So, for whatever reason, i have no objectivity when it comes to Hellboy. I love the first movie probably way more than I should. I've seen it almost twenty times. I have a Hellboy sized blindspot, and I acknowledge that. But I will try and be as objective as I can in reviewing Hellboy 2.
Hellboy 2 is the crowning cinematic, nay, cultural, achievement of humankind. When the earth is uninhabitable and destroyed, and alien travelers come to visit our ruins, I hope they find a dvd copy of Hellboy 2, for then they will know what a civilization we had. And they will cry. At the part where the elemental dies. And they will say "This race really did do a number on their planet, but the fact that they made Hellboy 2 makes up for all the evil and strife and pain that they put themselves through." And then they will find a copy of Biodome, and say "Hey this Pauly Shore guy is pretty funny." The aliens have a Pauly Shore sized blindspot, for some reason.
So, yeah, I'm being totally objective.
Here are three reasons why I love Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.
Hellboy is a great character.
To me, Hellboy is the most interesting superhero in comic books. He is a mess of contradictions. A Big muscular man who is just a little boy on the inside.A horrifying monster sent to destroy humanity, but ends up becoming a loving human being. He wants to be a cowboy and stand alone, but what he really wants is to be accepted by Liz, and by everyone else. He just wants to fit in. Unlike Spiderman, Hellboy can never take his mask off and know what it feels to be human, to not be stared at. That's why the scene in the Troll Market is so cool. For the first time in his life, he is out in the open, and no one is staring at him. And right after that scene, he is faced with the big decision. Does he side with humans, or with the monsters? Which brings us to:
The monsters are super fucking cool.
Del Toro's monsters don't feel just like monsters who have leapt into the frame; they feel like they have lived real lives. They have scars, and broken nails, and chipped tooths. The new Star Wars movies have these glossy shiny aliens, but the monsters here are messy and ugly. But I want to know what they were doing before the movie started. Fucking Cathedral Head! I would watch a whole movie about him. I wanna see him cramming for exams, I wanna see him at the grocery store getting milk. I wanna see him getting his head renovated. Do you think he decorates it for the holidays? I wanna see a plastic santa on his head. Oh, and that awesome elemental "monster" is great. I actually got a little teary eyed when Wink bites it. The monsters in this one are kind of the good guys. Del Toro manages to humanize a creature with a talking tumor.
Liz is a great character.
Her character in the first movie is tryign to figure out where she belongs, too. She looks human, but she knows that she is not. Does she stay with Hellboy, and embrace her monsterness, or does she leave BPRD and try and live a normal life? Her decision is made clear in the beautiful scene where she engulfs herself in flames to stand with Hellboy as cops point guns at him. Don't tell me to get away from the monster. I belong with him. Also, she looks pretty good. Selma Blair. Yeah, she's kind of attractive.
The movie is wonderful. The action is great, the monsters are great, the themes are developed and handled in a very satisfying way. Go see it. If you think it sucks, you need to get your head renovated.