Hellboy II: The Golden Army

22 09 2008

Our unlikely hero had an unlikely sequel. Only because part one didn’t look like it had any other future, save for graphic novels. But when the name Guillermo Del Torro rode the wave of Paz Labyrinth success, the sequel got my attention.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army takes off with Red’s father telling him the story of King Balor and his golden army. The story spoke of the great king and the reign he had on earth together with the humans. But the humans had an unquenchable thirst for power that challenged the Elves. The King then decided to rid the world of this problem by ordering a great Goblin to build him an army – unstoppable and feirce. But when the horror of his soldiers nearly extinguished the human race, King Balor repents with a truce to end the war and locking his deathly army away. We jump to present day and we learn that the King’s son is about to break this pact. Enter Hellboy and his team to keep the balance between human and creatures of the unknown. Prince Nuada is resolved to bringing the tilt toward his kind but not if the paranormal team is bent to stopping him. Thus he encourages Red to join him in his crusade lest he will bring the Golden Army to his steed and kill him.

When they tied Hellboy II to Panz Labyrinth it was a tall order to make it grand. With my hopes up, I  moved my schedule around only to watch a movie that tried to treat me with a load of expletive deleted and a medium rare story – I want them well done. I will agree with the multitude of Del Torro fans that this movie is a visual playground. It is highly inventive and fascinating that it awakens the appreciative artist and geek in you. The spectrum of the director’s vision marked a new level of treatment when it comes to depicting and rendering visuals (both in the dark and in the light) . It is also clear that the movie didn’t exploit the power of CGI, instead it went through the complexity of building things from the ground up. However it failed to capitalize on its strength. Why? This is supposed to be a film, so a decent story should be in order – footnote 300 and Sin City. It somehow reminds me of George Lucas’ genius when it comes to creating something nice to look at and his moronic storytelling – remember Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skulls? Even Speilberg can’t help him. Any moviegoer with brains intends to be challenged and be brought to a conclusion of sort. Conceivably, a handful of us want to ‘see’ something nice however if that’s all there is we might as well stare at pictures.

 There are many lose ends when it comes to Hellboy II’s exposition that the hard work placed on the design is over shadowed by the inorganic flow of the narrative. So many things – like the love story (of Abe and the Princess) and the love/ hate relationship of Red and Liz – is so misplaced, I can’t seem to put a root on it. It has the magic of letting you ride the full-blown fantasy/ action but it continues to ride on the farce the former movie went through. Also, I didn’t like the way they allowed humans die in this film. Come on, for a character that is bent to saving mankind, Hellboy sure shows so little emotion to people who dies around him.

If there is anything or anyone that had depth in it, it would be the villain. He sure gave Hellboy and his team something to do. Plus, he has deep issues so similar to human problems that it empties the purpose of the hero.

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