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HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY by Guillermo del Toro


Hellboy II: Bigger, bolder and better than Hellboy? It’s bigger for sure, but does it live up to it’s predecessor? There is a witty prologue where Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt), Hellboy’s “father”, reads a bedtime-story from an ancient book. It’s the story of the Golden Army, built by a Goblin for Balor, the King of the Elves, to help him in his struggle against mankind, and which is so overwhelming that the King himself is shocked by the destruction that he forges a truce with men and mothballs the 70 times 70 indestructible robotic soldiers who are the Golden Army. But the King’s son, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), does not agree – he goes into exile and vows to come back when his folk needs him, to revive the Golden Army and to destroy humankind.
Now is the time when he returns, and it’s up to Hellboy (Ron Perlman), his friends Abe (Doug Jones) and Liz (Selma Blair) and their new boss Johann Krauss (James Dodd) to save the world from the fury of Prince Nuada and the savageness of the Golden Army.

More budget for Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to the modestly budgeted Hellboy means more creatures (galore of creatures at the Troll Market, zillions of fierce tooth fairies, the impressive Forest Elemental, the Golden Army, the Elves etc.) and bigger action with better effects. There are also new developments for the major characters – Liz is pregnant with twins, Hellboy breaks out of anonymity and exposes himself and his friends to the public (and to public disapproval), and Abe experiences more screen time, a doomed romance with Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) and his first intoxication.
There is even a villain who doesn’t seem to be outright evil, and it’s not only Hellboy who questions if his loyalty is to the right side when he is confronted with the majestic Forest Elemental – the audience experiences the same conflict. But between all the action-frenzy and the special effects something got lost that was there in Hellboy – some of the charme, the quiet moments and the humor (like the scene where Hellboy jealously follows Liz and Myers through the nocturnal city – my favorite scene from Hellboy) is amiss. And the titular Golden Army is – let’s face it – a disappointment.
Bigger and bolder than Hellboy yes, but better – no.

Liz and Hellboy - Selma Blair and Ron Perlman  Key Scene of Hellboy: Hellboy fights the Forest Elemental 

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Trailer

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