and I was impressed by his action sequences and his overall performance - I was convinced that he was out to conquer the world as we know it.

Guillermo Del Toro, the director and screenplay writer, truly outdid himself with this cinematic masterpiece. The attention to detail in all of the costumes, the creatures, and the CGI backdrops is impeccable. Del Toro's imagination has no boundaries or limits and anything is possible and completely realized in this film. These words ran through my mind throughout the entire film: grand, visually stunning, magnificent, amazing, beautiful, and immaculate. Fans of Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth will definitely love all of the various creatures and high fantasy components - Hellboy II is what Pan's Labyrinth would have been without any budget limitations. I highly recommend this film and seeing it on the big screen in order to fully appreciate the detail of all of the creatures, the special effects, the action sequences, and the cinematography. Don't worry if you missed the first Hellboy movie as this sequel completely stands on its own.

Yay to Hellboy II: The Golden Army!!!

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