Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Chris_Johnston, Jul 9, 2008.

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Grade the movie...

  1. Excellent

    41.4%
  2. Above Average

    36.2%
  3. Average

    10.3%
  4. Below Average

    10.3%
  5. Poor

    1.7%
  1. steveman

    steveman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These were the things that factored in to me giving it an Above Average as well.

    If there's one thing that felt weak in this movie, it was del Toro's screenplay. The pacing felt a little "start-and-stop" the whole movie. Though I certainly enjoyed what was happening onscreen, I could never really get in-sync with it. A great movie will draw you in completely; Hellboy II grabbed my eyes, but I had trouble getting similarly involved with the story aspects.

    And while I liked how del Toro gave us the origins of the Golden Army and introduced us to the major players in it (cleverly through John Hurt's nightime story to a young Hellboy back in 1955) those things and people we heard about in the story -- namely Prince Nuada -- weren't nearly as satisfying in the movie itself. Nuada had the potential to be an interesting, multi-layered villain, but instead comes across as very... flat. Two-dimensional, one might say. A garden variety "moustache-twirler." The ruthless Nazi villains of the first film easily got more development than he does, and the under-developed Nuada is probably one of the movie's most disappointing failures.

    Also, while the Golden Army does look amazing, the glimpse we saw of them couldn't have been longer than 10 minutes; being the namesake of the movie, I expected they'd play a larger role than they did. Instead, the Golden Army is, for the most part, an unseen entity whose primary role is making Nuada seem villanous and powerful. I can't help but be reminded of Star Trek: Nemesis; The similarities between Shinzon and Nuada, as well as the Golden Army and the Scimitar's Thalaron weapon, are certainly there.

    Also... Johann Krauss. While I liked the character and the friction he had with Hellboy, it led to a decreased role for Jeffrey Tambor, who ends up being criminally underused. A real shame.

    Another gripe is about the comedy in this movie; it always seemed to hit the same note. It seemed like Hellboy had chance after chance to deliver hilarious, unique one-liners... but del Toro instead just gave us some really unispired stuff, which is a disappointment considering how many sparks of fun and excitement Hellboy's quick wit shot throughout the first movie. That magic was a glaring omission in this one.

    The movie may certainly have its detractors, but it has plenty of stuff to like, too. For instance, I loved this movie for the sheer quirkiness of it. It was unlike anything else I've ever seen. Where else can you find a red demon and a bipedal fish drunkenly singing a Barry Manillow song together? Hilarious! Also loved the scene where Hellboy punches out Johann's dome, and though you think he's killed him for a minute (which is hilarious to consider, given that Johann had been talking trash just seconds earlier) you remember that he's ectoplasmic and he then starts beating Hellboy with the locker doors. Great!

    Regarding the cinematography, I really liked the shot where Hellboy tosses the baby he resuced up into the air -- and we see the baby flying upward, toward the camera, and the tyke fills up the entire frame before falling back down to Earth. Really liked that shot. And then there's the last shot, which freezes on Hellboy's face for a second or two before cutting to black. Something about that struck me as being very retro -- very 80's, early 90's -- which I liked; it was unexpected. And, hey, I suppose such a shot is appropriate for a movie that includes a song by Barry Manillow. :lol:

    Bonus points for the abundant amount of BRPD agents. I love seeing all those guys in their identical suits. They're such great set pieces (of sorts), helping our quirky, abnormal characters stand out even more than they already do.

    And special bonus points for the shots of lovely Selma Blair strutting around in her underwear... in a movie with big-budgeted monsters and effects, that just may have stole the show. :techman: ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    My enthusiasim to go see this tonight just shot up by a factor of, oh, I'll say 10,000. ;)

    Incidently, I've decided to buy Hellboy on DVD and give it a watch sometime soon, been a long time since I've seen it and it'll be fun to watch again.

    :)
     
  3. wamdue

    wamdue Admiral Admiral

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    ok not looking at any spoilers, but how come the movie isnt out till 22nd August in the UK, I thought Hollywood had gotten past its staggered release date thing
     
  4. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I agree for the most part here, I think it had a bit of sequelitis, the happenings were grander but the charm was weaker than the first film. I think the film was less grounded than before as well, while it's cool that del Toro didn't hold back, it also might have made the material a little harder to relate.

    I found myself really in awe of some of the FX stuff on display and del Toro had it cranked to 11. This is definitely a movie for your inner 10-year-old. I suppose that's true of the surrounding fluff in the movie as well, it just didn't feel quite "adult" enough sometimes. But the stuff for your 10-year-old makes up for a lot,

    Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane did a pretty good job with Johann Krauss (spelled with an SS). Doug Jones' voice worked OK as well, not David Hyde Pierce, but not bad. Did Perlman look more dimunitive in this one or is that just me? As mentioned before Selma was hot in more ways than one.

    The goblin prince and his blade had me thinking about how cool an Elric movie would be!
     
  5. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that there was something a bit off with Hellboy's physicality this time around...he definitely seemed a bit smaller scale.
     
  6. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think HB2 was average. It had a good cast, good makeup, great FX, but the ending was too anti-climatic. They built up the Golden Army and then didn't do anything with them. I also thought Nuada was a run-of-the-mill villian, convincingly played, but nothing special.

