Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2) Reviews
This has a lot more story to it and was much more engaging as a result. It does have a few weaknesses though. The script is a little silly and the characters are still a bit 2-dimensional, even with the obvious attempts at emotional arcs (the forced love Sapien love connection) and dealing with 'unique' issues of adversity (public hating the supes). The humourous tone is still present and this still works a treat, but Del Toro's writing overall is not too strong on this film, unlike some of his others.
However, what we always have come to expect from him (and this delivers in spades) is a visual treat. The art design is beautiful and the action scenes are frenetic and spectacular. There are stand out moments of wonderful design throughout (see the Forest Elemental) and Del Toro has a genuine talent to bring so many wonderous yet believable creatures to life on screen. Perlman is great once again as Hellboy and is very comfortable with this character. Luke Goss also does well and pulls off another decent turn as a bad guy.
I enjoyed the film, as I do love visuals and am always happy to revel in the obscure, colourful toy box that is Del Toro's mind....but I do feel it needed a lot more polishing in other key areas, and this inevitably lets the film down as a whole...
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is at once an altogether superior sequel as well as a highly entertaining standalone adventure movie. The characters are terrific, the action sequences genuinely thrilling, the comedy hits the mark (it rarely did in the first film), and the visual design is at times among the most original and unique of anything I've ever seen. Go see this movie to enjoy the craft of a great director on the rise. You don't have to have seen the first film to enjoy this one.
For me, this is on par with Iron Man as the summer's best action entertainment so far (The Dark Knight, of course, soon cometh). While no character in this shines as brightly as Robert Downey Jr's ultra-cool Tony Stark, the ensemble here is better, the action is just as good, and the creativity and visual imagery are terrific. When I saw the first Hellboy I didn't care if the series continued; having seen it's brawny, spunky, and imaginative sequel, I cannot wait for another installment. **** (out of five) Rated PG-13 for creepy images, action violence.