Running time: 120 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12A
Watched on DVD Monday 3rd/Tuesday 4th August 2009.
I have always found the films of Guillermo del Toro very mystical and stylish, well those I’ve seen anyway. I liked Cronos (1993) (featuring Ron Pearlman), Mimic (1997), Blade II (2001) and of course Hellboy (2004). Unfortunately I haven’t seen Pan's Labyrinth (2006) yet, but its part of the DVD collection and on the list to be watched soon. I mention Pan’s Labyrinth because, having seen some of the extras on the DVD, it’s a film that gets spoken about often and, from the clips I’ve seen of it, I can see similarities in style. Anyhow, we’re here to talk about Hellboy II: The Golden Army, so here goes.
In days of lore Balor, king of the magical Elfin race, after many years of war between the elves and humans, commissions the creation of a “Golden Army”, 70 times 70 mechanical soldiers. The army attacked the humans, showing no mercy, and Balor, consumed by regret, agrees a truce with the humans whereby the humans keep to the cities and the elves would keep the forests. His crown, which allows him or anyone with royal blood, control of the army is broken into three. One piece he gives to the humans and the other two he keeps for himself. His son, Prince Nuada, did not agree with the truce and went into exile, vowing to return when his people needed him.
We switch to modern times where Hellboy, Liz Sherman (now Hellboy’s girlfriend) and Abe Sapien along with members of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence continue their battle with all creatures paranormal. Unknown to them Prince Nuada has returned and is looking for the piece of the crown held by the humans. He takes it with the help of his assistant, the monster known as Mr. Wink and a bunch of ravenous ‘tooth fairies’. Hellboy and the team set out to find the prince, assisted by a new agent, Johann Krauss, and Prince Nuada’s sister Princess Nuala. They must find the prince before he can re-activate the Golden Army.
As with all recent Guillermo del Toro films, I found the set design, costumes, cinematography, make-up and production superb. I think Ron Perlman is perfect for the part of Hellboy and there were also great performances from Selma Blair as Liz, Doug Jones as Abe, Doug Jones, James Dodd & Seth MacFarlane (voice) as Johann Krauss, Luke Goss as Prince Nuada and Anna Walton as Princess Nuala. I think the only thing that let the film down was that, although very stylish, the story seemed to lack a little depth. I didn’t really feel for the characters. Over all, an entertaining, magical, mystical fantasy adventure.
My score: 7.5/10