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.
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.
A huge improvement on the first (which I also enjoyed). The action is better, the jokes are funnier, the creatures are more plentiful and more imaginative, the whole film just feels bigger and better. Gotta love Del Toro's vision, it really is something special. It also goes without saying that this film is a hell of a lot of fun. It knows exactly what it is and runs with 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.
It looks like Pan's Labyrinth has given this film a needed boost in quality, as it also deals w/ mythical creatures & fantastic images to accompany its comic book baseline. With a bigger budget, better humor, & a story grounded in ancient stories rather than comic book Nazis, this superior sequel is a visual feast & impressively acted by the majority of the cast. That troll market is marvelous...