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Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) Movie Poster
  •  USA / Germany  •    •  120m  •    •  Directed by: Guillermo del Toro.  •  Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander, James Dodd, Seth MacFarlane, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, Jeffrey Tambor, John Hurt, Brian Steele, Andrew Hefler, Iván Kamarás.  •  Music by: Danny Elfman.
       In this continuation to the adventure of the demon superhero, an evil elf breaks an ancient pact between humans and creatures, as he declares war against humanity. He is on a mission to release The Golden Army, a deadly group of fighting machines that can destroy the human race. As Hell on Earth is ready to erupt, Hellboy and his crew set out to defeat the evil prince before The Golden Army can destroy humanity's existence.

Trailers:

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Review:

Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Image from: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Hellboy (the character) is a demon from a different dimension that comes to Earth and is employed by the fictitious United States Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. He is a blue-collar superhero and lacks the campy outfits and dialog of his Marvel and DC peers. He also has a trademarked interest in cigars and is almost always smoking one.

In the sequel, Hellboy, his partner Abe Sapien (the more intelligent of the two) and his pyrokinetic wife Liz Sherman are all still working with the government to protect the public. They are one day called to the site of an auction where something has attacked those present. Hellboy and friends discover that these creatures, called Tooth Fairies, have killed everyone there. Surprisingly, only one item from the auction is missing: a piece of an old crown.

Thousands of feet away, a young (in elfin years) prince named Nuada walks into a regal antechamber to meet with his father. He is apparently the thief of the crown piece and has been summoned to explain himself. Nuada explains that the humans are a despicable race of beings that have poisoned the land with their greed (as they have in the past). Nuada wants to unite his piece of the crown with the piece his father has and with his sister's portion to resurrect the Golden Army (an indestructible, mechanized fighting force with a fly paint job). This way the elves will be able to control the land as they once did. His daddy doesn't agree and Nuada is sentenced to death (a fate that would affect his sister since they are connected as twins). Nuada murders his father and chases his sister Nuala to create the crown.

While looking for clues concerning the Tooth Fairies' origins, Abe Sapien meets Nuala and takes her back to the Bureau. They fall in love and Nuala leaves her piece of the crown in a book of poetry so Nuada won't find it. Nuada does, however, know where she is due to their twin powers and breaks into a high security government facility (if our government is as poorly guarded as Hellboy II and Get Smart indicate, I'd gladly vote in favor of sharp tax increases). He doesn't actually find the book but kidnaps Nuala and injures Hellboy.

Hellboy, Abe, Liz, and their "superior" Johann Krauss (a German ectoplasm) locate the twins in Scotland and fly there. They meet a goblin who designed the Golden Army and ask him to help them locate the twins. He does and they find them in an underground sanctum. All of a sudden Abe Sapien gives Nuada the last piece of the crown and the Golden Army attacks! Apparently age hasn't been kind to the golden boys and Hellboy beats them senselessly. Before they reassemble Hellboy challenges Nuada for control of the crown. He wins and Nuada attempts to kill him before his sister commits suicide (which means he will die too). Liz melts her hubby's new trinket and the group resigns from their governmental duties.

As del Toro has created in the past, the monsters of Hellboy are grotesque and mythical in appearance. It's as if he took works from H.P. Lovecraft and gave them life. The CGI is well incorporated into the live action, even Liz's fiery temper looks realistic (I'll reference this film when I direct my drama about the Salem Witch Trials). Ha, if only the film's plot progression were as memorable as its characters. Hellboy II attempts too many tasks. Hellboy must fight several creatures besides the Tooth Fairies and Nuada, but most of these creatures have no motivation for fighting and only serve to develop his character or please a pre-pubescent audience. In one instance he does battle with a gigantic plant creature with tentacles that isn't even named. Abe also battles some of the creatures which presents welcomed change from the first installment. While del Toro did address some complaints critics had of the first film (being Hellboy's multiple fights with the same creatures and Abe's inactivity) he still hasn't given any depth to his enemies (more on this later).

Speaking of little depth, Abe Sapien and Nuala's romance is severely underdeveloped. It's odd how they are both vastly more intelligent than Hellboy and Liz but their relationship is the same cookie-cutter Disney romances that have plagued superhero films for ages. They meet and instantly fall in love. Hellboy and his "wife" (I think) are more of a traditional couple yet with crime-fighting interests. Other than their powers, they have the platitudes (with respect to hygiene and pregnancy) of any other couple which makes their characters seem more realistic.

Now, I will address some of the more striking flaws I observed in this motion-picture. Severe spoilers are ahead. The first of which is Nuada's motivation in reanimating the Golden Army. Why did he choose to do it now? Supposedly he could have begun collecting the pieces of the crown at any time. A simple reason would have added some needed personality to his character. Without any specific reason for his current hobby, the film feels tacked together without its own unique reason to exist. He also is unable to locate the final crown piece that his sister hid in the library at the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. If Nuada and Nuala are connected with magical twin energy, why wouldn't he know exactly where the book was placed? Both of these examples I interpret as lazy screen writing. The film is full of other inconsistencies, and I urge you to read James Berardinelli's review for more of them.


Review by doctorsmoothlove from the Internet Movie Database.