DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Film Review - Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (12a)

Dir. Guillermo del Toro

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

Q: What’s big, red, comes from hell but might just be our only hope?
A: Hellboy…

Yes, the butt kicking demon next door who’s renounced his evil allegiance is back on the big screen. ‘Big red’ as he’s affectionately referred to is part of the weird but effective undercover U.S. Government Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence (these oddball creatures take on the cases that not even Moulder and Scully can deal with).

In this follow up to 2004’s Hellboy, Ron Perlman returns in his signature title role along with fishy empathy Abe Sapien (Doug ‘Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth’ Jones) and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair – who when I say is ‘hot’ I mean literally as she’s got the gift of pyrokinesis!). This time the team are up against Luke Goss (yes from defunct boy band Bros) who plays Prince Nuada, an elf noble who seeks to awaken an unstoppable mechanical golden army and wipe out us humans. His sister, Princess Nuala however is less keen on clockwork genocide and seeks assistance from Hellboy. The team though are in disarray though thanks to Hellboy’s somewhat less than covert media attracting antics and a new boss in the ectoplasmic German Johann Krauss (Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane) who wants everything done ‘by ze book’.

Director Guillermo del Toro (who made the excellent and equally weird Pan’s Labyrinth) brings the whole outlandish plot together with considerable style. Hellboy II manages to have real heart, top dollar action and a fabulous menagerie of seriously freaky creatures. It also has a plot that veers between soap opera (Hellboy is gonna be a dad), comedy (Hellboy and Abe singing a drunken "Can't Smile Without You" by Barry Manilow is just sublime) and tense jaw dropping big budget action scenes. Don’t come here looking for believability, you’ll just go home grumbling, this is strictly for those who like their fantasy films heavy on the ‘fantastic’.

"not sure about the make up..."

You’ll have to go a long way to find stranger or richer visuals, the working class superhero chic of Hellboy is a fantastic dose of escapism that ticks all the right boxes for a great night out.

On the strength of this, it looks like Tolkien fans can rest easy that ‘The Hobbit’ is in good hands as that is scheduled to be del Toro’s next film.

DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10 but '-' is bad whereas '+' is good):

Endorphin Stimulation: öööööööö (8)
+ Big Red is very watchable and personable for a demonic entity

Tasty Action: öööööööö (8)
+ Some good quality fisticuffs and smacking down...

Gratuitous Babeness: ööööö (5)

+ Anna Walton ia a cutie but looks a bit pasty here
Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
+ Nothing too taxing unless you have low threshold for weirdness

Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
+ Some great comedy stuff on offer here

Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
A worthwhile sequel that keeps the franchise alive!

DM Poster Quote:
“Red is the new black"

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