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 www.Hellboy.com.)

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!

jean teller
7/21/2008 11:29:26 AM

Hi, Jessica, I hear Batman is great on the IMAX screen. I'm planning on seeing it at home, probably in a week or two. I'll wait until the crowds go down a bit. Did you hear about the amazing number of people who saw The Dark Knight this weekend?! it's now at the top of the list for opening weekend box office numbers. Check out the Weekend Box Office Results at Box Office Mojo, http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/ That's a lot of tickets!


jessica kellner
7/21/2008 11:15:17 AM

Hey Jean...I really want to see Hellboy II, but I think Batman is first on my list. Are you going to see it at the Imax in Kansas City? Sounds pretty cool...