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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Late to the Party Review: "Hellboy II: The Golden Army"

When the first Hellboy film came out, I was kind of surprised at how much acclaim it received. Everyone seemed to love it, but I was very "meh" about the whole thing. I thought Hellboy himself was kind of a snooze; Ron Perlman's zero-energy delivery was bo-ring, and with his cliched cigar chomping, beer guzzling and heart-of-gold, Hellboy just seemed like a Wolverine-lite. Plus, I thought the main human character -- the young agent assigned to watch HB, whatever his name was -- actually had negative charisma, if that's possible. Added to that was the weird humor that wasn't funny, boring villains, and a predictable story. Sorry, but I just didn't like that movie.

So, it goes without saying that I am shocked at how much I enjoyed Hellboy II: The Golden Army. This film seemed to correct all the wrongs of its predecessor: the annoying dude from the first movie is gone; Hellboy is actually kind of interesting; the villains are awesome and you even feel for them; the effects are fantastic; the humor works. The blend of the real-world with the fantastic -- trolls under the Brooklyn Bridge, fighting a monster in Manhattan -- made this a bit more fun than most superhero films. And there is a real feeling that every one of the main characters could die. Hellboy II raises the stakes, and just about everything else, over its predecessor. A really fun, weird and overall excellent film.

Now the real debate: was it better than The Dark Knight?

RS Grade: A

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