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Hellboy II - The Golden Army

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Judy Thorburn

Hellboy II - The Golden Army" - Brilliant Visuals Overwhelms Storyline

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil


Hellboy, the supercool, cigar smoking, big red guy with, a powerful, oversized brick hand, two sawed off horns and a tail, is back in a $75 million follow up four years after the original movie, based on Mike Mignola’s comic book series, was released.

Yes, he’s the devil’s spawn, but Hellboy also happens to have a humanly side. He loves to smoke cigars, guzzle beer, eat candy and has a soft spot for kittens. Just don’t get him mad, or all hell will break loose. Thankfully, he’s on our side, since being rescued as a tot, by the U.S. Army in 1944 and raised by a surrogate father, Professor Broom (John Hurt, seen in a flashback), who was killed off in the first flick. All grown up, Hellboy has been living at, and working for, the top secret government organization The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense based in Trenton, New Jersey.

In Hellboy 2- The Golden Army, the plot revolves around a story Broom read to Hellboy as a preteen in 1955 that forewarned of things to come. Flash forward to the present. Hellboy (Ron Perlman, unrecognizable in facial and body prosthetics) along with his live in “firey” pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and buddy, sweet, psychic aquaman Abe Sapien (formerly voiced by David Hyde Pierce, now portrayed and voiced by Doug Jones) and their new team leader, Johann Krauss (amusingly voiced by Seth McFarlane) an ectoplasmic soul with a German accent contained inside a Robby the robot-type looking suit and glass dome head, are sent on a mission to stop elf Prince Nuada (Luke Goss, resembling Edgar Winter with pale white skin and hair) who is seeking to annihilate the human race.

The Prince has a bone to pick dating back to ancient times when magical creatures such as elves, trolls and others were at war with humans and fighting for control of the earth. As the king’s son, he had created an army of indestructible golden robots who were obliterating humans. But, the King did not want a human genocide, so in putting an end to the conflict and declaring a truce, he broke up the crown that was controlling the robots, into three pieces. The King kept one third, humans were given another for safe keeping, and the third was given to Prince Nuada’s kindly twin sister Nuala (Anna Martin, a dead ringer for Calista Flockhart), which didn’t sit so well with her brother. Unhappy about his “kind” relegated to the underworld, the Prince sought to regain possession of the crown, revive the army, and destroy mankind.

In executing his dastardly plan, the Prince makes a sudden frightening appearance at a Manhattan auction house to retrieve part of the crown up for bid. In doing so, he unleashes thousands of small, but deadly carnivorous tooth fairies that leave little left of their victims other than mere floor goop. And so begins the investigation by Hellboy and his crew to uncover who and what is behind the incident. The dangerous mission means coming in contact with all sorts of fantastic and strange creatures. A visit to the city’s underground Troll Market brings to mind the array of intergalactic characters that patronized the Star Wars’ nightclub. Of course, action packed battles with several creatures are par for the course, and includes Hellboy fighting off a gigantic tree-like forest god set loose on the city streets while holding a baby, and ultimately engaging in a fight with the sword wielding, air flying Prince.

The cool thing about the original Hellboy flick was that it had the perfect balance of good storytelling, humor, and visual effects. Thoroughly entertained, audiences included yours truly, could not ask for more. That said, I was anxious to see this follow-up installment with visionary Mexican writer/director Guillermo Del Toro once again at the helm. I give it to Del Toro (Pans Labyrinth) for having an awesome imagination and delivering a phantasmagorical display of interesting and diverse, monstrous creatures. Only this time he got a bit carried a way. Instead of being story driven, the film is special effects driven allowing the the CGI artists a palette to show off their amazing wizardry to the point of excessive overload. It’s not that I don’t like the dazzling visuals. Who doesn’t? But not when it comes at the expense of the story. Not that there aren’t some really enjoyable moments between the trio of friends, especially Hellboy and Abe’s drunken sing along to Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You” that is very funny. Both characters must deal with sideline matters of the heart; Hellboy with domestic issues concerning the object of his affection Liz, and the sensitive Abe, who has fallen for Princess Nuala. But, with so much going on around them it is hard to become emotionally invested in any one character.

Yet, as an eye popping stunner, Hellboy can’t be beat. If that is enough to satisfy some fans, so be it. But, I would have preferred less spectacular visuals and more of Hellboy, a perfect and comfortably fit role for Perlman who doesn’t get enough screen time as the beastly, but lovable hero.

Torn between two worlds, Hellboy is warned that the humans will tire of him as they have already turned against him. To that I say, not yet. That depends on the next installment.

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