Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

*** Spoiler Alert! Huge spoilers at the end of the review! I ruin the end of the movie!***

This movie was definitely kick-ass. From the fight scenes to the character development, Hellboy II rocked my socks. This time around, the producers included a few different twists that I was totally not expecting from a comic book movie.

As usual, the fight scenes are worthy of supernatural creatures and comic book glory. I particularly enjoyed when the extra comic, over the top, hilarity ensued during fights such as in the Troll Market, with all the tossing around and face slapping. These kinds of fights are definitely worth the laughter. Yet there is still the epic boss fight at the end of the movie with it’s ‘on the edge of your seat’ holy-cow-ness that leaves you anticipating the final outcome. And of course there are a few moments of Hellboy hilarity that ease the tension of the fight scene. All of the fights are well choreographed and showed the particular talents and flaws of the characters involved.

I was forewarned that the movie is quite long but flows well. I would have to agree with this person’s opinion. Coming in at just under two hours long, Hellboy was one of the longest movies I’ve seen lately, but I was definitely not bored during any part of it. The producers and writers did a fairly awesome job of filling up every moment with meaningful material relevant to the story-line and characters. Even if these moments were totally cliché or excessive or absolutely adorable, they were there and well played.

The one thing that threw me off most within the movie was the central theme of love and family. The theme is almost pounded into you at every turn. It was a bit excessive to me, very contradictory to what I think of concerning comic book stories. That said, this theme is well played throughout the movie, being infused to every aspect of the plot. From the beginning short of Red and his ‘father’ to Liz’s pregnancy to the twin royals to Abe’s falling for Princess Nuala, the theme of love and family influences everyone’s decisions and eventually the outcome of the story. Liz’s love of Red leads her to decide to condemn the world to hell in his hands and the knowledge of her pregnancy to bring him back to life (aw!). The cliché of Abe’s love of Princess Nuala leads him to deliver the last piece of the crown into Prince Nuada’s hands to save her, which, again cliché, doesn’t happen anyways (poor Abe). And Princess Nuala’s love of Abe takes her own life and that of her twin, saving the world for the love to come. I do absolutely love the use of these themes as a way to connect humans and mutants through the universal weakness and strength of love. Through the movie we see Red’s apparently failure to become a part of human society, yet in the end he achieves this goal through his love of Liz. Even Abe’s very human infatuation-turned love of Princess Nuala and the things he does for her is a mirror of a human relationship. This connection in itself is what made sitting through all the unusual yet cliché lovey-dovey moments in the movie, which were obviously several.

So in the end I would definitely give this movie a double-thumbs-up. It’s worth the money to see in theaters and makes a most excellent sequel to the first Hellboy movie.