Monday, July 28, 2008
Hellboy II - Hell yes!
The best films during this summer in the year of our lord 2008 have all had their origins in the world of the comic book or graphic novel. "Ironman" kicked off the season with a remarkably well done film which took the box office by literal storm.
Then followed "The Incredible Hulk," which similarly thrilled audiences whether they were comic fans or not. I have yet to see "Dark Knight," but based on the first film of the series and the early fan feedback, I can virtually guarantee that I won't be dissapointed.
This past weekend I found my self in a rare situation - my wife and kids were out of town and I was able to fill my time with my two other loves: movies and videogames. The film I chose to see in the theater was the sequel to 2004's "Hellboy," - "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."
As a sequel this film did what many follow-ups do not; it outperformed the original. At the hand of director/writer Guillermo Del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth and the upcoming "Hobbit") the Hellboy story continued, with his evolution as a character and continuing struggle with the oppression of having to live a secluded, sequestered existence in the bowels of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense's New Jersey branch office.
Del Toro did what he does best, creating a layered and rich background filled with more interesting and creative creatures than the Star Wars Cantina on acid - a true delight for the eyes. Oh yeah, besides looking good, the story was interesting, the acting solid, and the overall action moved the film along at an even, steady pace.
Ron Perlman showed that he's still the king of heavy prosthetic acting, along with other master prosthetic-laden actor Doug Jones, who turned in performances in three different roles. The new freak on the block, Johann Krauss, was acted by two performers and voiced comically by "Spawn" creator Seth MacFarlane. Jeffrey Tambor put in a conservative comedy peformance as the Bureau boss, with Luke Goss and Anna Walton as the prince and princess doing some nice work despite the fact that Walton was a spot on look-alike for Calista Flockhart in her heavy albinoesque makeup.
While it wasn't the standout film of the summer, it was entertaining and worth viewing. Besides, in this comic book blockbuster heavy summer, being better than average is a tough chore, and worthy of applause.
I give it three and a half sawed off demon horns up...