its all about love

Connected to Pauls lecture on Monday

Hellboy2 The Golden Army

After satisfying fans of the comic book with the first film, “Hellboy,” writer/director Guillermo del Toro revisits his past successes creating a touching, feely mutant love tale in the slightly overwhelming sequel, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.”

After an action-packed original story featuring Hellboy (Ron Pearlman) and his mutant colleagues battling evil Nazis, director del Toro wants us to see Hellboy’s softer side. Beginning with a flashback to Hellboy’s childhood, we learn about the legend of the indestructible Golden Army.

Flash-forward to present day, Hellboy is chomping at the bit for more attention. Constantly knocking heads with Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) chief Manning (Jeffrey Tambor), he is constantly challenging his authority. Now married to Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), Hellboy is finding out that matrimony is not quite as bliss as it seems. Meanwhile, an ancient truce between the humans and the invisible realm of fantasy is threatened and the outcome could spell the end for mankind.

The Elf Prince of the underworld, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) has grown tired of playing second fiddle to the humans. According to the truce, the King’s crown must be reassembled and the person who wears it can command the all-powerful Golden Army. With the final piece in the possession of the prince’s sister, the Elf Princess of the underworld and Nuada’s twin sister, Princess Nuala (Anna Walton), she turns to Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), Hellboy and the other members of the BPRD to protect her - and hide the missing piece.

del Toro’s vision for the film is simply stunning. Regurgitating similar mutants from earlier films as well as populating this film’s universe with new and interesting characters, the new additions add plenty of flavor to the story but upstage the film’s star. del Toro even manages to repackage characters from “Pan’s Labyrinth” to round out his gallery of mutant all-stars, which feature tiny, little weapons of mass destruction known as “Tooth Fairies,” as well as the imposing Golden Army.

With shades of “Spiderman 3,” del Toro packs his film airtight with various plot points, including a love story between Sapien and Princess Nuala; Sherman reluctance to tell Hellboy that she is pregnant; an extended scene showing two lovelorn mutants literally crying in the beer and a new rivalry between his new superior, Johann Kraus (Seth McFarlane) and the ‘boy. It is a credit to del Toro that he manages to keep all of the balls in the air while telling an entertaining story.

But the film’s center remains “Big Red,” Hellboy. Armed with his new toy, “Big Baby,” he defeats a number of imposing characters including one of the year’s most creative villains, an expanding mammoth tree-type figure known as an “Elemental.” Constantly challenging authority, Hellboy’s battles with Kraus demonstrate just how much damage a “bag of gas” can do.

Much like Hancock, Hellboy just wants acceptance and love and the humans just don’t understand. With his life hanging in the balance, Hellboy discovers in his darkest hour not only what is important but who is as well. While the film has imposing creatures and plenty of battles at it’s core it all about love.

With images that invoke several recent sci-fi classics such as “Return of the Jedi,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Men in Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick,” this busy sequel falls short of the original but still entertains nonetheless. But the image of two mutants singing sappy love songs, drinking beer sharing their feelings of love may be amusing - I’m just not sure if that’s how I want to see my cartoon film heroes!

12.9.08 09:14

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