Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
Plot: The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Awards: Nom. for 1 Oscar - Best Makeup
Rating: PG for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and some language.
IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: YES after warning)
Considering the box-office hit of Hellboy and the fact that Hellboy II: The Golden Army is spawned from the fertile mind of one of the most imaginative filmmakers in the world, there is enough reason for the sequel to hit the jackpot as well.
Guillermo Del Toro, whose success with the Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth virtually landed him the coveted directorial role of the much anticipated movie adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit, shows the world that like everyone else, he has an Achilles' heel too. And this is very obvious in the screenwriting aspect
The screenplay is a polished one but is tarnished by a couple of ugly blotches at the end (which I'll discuss in the last 'spoiler' paragraph). Visually, Hellboy II looks similar to Pan's Labyrinth. The monsters in Hellboy II are very well-realized through the use of CGI technology, giving viewers a haunting sense of bewilderment.
One of the film’s achievements is the digital construction of the 'Troll’s Market' which is perhaps the best sequence in the entire picture. It not only draws fascination through the myriad of ingeniously-designed creatures, but also jogs the memory of Luke Skywalker visiting the cantina in Star Wars three decades ago.
Ron Perlman is absolutely outstanding as Hellboy. His corky humor and facial expressions often send viewers into consistent giggles. The supporting cast sees one highlight, which is the improved performance of Selma Blair who plays Liz. One disappointment is that the villain, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), while being a devil of a character, is not quite imposing enough.
Hellboy II has a very strong central theme – love – which is mildly developed in most superhero flicks, ensuring that there is still a story to tell other than the usual whiz-bangs and ka-booms. The ending is poorly-written as mentioned. This mars viewers' experience, especially those who pay attention to film writing. Let's pray that Del Toro does not stray the course for The Hobbit.
Verdict: Perlman may be outstanding but the movie is more meh than decent.
SPOILERS: Do not read the following paragraph if you wish to have a virgin movie experience
There are two major flaws in the screenplay. First, since the link was established that whatever happened to Nuala would consequently affect Nuada because of their 'telepathic connections', then why didn't Nuala sacrifice her life to protect her father before Nuada murdered him, especially when she knew the devastation that could be unleashed if the Golden Army was resurrected?
Second, if Liz knew that she could easily melt the crown with her powers, why wait till after Nuala killed herself when she could have done it earlier? Stuff to ponder about…