Friday, July 18, 2008

Movie Review: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Synopsis: In this sequel to "Hellboy" ("Super Sapiens" in Malaysia), an ancient pact existing between humankind and the mythical realm is broken. A ruthless leader treads the world above and the one below defies his bloodline by awakening an unstoppable army of creatures. Joined by members of his team from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Development, Hellboy must travel between the surface strata and the magical realm to prevent the resurrection of a mythical "golden army" and save humankind once again.

Verdict: Since I heard of this sequel, I've been looking forward to it. Both movies showcase different worlds but are equally entertaining. The first movie focuses on old world demons, sorcery and dark, alien-like gods. This sequel unravels the mythical, magical world that exists unseen among humans, like elves, goblins, trolls, fairies etc. Of course, the variation to the tales are different and nothing like what you read in books or fantasy movies. Does it live up to the first movie? It certainly doesn't disappoint.

Though much less darker than the first movie, it shows more variation of creatures and continues to amaze the viewers with their uniqueness. Although, I think that venturing into the troll market with so many alien-like creatures about feels like something out of Star Wars instead. Great detail and effort is done to enhance every creature seen in this movie.
As for the characters, Hell Boy still remains the macho, loud, clumsy, kitten-loving and sarcastic protagonist that we love. Liz doesn't seem to contribute that much but that's alright, coz somehow, she's always meant to stand behind Hell Boy anyway (or at least that's what I notice).

As they've enter a relationship, it's oddly amusing to see how they go about handling it but in the end, the strength of their love is proven. Abe Sapien is still the lovable, telepathic genius but this time...he has a partner! Equally brainy and exuding the charms of a German professor with a heavy accent, new agent Johann Krauss joins the team as an ectoplasmic ghost encased in a robot-like suit and he is quite a delight to watch. Abe and Krauss are quite similar, very smart with no combat abilities but possess special abilities to compensate. Abe compensates with his acute telepathic senses while Krauss is able to perform special tasks when he releases part of the ectoplasm (part of his body actually) from his suit. The scene where Krauss beats up Hell Boy...with a series of mini lockers was hilarious! Prince Nuada excelled as the driven prince, torn between love for his kind and betraying them to dominate humanity, of which he chose the latter. Princess Nuala might have been forgettable, if not for her 'relationship' with Abe. It was funny to Abe getting drunk over beer while talking with Hell Boy about it!

Action scenes and the creatures involved are entertaining enough but not mind-blowing. Adding a pinch of Hell Boy's sarcasm made it more fun to watch. I preferred Prince Nuada during the fights coz he looks more graceful, fast and skilled with hand weapons. Due to his size, Hell Boy is more clumsy and slightly slower, but makes up for it by being able to take a good beating and keep standing up. He should stick more to his guns, but I guess it wouldn't be a movie if he could just blow Prince Nuala away =)

Story wasn't too bad. Typical bad guy wants to take over the world and is stopped by good guy who doesn't know how to express himself to his girlfriend, faces a barrage of enemies and wins fight with bad guy in the end. Overall, very entertaining due to great effects, good cinematography and decent action scenes.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Other: The trailer is what got me excited to watch it!


patrick said...

Hellboy was fun; for sure that director has an amazing imagination, reminded me a lot of his work in Pan's Labyrinth

Mark said...

Yepz...true dat! Hopefully we might see another sequel in the works...even though Hellboy has quit 'the force' =P