Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Review: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) [Reviewed By Tony-D]

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Release: 2008
***½ out of ****
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones

I remember the first time that I watched the first “Hellboy” film, which was distributed by Sony and Revolution Studios, that I didn’t really like the film all that much. I just found it boring, stupid, and not even the least bit interesting. What I saw instead of the comic book movie I paid to see, I saw one ugly ass guy painted in red try to save the world. If I wanted to see someone red save the world, I could watch “Spiderman.”

There was just one problem – Ron Perlman is the fucking shit.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of a man named Ron Perlman. His name is so unknown that he relies on his characters just to get his name around. “Hellboy” is probably his most famous character, not because of the name, but because it shows the true Ron Perlman. A true badass Ron Perlman.

He’s the only guy that could not look like a fool in an Uwe Boll film. He’s the only guy who can kick someone’s ass or get his ass kicked and still laugh about it after it is all said and done. He’s the only guy who can get a girl while looking like a hideous fucking chode. He’s the only guy in the business that can rule Hollywood and you will never know.


Because he’s Ron Perlman. He can do anything.

And that was the biggest problem with “Hellboy.” Here is a fantastic and underrated actor who puts on the performance of his life, and for a film as boring as “Hellboy,” he is the only thing that stands in the film’s way of making it a terrible movie. In this particular discussion, I will be the first one that will say, “Well you’re acting like you’re so fucking surprised,” but I can’t this time. “Hellboy” was supposed to be excellent. “Hellboy” was supposed to kick major ass. But it falls down like a crippled version of David Hasselhoff.

Guillermo Del Toro saved himself after “Hellboy” with the hit film “Pan’s Labyrinth.” I don’t think that never in my time I’ve watched such a dark film and had the audacity to call it beautiful. Not only were the visuals amazing looking, but they looked sexy as hell. It had a real villain, a real hero, and the obstacles that the hero had to take to achieve were excellently set up. It was the perfect fantasy film, and I dare you to go against me on that one.

Around this time, “Hellboy II” was being thrown around back and forth while Revolution and Sony were having their disputes. The rights for the film were eventually on sale, and Universal took hold of the project. With everyone from the first film returning for the second, Del Toro had to make a choice – make a shitty film like the first one, or keep the fans that he received from “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t the first one.

Because “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” is a MAJOR improvement of the first one. It has everything that you want from a “Hellboy” flick – a true badass who has to face a true villain, while trying to look good for the media and everyone else. There was plausible character development, great action sequences, and excellent dialogue. I’m telling you, it is freaking awesome!

Ron Perlman returns as Hellboy. While looking good and making his superiors asses for the media, he is having problems with his girlfriend Liz. (Selma Blair) The two of them and Abe (Doug Jones) arrive to an auction house where a bunch of tooth fairies (creatures that eat you from head to toe, starting with the teeth).

Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) unleashes these tooth fairies while he gets the first of three pieces of a crown. If the next two pieces of the crown are found and put together by the Prince, he has total control over The Golden Army, an elite force that could never be stopped. With Hellboy aware of this, he, Abe, Liz, and newcomer Johann Krauss, (Seth McFarlane) the four of them must stop the Prince before he finds the last two pieces.

Other complications arise though. Abe has fallen in love with Prince Nuada’s twin sister. (Anna Walton) The problem is that Hellboy wants to get his hands on the Prince and possibly kill him, but whatever happens to the Prince, it will happen to the Princess. This subplot brings possibly the funniest scene in the film. Abe is aware what could happen to the Princess once Hellboy does something to her brother, and he begins playing Barry Manilow. Hellboy and Abe (drunkenly) sing together. It’s so out of place yet so hilarious.

One of the main reasons why I loved the “Fantastic Four” movies that everyone dreads was because they were so involved with the media. When they went into costume, they were targets of the media. When they weren’t in costume, they were targets of the media. The problem that the character of Hellboy is that he can’t change the way he looks. The government wants to keep him secret from the public media, but Hellboy would rather be liked by others while being hated and feared by the people he works for. It takes a true badass to take it to those bastards.

“Hellboy II” brings on the excellent direction of Guillermo Del Toro back on the screen. Fresh off of “Pan’s Labyrinth,” many creative thoughts had to be put into this new film. He had to make sure that he wasn’t making a film in the style of “Pan’s Labyrinth,” yet try to create a world similar to the world that “Hellboy” lived in. Some of the characters looked similar to the ones in “Pan’s Labyrinth,” but their personalities and movements are the complete opposite. Del Toro is the best fantasy director working today next to Peter Jackson.

Which leaves us with Ron Perlman. Something tells us that he got the better end of this deal because not only is he starring in a truly awesome movie, but he is the best part of this truly awesome movie. I could only make one complaint – the script tries to focus too much on his feelings. Hellboy doesn’t need feelings to be badass. All the character needs is a good and very badass actor to play him.

Ron Perlman has it.

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