Hellboy II: The Golden Army (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/08/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 119 mins

Enjoyable sequel, beautifully directed by del Toro and featuring jaw-dropping special effects, several great set-pieces and terrific performances from a strong cast.

What's it all about?
Guillermo del Toro returns as director for the Hellboy sequel, which sees our red-skinned hero (Ron Perlman) settled into his job at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence, alongside his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair) and aquatic empath Abe Sapien (Doug Jones). However, their beleaguered manager Tom (Jeffrey Tambor) believes that their public image could do with a boost, so he brings in Germanic mist-based entity Johann Krauss (John Alexander, James Dodd and Seth McFarlane) as their new leader.

Meanwhile, a renegade underworld prince (Luke Goss as Prince Nuada) is seeking revenge on mankind after centuries of subjugation and plots to resurrect a mythical Golden Army, against the wishes of his twin sister, Princess Nuala (Anna Walton). Can Hellboy and the BPRD prevent Nuada from wiping out the human race?

The Good
First things first, the effects are genuinely stunning – this is easily the most beautifully designed blockbuster you'll see all summer, combining state-of-the-art model work and seamless CGI, to the point where you can't actually tell the difference between the two. In addition, del Toro orchestrates some fabulous set-pieces, including: an attack of vicious-toothed fairies; a scrap in a creature-filled marketplace; and a fight with a giant elemental creature that puts Cloverfield to shame.

Perlman is perfectly cast as Hellboy and there's excellent work from a terrific supporting cast. In addition, the interplay between the characters is well written and surprisingly moving.

The Bad
The only real problem is that the plot seems largely derivative (it's basically Blade II with bits of The Mummy 3), while the finale is a disappointment compared to the brilliance of the earlier scenes. Call me crazy, but if your film's called The Golden Army, you expect to see a Golden Army in action at some point.

Worth seeing?
Quibbles aside, Hellboy II: The Golden Army is still a stunning blockbuster that delivers action, thrills and chuckles in equal measure. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (12A)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army has been reviewed by 4 users
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Content updated: 16/12/2017 22:32

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