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A 2008 action movie directed by Guillermo del Toro

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More "Hell," More Fun

  • Feb 26, 2011
I saw Hellboy II:  The Golden Army when it first came out on DVD.  I originally planned to see it in theaters, but was unable to due to work.  When I finally did get to see it, I was charmed by its perfect blend of humor, action, and brilliant creatures.  Now I am finally getting around to reviewing it.

The film opens with a young Hellboy (portrayed by Montse Ribe) being told the legend of the Golden Army, an indestructible army created by a goblin for King Balor (Roy Dotrice) of the elves when humanity begins to move in on and effect the livelihoods of the elves, goblins, trolls, and other magical creatures, by his adoptive father, Professor Broom (John Hurt, briefly reprising his role from the first film). 

The Golden Army destroys the human army with such violence and success that Balor feels sorry for the humans and agrees to never use the army again so long as man keeps to city and the magical creatures can keep their homes in the forest.  Balor's son, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), who influenced his father's decision to have the army created, disagrees with his father and goes into exile, vowing to return when his people need him.

Flash forward to present time and we find that man has spread his cities even farther across the Earth and the fantastical beings have been driven underground.  Nuada, tired of man's encroachment on his own kind, goes in search of the three pieces of the crown that controls the Golden Army.  He finds the first piece, given to the humans centuries before, and then collects the second piece from his father.  His twin sister, Nuala (Anna Walton), flees with the third piece to prevent the rise of the Golden Army again.

Nuada's actions, specifically his acquisition of the human piece of the crown, draws the attention of  the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.), and they quickly put their top agents, Hellboy, Abraham Sapien, and Liz Sherman, on the case.  As Hellboy and the rest uncover the dark plans of Prince Nuada, they take the viewer on an excellent journey through the world of goblins, trolls, and other brilliant creatures.

The film is much better than the first in my opinion, and the original was a very good film.  Director/Writer Guillermo Del Toro and Writer Mike Mignola weave an excellent story that is both visually stunning and interesting to watch unfold on the screen.

What I specifically enjoy the most about this film is the fleshing out of Liz (Selma Blair), Manning (Jeffrey Tambor), and, most importantly, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, who takes over his character's voice duties from David Hyde Pierce).  Liz and Hellboy are in a strong relationship, but Liz is struggling with being a part of Hellboy's life.  Hellboy appears to be oblivous to it all.  Manning wants to be accepted and respected by Hellboy, and continually doubts himself.  Abe has a much more enjoyable personality in this film, providing a lot of the comic relief but also supplying a healthy dose of drama as well due to his own budding relationship.

Anna Walton's portrayal of Nuala is highlighted by the character's exceptional courage despite a frail demeanor.  Luke Goss, who seems to portray characters that are difficult to dislike despite being the antagonist in almost every film he's in, nails Prince Nuada.  Part of me felt sorry for him much like I felt sorry for Goss' portrayal of Nomak in Blade II.

Perlman is perfect as Hellboy, providing a nice balance of humor, heart, and toughness in his character.

A new character is also thrown into the fray.  When Manning fails to keep Hellboy in check, the federal government sends in a new agent, Johann Krauss.  Krauss is an ectoplasmic psychic (just go with it) who tries to bring some semblance of control to Hellboy's reckless behavior.  The character, a gaseous being contained in a suit, is voiced by Seth McFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad) and portrayed in costume by John Alexander and James Dodd.

There are a number of excellent creatures in this film.  Including Abe Sapien, Doug Jones portrays King Balor's Chamberlain and the brilliantly creepy Angel of Death.  Brian Steele portrays four creatures in the film, most notably Nuada's sidekick, Mr. Wink.  Also included in the film are the CGI-created Tooth Fairies, and a whole host of creatures in the Troll Market who are both costumed actors and a few CGI creations as well.

The DVD comes with standard commentary from Del Toro, a fun tour of the Troll Market, an animated comic and plenty of other nice extras.

If you enjoyed the first Hellboy film, there is no doubt in my mind that you'll enjoy this installment in the franchise.  I highly recommend it to fans of fantasy and actions films as well.

