Hellboy II: The Golden Army(Review)
“Demon. Born from a womb of shadows, sent to destroy their world and you still believe you belong?!” – A quote from Prince Nuada which basically encompasses the main theme of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Hellboy is back once again to save the Earth from evil. Guillermo del Toro, who is well-known for his film Pan’s Labyrinth, continues his style of weird fiction and fantasy with this sequel. It’s been a while since I watched the original Hellboy, but I remember that it left me feeling empty and confused. I wanted more. When Hellboy II was released, however, I wasn’t to convinced that I wanted to see a sequel of an average film. After reading The Decade of the Superhero Film II by Ben Skipper, I became convinced that I had to check out Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The main thing I love about this movie is that Hellboy is a character, when looked at closely, that we all can relate to. He strives for acceptance from his peers.
Ron Perlman returns as Hellboy, who now works for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense along side Liz (Selma Blair)(she’s very hot in this film) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), who is a fish/alien of sorts. Together they must defend the planet against the mythical Prince Nuada who seeks the other parts of the crown, which was broken apart thousands of years ago to restore peace to Earth. Prince Nuada returns to his father’s kingdom in hopes of obtaining the missing pieces to the crown. After killing his father and his guards to get the crown piece, his twin sister Princess Nuala escapes with the last piece of the crown. Meanwhile, Hellboy is having relationship issues with his girlfriend, Liz. She finds out she is pregnant through the discoveries of Abe during a mission to investigate a massacre at an auction. The ruckus was caused by little creatures called Tooth Fairies. Hellboy allows himself to be exposed to the massive crowd outside of the auction house.
The people over at the White House get pissed, so they send in an ectoplasmic agent, Johann Krauss. Together they search through the city for the Troll Market in hopes of finding whoever purchased these Tooth Fairies. In the process, Abe discovers Princess Nuala, who is in hiding, follows her and eventually helps to further hide her. Before they escape her pursuing brother, he unleashes a massive elemental forest god which Hellboy soon destroys. Back at BPRD headquarters, Princess Nuala reveals that she knows the location of the Golden Army and that her brother cannot find this out or the world will be doomed. She warns Hellboy and crew that since she and her brother are twins, he already knows where she is. They have some sort of spiritual connection. Prince Nuada shows up, kidnaps his sister and flee’s to the site of the Golden Army. An excellent fight scene develops inside a secret cave where the Golden Army is kept to bring the movie to a close.
Throughout the movie, Hellboy struggles with both internal and external conflicts. His biggest internal conflict which also affects his relationship with Liz, is that he wants to be accepted by society, but this can never happen. Hellboy wont accept this. It is shown further during the onslaught caused by the elemental forest god, Hellboy is hanging from a sign on the side of a building, getting ready to fire his gun straight into the monster’s head, when Prince Nuada appears and says to Hellboy,
Demon! What are you waiting for? This is what you want, isn’t it? Look at it. The last of its kind. Like you and I. If you destroy it, the world will never see its kind again…You have more in common with us than with them, Demon.
One thing I love about this movie is that Hellboy is no different from you or I, deep down inside. He wants to fit in with the human world, but he can’t. He’s a monster. Liz loves him for who he is, he knows this. After all, he’s the only one that can actually be with her, since she holds the power of fire and he is immune to fire, being made of stone.
This movie fits into the Fantasy movie genre real well. When we think of Fantasy, the first thing that comes to mind is movies like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or even Alice in Wonderland. Much like these films, Hellboy 2 delivers us from the real world and into a place where humans and monsters can co-exist, even if the monsters aren’t accepted. I loved this film, and fantasy films interest you as well, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.