Hellboy II: The Golden Army

July 11th, 2008 by exolstice

hellboy2

This movie takes everything you loved about the first Hellboy film, throws in the liberal doses of Pan’s Labyrinth’s visual style, and then cranks everything up to 11.

The Golden Army is another one of those rare instances where the sequel actually improves upon the original, but with Guillermo Del Toro at the helm, I wouldn’t have expected anything less. If you had any fears about the news that he will be directing The Hobbit’s silver screen adaptations, they will be quickly put to rest once you witness the wonderful fantasy world he’s created with Hellboy II.

The film is filled to the brim would wonderfully imagined creatures, from your fantasy standards like elves, trolls, and goblins, to completely original creations like the Golden Army itself. A nice surprise is that most of them are rendered using practical effects, like costumes, animatronics, and puppets, rather than CGI. Of course, some of the larger creatures and computer-generated, but they’re so richly detailed you’ll hardly notice. It’s nice to see a director that still realizes the importance of practical effects over CGI in order to maintain an audience’s suspension of disbelief.

Of course, all the effects in the world would be worthless without a solid story to complement them, but thankfully that isn’t the case. Most of the characters from the first film return, and some great new characters are introduced, one in particular is amazingly fun to watch, but I won’t spoil the surprise for those who aren’t well-versed in comic lore. The film strikes a good balance between action, drama, and comedy, and if you’ve enjoyed Del Toro’s previous efforts, you certainly can’t go wrong with this one. Highly Recommended.

****

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