Tuesday, July 8, 2008

THE SPOILER FREE REVIEW! Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

I love pizza. Everybody loves pizza. If you don't love pizza, you suck.

Now imagine one of the best chefs in the world made you a pizza. Extra toppings. Crispy crust.

The woiks.

That's what HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY felt like: The best ever party food whipped up by one of the best chefs in the world.

A feast. Pure bliss.

Pure fun.

I loved this movie. I loved it for so many reasons. I thought the first HELLBOY was very good - but this blows it out of the water. It no longer feels like Guillermo's adaptation of Mignola's Hellboy - this feels like GUILLERMO'S HELLBOY. The first film seemed a little restrained at times. Guillermo was still growing as an artist in 2004 - he was still feeling his way around making a pop culture film.

Then he made PAN'S LABYRINTH and the world went bonkers over it. And with the affirmation that people will love a 100% Guillermo movie - unrestrained, undeterred - Guillermo has finally unleashed his Frankenstein monster.

A lot of the things I love about Guillermo as a person are in this movie. Now, I can't say I know Guillermo that well, having only met him once, but I know he is a) a funny guy, b) loves monsters, c) loves makeup, costumes, and real sets, and d) loves Hellboy.

The movie is a banquet for the eyes. The sets are beautiful. The colors are eye-popping (bright, comic book look-and-feel), and the monsters - oh, the monsters! There are so many creep crawly weirdy nasties in this movie you can't keep track of them all! Seriously - I'm going to have to watch the movie in slow motion on DVD because the most intricate crazy creature designs will run through the frame in about 2 seconds.

So what's it all about? Well, I'll try to make this spoiler free as possible because I like to see a movie without knowing ANYTHING about it - and I know a lot of you fans feel the same way. Let's just say Hellboy is facing an identity crisis, a relationship crisis (with Liz), and a work crisis (his new boss - Johann!). And it doesn't help that an Elven king is looking to destroy the world - hey, that sucks, doesn't it? So how does Hellboy deal with all this pressure? The answer will make you laugh, and will be totally unexpected.

That's right, laugh. A lot! This is a classically funny movie. I've always thought GHOSTBUSTERS was the watermark for the fantasy, sci-fi comedy. This movie is even par, I think. And this will surprise a lot of people - especially those who are expecting a faithful adaptation of Mignola's comic. Well, those comic-crusaders may be in for a bit of a disappointment. This is a much funnier movie than I would have ever have expected - but I love the movie for it. Guillermo really runs with every character and knows what can make them funny - much the same way a veteran sitcom writer for a classic show like CHEERS or NIGHT COURT would understand how to use a character for laughs. And Ron Perlman and Doug Jones put on tremendous performances - blending action, emotion, and humor in such a perfect way to make their characters spot-on cool. Put those guys in for Saturn Awards. They are terrific.

But don't worry - there is plenty of action to go around. Huge monsters, bio-mechanical gorilla-ogres (What is Wink, anyway?), and Luke Goss (another great performance) playing a villain with a real motive - the kind of ambiguous character that Guillermo revels in. You can't hate him, because you know he might be right...This has some of the best choreographed fight scenes I've seen Guillermo do. With Big Red pulling the punches (as cocky as ever), how can you not love it?

Really - this may seem like a big love fest for a guy that runs a DelToroFilms website, so regardless, trust me when I say this is one of the best movies of the year. Go see it, go buy the DVD, go tell friends. It will be worth it.

And then go buy some pizza. Extra toppings. Crispy crust.

The woiks.


Anonymous said...

Great. Now I'm hungry for pizza.

Spot on, good sir. I agree on every point. PLUS - the score is really good and this coming from a guy who doesn't like Elfman.

See this movie this weekend!

- kirk

Hyejeong said...

I loved your review and I agree, 100%.

I loved everything about the movie which is strange since I most always have one complaint most of the time.

I can't get enough of Del Toro movies though.
I love his creatures and his imagination.

Looking forward to whatever he does, anything everything.

Anonymous said...

Saw this movie and it was absolutely awesome!! I was actually stuck in who I should whoop for. Definately buying the DVD when it comes out, bringing all my friends over...

And ordering a hell of a lot of pizza...

With extra toppings.. soft crust... extra extra cheese /grin!


Andrew said...

i gotta say, i disagree.
every positive element you touched on is a representation of Del Toro's directing style, which i'll agree, is great.
i dont think it fits this story or this character though.
to me, (a hellboy reader), the stories have always been much much darker and wittier than this film was.
i appreciate Guillermo trying to take the character and stories in a new direction, but i think the final execution was just a little too fantastical.
basically; this movie will probably be enjoyed more by Pan's Labrynth fans than Hellboy fans.