A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 2 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army – March 2, 2010

Following on the heels of Hellboy, we watched Hellboy 2: The Golden Army tonight. Oh hey, look! It’s a parable about the dangers of modernization and industry! Maybe we should do Lord of the Rings tomorrow. But seriously, I do like this movie. We saw it in the theater originally and it hits a few of my buttons in a good/sad way. I’ve got this thing about stories that deal with kingdoms/people/ideas which are past their primes, out of their golden years, and the melancholy that results. Stephen King’s Dark Tower books deal with this a lot and phrase it really well: The world has moved on. Anyhow, the elves in Hellboy 2, as well as the big plant elemental, are excellent examples (and how much do I love the elemental’s blood sprouting greenery where it falls? So much). Their time is in the past and they’re now anachronisms, stuck in a world that’s largely forgotten them. Moved on and past them and left them behind but still stuck railing against the injustice of it.

Much like the first movie, I’ve got to take the mythos the plot is based in with a grain of salt. I know more about Celtic mythology than I do about saints and Rasputin, but I’m nowhere near an expert. I know enough to know that this movie is loosely, not closely, based on the mythology. If I knew the mythology better maybe I’d be more upset over it. I can’t even work up too much annoyance over the gigantic fertility statue.

I did get a little annoyed originally when they pulled out the pregnancy plot for Liz, but she still gets to burn shit and they didn’t just leave her behind to go be big damn heroes, so I can’t get worked up over it. It serves a point in the plot, so, well done there.

So let’s talk about what I like about the movie, because there’s a lot I like. The melancholy and past-time theme is definitely up there on the list. And the elves in general. They’re portrayed in such a sad and somewhat pathetic light, living in sewers, dressing them with dead leaves and dirt. Nuada is right when he scoffs at how far they’ve fallen. I’ve also got to hand it to the makeup artists and people who came up with their visual concept. The twins’ skin has a fantastic birchbark effect that looks both nature-based and antiqued. I like that Abe gets a love interest, even if it’s a doomed romance. I love the fight at the end, but then, I’ve got a thing for sword fights.

I also really like the team they’ve got for this movie. Nicely divided into the four elements, if you give Earth to Hellboy, what with his big stone hand and all. Close enough anyhow. Maybe a bit cliched to some, but I think it suits the movie and the world it’s set in. And it’s an incredibly lush world, even if large portions of it are set in urban areas. Lush is still the best word I can think of for it. So that’s another thing to like. There are layers and layers of details. It’s obvious how much thought was put into the set dressing, and indeed the entire movie. It’s a little overbearing at times (Frankenstein? Really?) but overall it’s a good thing that there’s so much there.

Another fun movie. Tomorrow we move on to one of the animated features.

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

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