Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

(2008) dir Guillermo del Toro – w/ Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Doug Jones & Doug Jones, James Dodd, Jeffrey Tambor, Anna Walton, Briane Steele, and John Hurt.  Why did Mr. Wink have to be Evil!

Synopsis: Evil elvy-type wants to take back earth from greedy, selfish humans.  Wants to do so through battle.  Using magical invincible robot sorts of things (the Golden Army).  Selling point: it’s an invincible army.  Cons: wake of utter destruction.  Secret illegal task-force to the rescue!  (Hopefully.)  Hellboy & Co. spring into action.

Review: What’s surprising is that Hellboy II did not in fact have ten times the production budget of the first Hellboy — because that’s what it feels like.  The creatures are astonishing, as is the detail of all the characters.  You could cut out the audio and dub in pretty much any movie’s dialogue, and Hellboy II would still be worth watching.

Which is good, because the story actually isn’t all that great.  Story-wise, I’m actually more fond of the first Hellboy.  Hellboy II has some interesting, intricate points, but is generally quite derivative, predictable, and bland, even.  The dialogue is occasionally phenomenal, and some scenes are ridiculously awesome–but then the movie gets dragged down by other scenes, and by awful, stilted dialogue.  Then there’s a fight, or a new monster, or a new world, and the story doesn’t actually matter that much.  Because the creatures are spectacular.

Hellboy II is actually okay, and I enjoyed watching it a great deal.  But given the performance of the first movie, and given some of del Toro’s other recent excursions, I’d expected much more.  Still, I’d sit through a Hellboy III.  And IV.  We’ll see about a V.

Rating: [•••½] out of [•••••]