Hellboy II:The Golden Army


First Published on PFC

Ever since Hellboy released in 2004, things have changed quite a lot as far as Guillermo del Toro was concerned. Firstly, Hellboy turned out to be a monster hit with the critics and audience loving it. After that Pan’s Labyrinth happened which made him a critically acclaimed director. As a result with Hellboy II:The Golden Army, Guillermo del Toro reportedly gets to play with a bigger budget and that means bigger canvas, bigger monsters, more monsters and gratifyingly, all of that translates to whole lot of more fun. One good thing is that there’s a brief intro given about Hellboy again, so those of you who haven’t the first part can watch the second part without feeling lost.

The second installment brings back the super heroes Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz (Selma Blair) and Abe (Doug Jones) who are kept under wraps at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Development. Hellboy is still the same cigar smoking, cat loving monster who gives hell to Manning (Jeffrey Tambor) as usual. Liz and Hellboy‘s love story which was started at the end of the first installment, is given prominence which also includes an extended lover’s tiff. Abe is also given a love interest and this results in a hilarious scene where Abe and Hellboy – both drunk – discuss girls, life and love. In due course of time they are joined by a new commander of sorts, Johann Krauss (Seth MacFarlane) who is a person who always follows the process and does everything by the book much to the chagrin of Hellboy.

The three of them have to fight the various monsters and creatures they encounter during their mission of (what else) saving the world from doom. And the monsters and creatures range from Tooth Fairies (a scary extension of Pan’s Labyrinths fairies), a monster names Wink (sounds cute doesn’t he? Wait till u see him), trolls (plenty of them around), a Self repairing Golden Army and an amazing creature called Elemental. The Elemental sequence hands down is the most breath-taking moment in the movie.

Story wise there’s nothing really amazing to write about except that it does it’s job in introducing a new monster and creature every now and then. It is essentially about a mythological kingdom of trolls who had waged a war with humans ages back and have since buried the hatchet. But now, enter the Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) who decides that it’s high time that the trolls are brought back into the limelight and decides to wage a war against the humans with the help of the indestructible Golden Army in the tow. In the course of his war he runs into Hellboy and his gang who decide to stop him. The movie also highlights the fact of how these superheroes are ill-treated by the general public because of their looks and powers. The Prince tries to take advantage of this fact and looks to convince Hellboy to stop fighting for the humans.

Most of the movie goers will go for this movie for the promise of action and some very good action is what they get. From the opening sequence – which is short animation movie about the war between the humans and the trolls – to the final battle between Hellboy and the Prince, there’s no complaint as far as the quality of action scenes go. The movie moves at a brisk pace and is punctuated with some characteristic tongue in the cheek dialogues ala the first part. The story does tend to drag during the romantic interludes. In fact, at one point we get the feeling that we’re watching Hindi flick. But soon the phase gets over and it’s back to action time.

The director Guillermo del Toro does a great job in keeping the viewer interested throughout. The sets and the costumes are flawless and you do feel transported to a new world. There’s a sequence where our heroes stroll through the Troll market place. In this scene there are so many things happening together that you wish for a freeze frame button to enjoy it more.

A total paisa vasool entertainer which has to be watched on the big screen. Those of you who want to watch a bit of mythology and action watch this instead of a Drona or a Kidnap.

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