A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

March 2, 2010

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I love Professor Broom’s choice of bedtime reading.  Dark fairy tales of the war between men and the old world of magic and nature.

Which is what Guillermo Del Toro gives us tonight.    Unfettered from the more Lovecraftian and Nazi steampunk inspired world of Mignola he takes Mike’s creations on a new kind of adventure, very heavily influenced by Pan’s Labyrinth.  It’s not really completely a Hellboy movie.  Sure the team is still all there.  Liz is more badass than ever before.  Abe has some great moments (even without his smooth voice) and Ron Perlman IS Hellboy.  Seth McFarland is a great addition as the discorporeal Krauss.  The BPRD redshirts are still names after stones.  (Marble this time instead of Shale.)  But something about this movie doesn’t ring as true as the first one.

It definitely has a deep and important message to it.  Something about consumerism versus nature.  Or learning your place in the world.  Or maybe about accepting responsibility and growing up to be a parent.

That’s part of the problem I suppose.  This movie is trying to be too many things at once, and not really getting it 100% right on any of them.  And it also suffers from “middle movie syndrome” in that it lays some groundwork for and epic reckoning that never takes place.  This is made even more agonizing in light of the fact that there’s no guarantee that there ever will even be a third movie.  (At the time of this writing Del Toro is working on not one but two Hobbit movies so he’ll have no time for Hellboy for at least a few more years.)

My issue is that I really want to love this movie.  It has a lot of fantastic and touching moments.  The old forest god.  Abe and Hellboy and their drunken singing.  The confrontation with the golden army itself.  Heck, I could watch the scene in the troll market any time.. it’s like a visit inside Guillermo’s head and it’s magical and whimsical.  But the film as a whole just doesn’t gel for me.

I truly wish it did.

I really hope there will be a third movie which addresses Liz’s choice to save Hellboy at the expense of the rest of the world.  That sounds pretty powerful.

March 3, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,


  1. Point of interest: it is spelled “Bruttenholm”.

    You know, along the lines of “Throat Wobbler Mangrove”

    Comment by Jam Torkberg | March 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Heh. That’ll teach me to trust IMDB. (I did recall something like that from reading the books.)

      Comment by tanatoes | March 13, 2010 | Reply

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