I didn’t read comic books as a child, although I heard enough about some of the characters to recognize their names. I can’t say that about HellBoy. I’d never heard of him before the first film.
While I enjoyed the first film, I have to admit that I didn’t study it hard enough to get all of its intricacies until about the third or fourth time around. It was then that I began to appreciate the film more.
The sequel “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” is an even better film than the first. However, I suspect that, once again, I’ll have to see it several times before I thoroughly understand it. That’s okay, though, because I kind of like a film that challenges me.
The second film sort of takes up where the other one left off with Hellboy and his love interest, Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) trying to make their relationship work while living together.
Liz wants children but Hellboy isn’t at all sure that he does. She sees that as hesitance on his end to take their relationship to another level. In reality, it stems more from his own doubts about himself and his ability to be a good father.
However, all of that is put on the back burner when something that Hellboy considered to be a fairytale told to him as a child turns out to be true. It has to do with a pact that was made long ago between humans and magical creatures; agreeing to leave each other in peace.
However, the son of the King Balor who orchestrated the pact, wants to encourage war between the two factions. To ensure his success, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) calls forth the dreaded golden army put together by his father and then banished once the kind learned to regret what he had done.
His sister, Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) does not want war and tries to influence her brother accordingly. Her words, unfortunately, fall on deaf ears.
With war eminent, Hellboy and his compatriots set out to head off the prince before he can do what he needs to in order to activate the Golden Army. Will they succeed? Obviously, I can’t tell you that without ruining the film.
Ron Perlman plays Hellboy with strength tempered with mercy, anger tempered with compassion, and intelligence tempered with humor. It is a perfect combination for this particular hero.
Blair plays Liz with passion and strength. She is a real woman’s woman; not willing to take guff from anyone, not even the love of her life.
Goss is a convincing villain. He shows no remorse, no sympathy, and no soul. In this case that particular combination is exactly spot on.
Walton is a sympathetic heroine, if not the strongest one. She works too hard to maintain balance and almost loses all control.
The remainder of the cast is also strong. Each plays his or her role perfectly. I could find no fault with any portrayal.
Guillermo del Toro both pens and directs this fascinating film. He is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I like the way his mind works. It is intriguing and complex.
Visually, this is a stunning masterpiece. I can’t describe some of the best scenes without giving away too much of the plot. However, you will appreciate the special effects of this film. There are remarkable.
Although I don’t yet “get” every aspect of this movie, I know enough to understand that it is something special. Lovers of comic book heroes should love it. I do and, therefore, give it three and one-half out of five stars.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.