Hellboy II: The Golden ArmyDirected by: Guillermo del Toro Cast: Ron Pearlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones Time: 2 hours Rating: PG-13
Plot: Hellboy (Pearlman) is back as the demon/man caught between two worlds who secretly helps humanity. The mythical world starts a rebellion against the humans in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the creatures.
Who’s It For? If you already knew what the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) stood for, then you are seeing this movie opening weekend. It's a very violent PG-13 so be careful with the kids. And this is beyond the typical superhero flick.
Expectations: I wanted to like the first Hellboy more than I did. Great concept, average application. Maybe it would be like an SNL sketch where the first isn't as funny as the second because now you're in on the joke.
Actors: Ron Pearlman as Hellboy: It's like I need him a little bigger, funnier, something. Pearlman is at his best when he is smashing. He's the sarcastic Hulk, who can pull off the one-liners while putting away the bad guys. Score: 7
Selma Blair as Liz: Liz is probably my biggest problem with the film and it's not Blair's fault. Hellboy and Liz seem more like an older uncle/niece than an actual couple. It'd be like Leon and Mathilda ending up together. Plus, the storyline of trying to find the right time to tell Hellboy some important news just dragged. Score: 3
Rest of Cast: Wink was a great looking villain, and I was sad to see him go. I can't say the same for the prince and princess. Clearly if Abe wasn't involved the storyline would have been over in about 30 minutes. I always felt like Johann Krauss had a secret identity that was waiting to be revealed and Jeffrey Tambor doesn't capture his "Arrested Development" magic. Score: 4
Talking: It's boring. Or should I say, anything involving romance, or the thrown-together plot that reminded me way too much of a poor man's Lord of the Rings is boring. Also, I ran into the problem of wondering who I should really be rooting for. Humans are killing the Earth, creatures want to reclaim it, Hellboy will end all mankind ... can't we all just get along? Score: 4
Sights & Sounds: For most people, Hellboy and Abe drunkenly singing "Can't Smile Without You" will be the highlight of the film. But I found the special effects to be spectacular. When they go under the Brooklyn Bridge it's like the Mos Eisley cantina on acid. I was blown away with the bizzarity. Score: 9
OVERALL Hellboy is it's own world. That is a compliment and also the problem. Director Guillermo del Toro has envisioned a fantastic looking world, but it's just a vision. The storyline and romance angles just drag the film down from being a kooky, badass superhero film. If you loved the first, you won't be disappointed, and if you didn't care for it, it's actually better than the original, though there are still enough kinks they need to work out of this system. It's like Hellboy is an inside joke, and I am missing just a little something to fully enjoy. Diehards will be happy with that I am sure. Maybe they'll get it just right with part three. Score: 6 out of 10