Highly recommended!
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February 26, 2011
entertaining review and great breakdown! I liked this sequel myself and I was very amused as to how that elf had some sweet Shaolin moves. I did however, like the original's director's cut a lot better. Thanks for the review!!
More Hellboy II: The Golden Army reviews
review by . May 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I wasn't crazy about Hellboy. This sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army [Blu-ray]is a bit better, but still suffers from similar problems. The special effects - trolls, elves, etc - just didn't look that realistic to me. The plot was again pretty silly, but at least the villains were better. If you liked Hellboy, you'll probably like Hellboy II: The Golden Army [Blu-ray] better. If you didn't like the first one, this one's probably not worth your time.
review by . February 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Guillermo del Toro is the perfect director to bring the characters and events of Mike Mignola's horror comic Hellboy to the big screen, and manages here in the sequel to the mostly satisfying Hellboy to create a fully realized and seamless vision of a fantastic underworld that overlaps with the everyday. Del Toro's unique sensibility, that combines a strong sense of whimsy and a keen eye for the macabre, matches precisely the story of an orphaned demon from Hell, raised by a kind-hearted gentleman …
review by . March 09, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½- Stars: FUN and Entertaining--Can't Smile Without HELLBOY!!
I loved the original "Hellboy", it was quite a good translation (but he looks more human in the movie) to the highly successful comic series by Mike Mignola. The original film was scrappy, clever, comical, slimy, action-packed but above all, it had Heart and Soul. The original was a movie about destiny and choices; "What makes a man a man?" Boy, that is one awesome phrase. This summer's sequel, "HELLBOY 2: The Golden Army" may have all the original film's qualities …
review by . March 26, 2009
Now my feelings are quite different towards the first Hellboy film. I have to admit that although it did have its moments, I found myself becoming bored during the movie. The action sequences were the only relief I felt as when we entered into the emotion sequences I simply found my mind drifting. Guillermo Del Toro's work was completely alien to me until the first Hellboy, now although I did enjoy the original I didn't have many high hopes for the sequel. I guess when he entered into the Hellboy …
Quick Tip by . August 26, 2009
Not quite as good as the first film and a little too similar to del Toro's "Blade II", this sequel falls into mediocrity and lacks a heart.
review by . November 15, 2008
Fans of dark fantasy movies will definitely like this one. If you take Pan's Labyrinth and add more creatures, and then give it an injection of humor, and sprinkle some Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, some Fantastic Four, and a little Lord of the Rings, and last of all let Neil Gaiman put the finishing touches, you'll probably get Hellboy II or a reasonable facsimile thereof.       Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Humans and mythical …
review by . August 12, 2008
I am not a comic book super hero fan nor did the first Hell Boy made aparticularly good impression on me.  I suppose the reason I went to seeHell Boy II is for the fact Guillermo del Toro, the director of Pan'sLabyrinth is directing the movie, and hence, there would be interestingfantasy characters.    The movie sets thestory with the bedtime story read to young Red: the origination of theGolden Army.  I thought the depiction of the war using wooden figurinesworked …
review by . October 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Here we have the sequel to the first Hellboy film. It's one of those rare sequels that exceeds the original in almost every way. The acting is quite good, the makeup and costumes are spectacular (and will probably get an Oscar nomination). The pacing is great, and the story is reasonably compelling.    All of this, however, takes a backseat for me when compared to the incredibly beautiful scenes put up onto the screen by director Guillermo del Toro. Here is a man who, as previously …
review by . October 14, 2008
Before going to see HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, my wife and I sat down a re-watched the original HELLBOY with our 15 year old daughter, because she had not seen it. I truly enjoyed seeing the original film again after a few years, and was once again quite interested in the trials and triumphs of "Red", "Blue," "Liz" and all the others.     So the next night, we went to see HELLBOY II, and frankly, I was nearly blown away. It's a far superior movie. Everything the first film …
review by . August 23, 2008
Now my feelings are quite different towards the first Hellboy film. I have to admit that although it did have its moments, I found myself becoming bored during the movie. The action sequences were the only relief I felt as when we entered into the emotion sequences I simply found my mind drifting. Guillermo Del Toro's work was completely alien to me until the first Hellboy, now although I did enjoy the original I didn't have many high hopes for the sequel. I guess when he entered into the Hellboy …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #6
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


After an ancient truce existing between humankind and the invisible realm of the fantastic is broken, hell on Earth is ready to erupt. A ruthless leader who treads the world above and the one below defies his bloodline and awakens an unstoppable army of creatures. Now, it’s up to the planet’s toughest, roughest superhero to battle the merciless dictator and his marauders. He may be red. He may be horned. He may be misunderstood. But when you need the job done right, it’s time to call in Hellboy (Ron Perlman). Along with his expanding team in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense—pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair), aquatic empath Abe (Doug Jones) and protoplasmic mystic Johann—the BPRD will travel between the surface strata and the unseen magical one, where creatures of fantasy become corporeal. And Hellboy, a creature of two worlds who’s accepted by neither, must choose between the life he knows and an unknown destiny that beckons him.
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Director: Guillermo del Toro
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 11 July 2008 (USA)
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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