Unlike the original, the sequel gets side-tracked in dull subplots, and moves from humanistic fantasia to it being platitudinous often. Yet, like the first, and akin to Del Toro's later, Pacific Rim, its action scenes are a special vision as to how far CGI can take them without feeling like hokey overkill. I also wish it had alot more action, as that's largely why we are here.
Seems to have lost a bit of its lustre for me. At the time this felt like del Toro bringing the magic of Pan's Labyrinth into the world of the mainstream blockbuster & creating a masterpiece with it. While still extraordinary in its images & ideas there isn't much weight to this. Del Toro pushing his inter-species love conquers all riff on monster movie prejudice is all well & good, but it feels like window-dressing.
A nice improvement over the first Hellboy, keeping the strengths of the original—the atmosphere and concept—but with a wittier script and more gloriously unbound creature design. It has flaws inherent to its time/genre, which get a pass thanks to the sense of personality. As for the willingness to double down on comic book goofiness, a drunk demon singing "Can't Smile Without You" beat Marvel to the punch.
Nice second instalment. Visually, the creatures seem influenced by Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, released two years earlier, (and two years after the first Hellboy). And it's good to see that with the second film there was actually some improvement and (bold) exploration done. Instead of what sometimes happens in these cases - the infusion of brainless action, trying to exploit the first movie, without adding.to it.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. I used to like The Golden Army more than the original Hellboy. The creature design alone is superior and breath-taking, as is a promising set-up for a 3rd Hellboy. Unfortunately the dull subplots and that horrifically embarrassing Barry Manilow scene keep it from truly excelling.
Great monster design and costumes, slick cinematography, and an overall wonderfully imaginative world from Guillermo (nothing less was expected). These films redefine the superhero/comic book film, and it's about damn time. It's a shame I waited four years to get around to seeing this, but it was worth the wait - fantastic entertainment.
This is the superhero of movie of 2008 that actually subverts the genre. Del Toro deliberately sets Hellboy up as the defender of mundane things--bureaucrats, shoppers and strip malls and so forth. Hellboy's pitted against an ancient fantastical creature, and the audience cheers when Hellboy kills it. I also love the use of art direction to subliminally tell the story of Liz Sherman concealing her pregnancy.
Good sequel with bigger laughs, bigger monsters and bigger actions set pieces. My only gripe with this one is that there are too many monsters! I didn't like the troll market scene cause it brought the whole thing too close to the Muppet Show for me. The best thing about the first Hellboy is that the monsters are lonely outcasts more or less. In this one there are tons of them which diminishes their importance to me.