Hellboy is back in “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008)! In this sequel to Dark Horse Comics’ based “Hellboy” (2004), the gang of super hero creatures returns to save the world from a new threat of evil. There is an ancient story told about King Balor, leader of the “magical creatures.” He was at war with the world of men and created a golden army of soldiers who were unbeatable. Using his crown as the control device of these machine-like warriors, King Balor brought the human race to its knees. He was unhappy, however, with the savagery of his army and created a peace treaty between his world and the world of humans. He split his crown into three pieces, separating them with the promise that he would never again war with man. His son, however, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) was against the treaty and left his father and twin sister, Princess Nala (Anna Walton), behind.
Now in present day, Hellboy (Ron Perlman), along with his other paranormal cohorts, Abe (Doug Jones) and Liz (Selma Blair), are charged with the task of stopping Prince Nuada from regaining the three pieces of his father’s crown, thus unleashing the Golden Army on the human world. Being added to the team this time is a German psychic (John Alexander & James Dodd- voiced by Seth MacFarlane) who no longer has a human-form, and just appears as smoke that can embody a metal suit.
“Hellboy II” is a perfect continuation film. It seems as if no time has gone by since the first, and since most of the cast and crew are the same, it really does feel like just the next chapter in a much larger book. What really shines in this film once again is director Guillermo del Toro’s love for creatures of all kinds. Hellboy is such an interesting character because he doesn’t resemble any other heroes. He is unique, and del Toro has a grasp not only on his appearance, but on every detail of his life. Even though Hellboy has a repulsive exterior, there is an obvious love for him that resonates with his audience. You can’t help but feel for this creature, and want to see him thrive in a world that doesn’t want to accept him.
Much in the same way the continuation of this film from the first is a good thing, the unfortunate part about watching “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” is that it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of originality. It’s basically the same characters doing the same things. Lots of combat scenes with impossible monsters and creatures, lots of well done visual effects, and lots of Hellboy kicking everyone’s butts.
I suppose this feels awkward because they took the time to make a second film, continuing things forward, but then haven’t made a third film. “Hellboy II” should be the middle of a trilogy, not the end of a duo. Then again, there’s no telling what the future will hold for this most unlikely of heroes.
Continue to join Lasso the Movies on a journey through the directorial career of Guillermo del Toro, in preparation for his upcoming film, “Pacific Rim” (2013), due in theaters July 12th, 2013. (You can watch the trailer below.) Don’t forget to read more about the films of his career below:
“The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)
“Blade II” (2002)
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)
“Pacific Rim” (2013)