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April 15, 2019

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008) --- “Saving The World IS A Hell Of A Job.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Director Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water) and original comic book creator Mike Mignola have returned to helm the sequel to their incredible 2004 comic book to film adaptation, Hellboy. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008) continues the adventure after the events of the previous film 4 years prior. The film starts off with a teenage Hellboy being told the legend of the Golden Army, the crown created to control them, and the prince who tried to take it for himself. In an effort to maintain peace and ensure that the Golden Army is never awakened, the humans and the supernatural decide to split the crown into three pieces and hide them in secret locations around the world. All measures appear to be taken and the threat of the Golden Army seems to fade into the realm of myths and legend, that is until those who crave power decide to seize the day. Years later Hellboy and his crew are about to face off in their biggest battle yet when the story from his childhood becomes a reality. Will the team stop the dark prince in time to save the world again? Or will humanity finally witness the apocalypse?

     I greatly enjoyed Guillermo del Toro and Mike Mignola’s collaboration on the first film but after watching this sequel film and following Del Toro’s success with Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Hellboy 2: The Golden Army proves to be an amazing piece of cinematic entertainment. Del Toro not only manages to translate the comic book to film seamlessly but he also creates a fantasy/action story that will entertain all ages for years to come.
     The story opens with a beautiful narration by John Hurt (Professor Broom) that sets the tone for the whole film, and it's a great start. There are a lot of one-liners, easy humor, and a few curse words that are just apart of Hellboy’s character. However, despite all the humor, the film always manages to come back to its main point about choosing between love or loyalty. Love vs loyalty continues to take center stage in this film, but its a bit more noticeable then it was in the first film. In addition, the story interestingly shows how our heroes seem to have trouble grappling more with the daily misunderstandings of life and the notion of feelings more than with the villains. The story also provides some more information on Hellboy's heritage and true origins, as well as provides insight on how the decisions made here have repercussions that will set into motion events that could possibly take place in the third film. On that same note, the ending is left open for a possible third film and perhaps the latest addition will continue where this film left off. Either way, I am sure that it will still be a worthy addition into the series.
     The visual effects are stunning, the special effects and makeup have improved since the last film. As aforementioned, after the success of Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro again showcases his highly imaginative creature creations both small and large. It is interesting that he always manages to ensure that the characters more than meets the eye, that some of the ones you expect to be docile tend to be the most vicious. All in all, the sets, the CGI, makeup, and the costumes were amazing, the latter of which was brought to life by the actors’ performances.
     The cast performances were solid. Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor, and more reprised their performances excellently by building upon the foundation that they set in the first film. New additions to the cast also proved their worth. Seth MacFarlane (Sing) voices Johann Krauss flawlessly, Luke Goss (One Night With The King) leaves an impression as Prince Nuada, and Anna Walton (Reign TV show) is beautiful as Princess Nuala.

     Overall, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008) is a worthy addition to the series and much more entertaining than the first film. The screenplay is complemented by the amazing special effects, incredible set designs, and solid performances by the actors. The narrative starts off great and flows with an infectious tone, while Del Toro’s direction is as stylish as it could get or be expected. I highly recommend you see this film, especially if you have plans to see the new film.

Final Vote --- 7.8 of 10 stars

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