Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Can't Live without Hellboy II: A Review

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: movies, Hellboy II, Ron Perlman, Guillermo del Toro, Mamma Mia!, The Dark Knight, The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher,

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is now on my list of to-buy DVDs. I only add movies I enjoyed to my collection, by the way.HellboyII_Red

While I do prefer the first Hellboy, the sequel has a few pluses – the fight scenes are excellent with choreography that boggles the mind; the special effects are fantastic, not surprising considering director/writer Guillermo del Toro’s last hit, Pan’s Labyrinth

, which one three Oscars including one for Best Makeup; a great baddie (or is he?) in Prince Nuada (Luke Goss, a British actor you might remember from Blade II, also directed by del Toro); Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) coming out of his shell; and, of course, Ron Perlman in all his red glory as Hellboy himself. (For a glimpse at the comic book goodness that is Hellboy, visit

Prince Nuada from HellboyIII did miss the extensive Red quirkiness I remember from the first Hellboy. It appears that many of the great one-liners we might expect were sacrificed for action in the sequel. Though I may be remembering the first movie with more quirky fondness than is fair; might be time to pull out the Hellboy DVD.

However, I do have to say there are at least two major scenes focused on Red’s unique view of life – you will adore the Red-and-Abe singalong with Barry Manilow, and I enjoyed Red’s scamper over rooftops, as he holds a tiny tot in his tail during a major fight with a forest god. OK, the second one you just have to see – and hear – to appreciate.

This outing for Red and company is also a bit of a heartbreaker, as Red, Liz (the fiery Selma Blair) and Abe, and their new cohort, Johann Krauss, struggle with finding a way to fit into a world filled with people who dislike anyone different. “They’re afraid of me,” Red says. A visit to a troll market, overflowing with otherworldly beauty, prompts Red to tell Liz she’d love the place: No one is staring at him.HellboyII_LizSherman

The ending leaves us with the hope of a third installment of Red and Friends. I just hope del Toro adds more Red one-liners the next go around.

This weekend: Mamma Mia! and possibly The Dark Knight, though I’m not sure I’m willing to brave opening-day crowds, even for Batman and Alfred.

So what’s on your movie calendar? Let me know what’s got you salivating for theater popcorn, and let’s talk movies – one of my favorite topics.

And, book lovers, I’m on Blood Rites: Book Six of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. More on that later!