Caught Hellboy 2 this past Sunday and I think something is wrong with me. I liked it! I am use to hating so many of the movie I want to see, but there have been some surprising strong films this summer, with Wall-E, Iron Man, Wanted, and the Hulk all worthwhile.
Anyway onto Hellboy 2. As a big fan of the first Hellboy, and director Guillermo Del Toro (who made last year's fantastic Pan's Labyrinth) I had big hopes for the film and it didn't disappoint. Hellboy 2 stars Ron Perlman as the titular character, a demon raised by man to hunt monsters for the secret government organization, The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. With his teammate, Abe Sapien (character actor Doug Jones), an empathic merman, and girlfriend, pyrokenetic Liz Sherman(played by Selma Blair), Hellboy must stop the Prince of the elves from declaring war on humanity for what it's done to the Earth. Along with new field leader Johann Krause (who is basically a containment suit of ectoplasmic gas, they have to find the Prince and stop him from reactivating the Golden Army, an ancient mechanical goblin made army that is unbeatable. In what is such a far reaching and fantastical premise, the movie keeps it down to earth.
Del Toro does a fantastic job in casting. Ron Perlman is probaly the best actor in the world at emoting and acting in heavy prosthetics. He brings an everyman's approach to Hellboy, the supposed demon of the apocalypse. You feel his need to be accepted by an unaccepting world that fears him, and for his love of fellow "freak" Liz. Blair brings her fiery temper and a breath of normalcy among the chaos. Her and Perlman have very solid chemistry. Krause is also a welcome bit of comic relief in the smug and pompous role as field leader. Voiced by Family guy creator Seth McFarlane, he walks a fine line between jerk and hero very well.
The other great thing about this movie is the physical effects. Del Toro is a genius at creating the monsters that inhabit this world and bring them to life. Hellboy, Abe and Krause look incredibly like their comic book counterparts. The other characters that populate the world are just as intense and diverse. Particularly the Angle of Death that shows later in the film. The fact that all these characters are real and on set, not CGI makes it a unique film experience.
That's not to say that there weren't some things i didn't like. There is a bit of a sequence where Hellboy fights a monster while holding a baby that stretched the rules of believability in this film, as well a some questionable wire work in some of the fight sequences. But truthfully those are minor complaints. Hopefully Del Toro will get the chance to direct a third installment of the franchise after finishing the Lord of the Ring prequel (The Hobbit) that he is slated to direct.
I really liked this film. I have become a particular fan of both Del Toro and Ron Perlman, and I recommend this film completely. Check it out, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.
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