    I saw parallels between HB2 and Blade 2, and this movie had energy, but not the manic energy of that movie, and I believe the same actor that played Nuada also played Nomak in Blade 2. In B2 I really believed his badassedness, even though he had more elaborate martial arts scenes in HB2 he didn't seem all that menacing. There was also the brother sister angle, the noble son opposing his father, an unstoppable army of a sorts, etc.

    Not a bad time at the theater, but nothing that had me really excited to see it again, or to watch HB3, even though there is a great set up for that with Liz being pregnant.
     
  7. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I went with an excellent. I thought everything about the movie was very well done, the characters were fun, the humor was well done, the special effects were awsome, and it had some of the best creature designs I have ever seen. I see some people are complaining about the plot, and the villain but I really didn't think they were that bad. Yeah, I admit there really wasn't alot of depth given to Nuada, but IMO that really isn't that big of a deal because this movie is really more about the BPRD characters than it is about Nuada, I really feel that he's really just there to give them a reason to be doing the things they do, and not so much to be any kind of a huge personal threat to them. On the other hand I do have to agree about the Golden Army though, for something that was built up through the whole movie they really weren't as impressive as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, they were cool, I just don't think they really lived up to the hype.
     
  8. Superman

    Superman Fleet Captain

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    I can't believe some folks are giving this flick a hard time.

    Any English majors in here? Who are familiar with the term "close reading?"

    Wherein you closely read a work to mine from it meanings not evident at first?

    I think some of you are giving HBII a close reading. I'm not saying it doesn't have depth, it certainly does, and it speaks to those depths well.

    But my God, it's the kind of movie I wish I'd seen more of as a kid, the kind of movie we all dreamed up while mixing action figures from disparate lines with our family pets or other strange items around the house. It's a lush landscape of imagination and downright pure childlike fun.

    Not childish fun. It's not Spy Kids or some shit.

    It's a damned classic superhero-monster-horror-fantasy-action-romance-comedy-drama flick.

    How the fuck often do you see those, anyway?

    \S/
     
  9. Luke Lightsaber

    Luke Lightsaber Captain

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    Uh, pretty much every weekend.
     
  10. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow. Opinions that differ from yours. Shocking, isn't it?
     
  11. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I voted Excellent. Just got back from it and I really enjoyed it. It was even better than the first movie. Visually stunning and imaginative (particularly the Troll Market), with a lot of humor in it.

    Pherlman was terrific as Hellboy once again. As much as I liked David Hyde Pierce's voice as Abe, I'm glad they let Doug Jones do the honors this time. Abe is just as interesting a character as HB and Jones did good here. Tambor's always funny and MacFarlene was a riot as Krauss. I like the way Selma Blair looks in this film. Also have to give props to Luke Goss as Prince Nuada. For a villain, he had quite a bit of dimension and comes across as a compelling character.

    Nice way to return John Hurt's character in the beginning but good God, Hellboy as a kid was easily the most distrubing creature in the entire movie. Just too damn creepy. Otherwise, great flick!
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I really like Abe too. Is his different voice jarring? I thought DHP's work in the first movie was pretty good and saw little need to change it.
     
  13. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not at all. I thought it fit nicely with Pierce's voice from the first one.
     
  14. Goji

    Goji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved it. One of the most pleasurable experiences I've ever had in a theater. I don't have too much to say about it, though I will note that the entire film is visually stunning. I also liked how it was able to pull off fantasy without too much of your stock dragons, elves and warlocks. That is to say, everything looked distinct and interesting.

    The only thing I didn't like was the use of Manning. It seemed that at the end of the last movie, he and Hellboy had at least smoothed over their differences, but at the start of this one they hate each other more than ever. I'm not saying it's not possible that their bonding could have been just temporary, but I probably would have preferred it if it hadn't been ignored.

    There also seemed to be a number of hints dropped about a further sequel. I really, really, really hope this movie makes enough money to justify a Hellboy III, even if it takes another four or five years to get done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  15. grabmygoblin

    grabmygoblin Commodore Commodore

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    Above Average- awesome movie, well worth the price of the ticket, but hardly anything staggeringly fantastic. I kind of realized how the movie would end within the first 15 minutes... but still badass!
     
  16. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I thought him and Manning would have been on better terms but they're back at square one in this film.

    About a possible third movie, del Toro has said in the past that he would love to have Hellboy square off against other Universal properties such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. That would be pretty damn cool.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  17. Messianni

    Messianni Commodore Commodore

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    I gave it an Average or had we done it by letter grades a B. I had a lot of fun watching it and I love Ron Perlman. The script was... ok. As someone mentioned I wish there had been a little more of an effective comedic flair as their was in the first one.

    I'm not sure if it was the script or her delivery but Selma Blair was, for me, the weakest point of the film. There were a few lines that she gave that fell flat.
     
  18. Superman

    Superman Fleet Captain

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    I remember reading this as well. Did you notice the both Bride of Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon playing on TVs in the film?

    Might be a hint of the future...

    \S/
     
  19. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    They should save The Creature From the Black Lagoon for an Abe Sapien spin-off.:)
     
  20. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. They were very noticeable on the TV screens.

    I wouldn't mind an Abe Sapien spin-off myself.

    According to Boxofficemjo, Hellboy II got off to a very good start with almost $13.8 million dollars its first day.