Monday, 8 September 2008

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army


Heh, I hope you like the little cartoon version of Hellboy - just that little bit more interesting than me plonking a still from the movie straight in here.

Before I begin my, ahem, dissection of the movie, I must first apologize for being away from my desk longer than anticipated. I feel horrible that I haven't been around to blog, although I did post a little teensy video on my other site, so I hope you checked that one out...

Review commencing now: This is the second Hellboy film that Guillermo Del Toro has directed and is none the worse for it. Unlike the first movie, Del Toro's somewhat childlike fantasy qualities shine through. The first movie could have described as standard fare, not too impressive but not incredibly bad either. In this one, Del Toro plays around more with both his characters and his creatures to create a much more fantasy-based world that questions whether the race of demons and magical monsters can ever live peacefully with the humans.

Case in point; Tooth Fairies that fly around eating people so there's nothing left shouldn't be even vaguely cute but they are. So they have big massive fangs, so what? There's a scene here that shows that they're slightly cuddly, when Johan Krauss (come back to him later) revives one and it starts "talking" to the others giving them information about who bought him and his little ravenous chums. Lurvely.

By no stretch of the imagination is this creation cute but the Angel of Death is also something to behold, even if his appearance is slightly spoilt by the movie's only walk into sickly-sweet "please don't die on me" territory. At first I thought, "nice eyes" (plastered liberally on his wings, a nice touch) but then there was something just a little more menacing about it - it was around seven feet tall and loomed over everything...

And then there's Johan, possibly one of the funniest and strangest characters I've seen in ages. He's German, wears a rather large diving/space suit and oh, did I mention that he's made entirely of gas? This gaseous element of Johan provides possibly the most comical moment of the whole film - no, not that bit where he keeps whacking Hellboy with the locker doors, the bit just after where he minces along thoroughly pleased with what he's achieved. Although, he does come out with same rather good lines as well. I enjoyed his transformation from a tied-to-the-rules figure to a more liberal, carefree person. Gas person. Whatever...

But hey, I was disappointed because when I read a preview in the Empire about the film I saw a character named "Cathedralhead" (I won't patronise you by explaining it) and thought he was going to be a prominent chracter. So imagine my disappointment to learn that he only actually appears on screen for a maximum of, well, a minute!! I was fuming. The film needed more Cathedralhead action...

But overall, the narrative turns out to be ever so slightly predictable. While you couldn't quite figure out overall what was to happen between the people, you always had this feeling that they weren't going to die or let the bad guys win. Hey, what kind of superhero movie is going to let its main chracters die and let the baddies get away huh? Um, actually I'll come to that in my next post.

Too bad that everyone pretty much neglected Hellboy this summer - despite being a great bit of fun no-one was really that bothered. Luckily Del Toro has the prospect of directing The Hobbit in front of him, so maybe more people will pay attention to that. I loved it really. I would hate to think what a terrible mess it would be if Peter Jackson had got his blood-stained paws on it and mauled the poor film with horrible creepy-crawlies and grotesque monsters like he did with King Kong (officially the most horrible film I've ever been to see - I don't want to ever see a man having his head bitten off by a giant maggot again. How on earth I was the only person in a packed cinema to sit through that sequence with eyes wide open is beyond me). Guillermo knows how to do it nicely.

3 comments:

Tina said...

i never watched the first one to be honest. i always thought he was a strange character, and looked like he was blantantly special effects made up lol, so i never bothered!

Rozella said...

I was never a Hellboy fan, but I'm curious to see it cos it was done by the creators of one of my fave films, Pan's Labyrinth. That is one awesome film!

babooshka said...

We saw Hellboy, again it's more Gary's thing and It definitely had it's moments.