Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

GUILLERMO DEL TORO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  

USA/Germany, 2008.  Universal Pictures, Dark Horse Entertainment, Internationale Filmproduktion Eagle, Lawrence Gordon Productions, Mid Atlantic Films, Relativity Media.  Story by Guillermo del Toro, , Screenplay by Guillermo Del Toro, based on the comic book by Mike Mignola.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Red Lobster’s least friendly mascot is back in action, this time with an adventure that is louder and more explosive than the last time. Now heavily domestic with his lady love (, whose acting style is somewhere between birch tree and choking cat), Hellboy is called back into action when the investigation of a paranormal mass murder at an art auction leads to deeper truths. It seems that an ancient kingdom of elves (they couldn’t find anything else to rip off besides The Lord Of The Rings?) has lain dormant for centuries in a pact with mankind but is now being brought to the surface by an angry prince. The Elf Prince doesn’t like that his people live in secret away from humans, and longs to reunite the three pieces of a magical crown that will give him dominion over a massive android army that will destroy all humans on the earth. Naturally, our perpetually sunburned hero can’t resist throwing whacky one-liners our way every time he gets closer to his goal of stopping the insanity. Well-paced and very exciting, the film suffers from a complete lack of soul; the character development and engaging love story that thickened up the action of the first film are gone, replaced by visual effects that are constantly shrieking to outdo each other. Director Guillermo Del Toro once again pushes his imagination to the max, though fans of Pan’s Labyrinth will find many of the designs familiar (this is a director who will forever be labeled “visionary” simply because he makes movies with creatures whose eyes are somewhere other than their faces).

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Makeup

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Best Stunt Ensemble

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