Monday, March 17, 2008

Give Hellboy Some Love

In THE GOLDEN ARMY, Hellboy is in love....and cohabitating...with Liz.

A true Hellboy comics purist should be outraged. Hellboy showing a softer side? His time on film should be better spent clocking overgrown octapus monsters, right?

Nah. In the movies, giving Hellboy a love interest works for two reasons: character development and comedy.

The theme of the first film was Hellboy finding out what it takes to be a man. Finding love fits right into that theme. And it works for Liz's character as well - she is an outsider, she is alone, confused - she is an orphan. She needs someone to love her. In HELLBOY, the movie, the relationship fits. It ties up everything in a neat package at the end of a 2 hour film, and develops the characters nicely.

And GDT also has tapped into a treasure trove of comedic potential by having Big Red pine for a woman - it is a classic comedic formula: big tough guy can fight villains but is tongue tied and awkward around a girl. The scene where Hellboy is trying to pen a note to Liz is very funny, and makes him even more likeable as a character.

I would cast aside any arguments that GDT put in the love story to appease studio heads or to make this film more "accessible" to the masses (i.e. women). GDT fought too hard to get the film made his way. If he didn't see the love story from the beginning, it wouldn't be there.

So I'm looking forward to seeing how the relationship progresses in THE GOLDEN ARMY. From the things I've heard, there sounds like there will be some very funny moments. But I'm also interested to see how this grows Hellboy (and Liz) as a character.

Since they are co-workers, I wonder if they have to fill out one of those forms in HR?

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

I actually think the Liz/Hellboy evolution worked very well in the first movie. There was comedy and a real heart-warming dimension to it. I look forward to see the development during the new film, I have every confidence that it will be a perfect storyline addition because of the two actors involved, the character strengths and of course the main the chair.

Having said that, as a rule I generally detest the seemingly hollywood obsession with making sure every main character has to have a love interest. It almost suggests that without such an aspect the hero's sexuality will come into question!
Such pandering to a perceived audience demand in my opinion has ruined many an action film, e.g. the original Burton Batman movies, the first one particularly stank due to the Bassinger 2D character. The Dark Knight has no time for birds, he's too busy cleaning up rancid Gotham. Although I might forgive Nicole Kidman's appearance in Batman Forever because she looked good, I'm a weak man I know.