Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Get the hell out!

Hey folks,

When it comes to adapting comics into movies, there are the good, the bad and then of course the real ugly. This summer we have had a lot of comic book based movies ranging from Iron man to Wanted. Now before Dark Knight destroys them all of course, one of the big comic films that many geeks as well as movie goers were looking forward to was the new Guillermo del Toro directed flick, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.

Honestly, I could write a very nice long review for Hellboy 2 and go on about how much fun the movie actually is. But at this point in time, I think many people pretty much already made up their mind on if they plan on seeing the film or not. Many will go see it since they saw the first one and actually liked it like myself. Others who may not of even seen the first one, but will go check it out since Guillermo directed a little film called Pan's Labyrinth between Hellboy 1 and 2. Either way though, I think many people will dig this movie as long as they will know what they are getting into off the bat and know this is a sequel film.

In the original Hellboy, we got a glimpse into the Mike Mignola world of Hellboy and the film was more or less a condensed origin story for Hellboy. Guillermo really could of made a better film I think for the first Hellboy film, but he was still a dark horse director, Hellboy was a bit of a under ground comic and Sony didn't want to loose a lot of money making the film. So you could tell Guillermo had to hold back a fair amount and even had to include a new human character not in the Hellboy comics because Sony execs were worried that audiences "wouldn't relate to the freaks". The film was still really good I thought, but we only got a glimpse into the Hellboy world as well as the directing and imagining skills of Guillermo.

Now with Hellboy 2, and thanks to the folks over at Universal now paying the bill, Guillermo's brain is basically on display here and he can really stretch his creative muscle. You can tell after the huge success of Pan's Lab., Universal just gave Guillermo tons of cash and told him to go hog wild here. Now of course that can be a bad thing sometimes since there are many films that could of been good went south due to the director deciding he was doing everything his way. Hellboy 2 on the other hand is the opposite of that and shows that there really are some insanely imaginative directors in Hollywood still.

You can really tell that Mignola and Guillermo had a great time with Hellboy 2 which in turn makes the audience have a great time as well. All the amazing monsters, sets and even the Danny Elfman soundtrack were all top notch and no other director could of brought us all this except Guillermo.

Of course what is a good director without a good cast? All the usual folks are back from the first film of course and Ron Pearlman once again really brings Hellboy to life. Everyone else does a great job like Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, Doug Jones as Abe Sapien and even Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as te voice of newcomer Johann Krauss. And unlike in the first film, all these great characters get a lot more screen time and Abe even has a bit of a love story instead of just being a small side character line in the first Hellboy. Hellboy is of course still the main character, but its nice that all we get more from the other characters as well since they all have some great personalities and stories.

Now many folks may criticize the film as only being a visual spectacle with nothing else behind it, but the movie does actually have some real heart in it. I will admit I don't feel that Hellboy 2 wasn't as story driven like the first film was, but there is still a better story here then in most other films that came out this year. I think the main reason behind this feeling is that there isn't a real main villain in the film. There is some bad guys of course, but even they have a good reason for what they are doing and there is a bit of a moral message as well along with why they do what they do. I think to many audiences and critics may miss that message and thats why they are saying there isn't a whole lot to this movie. Still, its actually cool to see a villain that isn't just a corny, over the top bad guy, but actually a person who has real reasons for what he is doing and many may relate to. Like I said though, there really something great behind this film and hopefully many get a chance to see what it is.

Anyway though, I really do recommend people check this film out. I give Hellboy 2 a 9/10 without even blinking. Guillermo gives us a really amazing visual piece of film making here as well as a story that will have you smiling, cheering and has a ton of heart behind it. Pretty much everything about this film works really well despite a few small story flaws here and there. Even if you have never read the comics and barely remember the first film, go check Hellboy 2 out. Everyone will have a hellishly good time I would say.

-P. Knight

No comments: