Released on a weekend that many people are looking at as merely a warm-up for inevitable orgy of Batman nerdiness to come next weekend, the second installment of Guillermo Del Toro’s comic adaptation turns the monster factor up to 11.
The plot in 13 words:
The big, red demon is back to drink, crack jokes and fight puppets.
It seems that a lot of people had a similar experience to mine with the first Hellboy: They saw it, liked it and then completely forgot about it until they saw the trailer for the second one. The Golden Army pits Red and his ragtag group of super monsters against an ancient elf prince who is hell bent on resurrecting an ancient, indestructible army to punish us lowly humans for driving our SUVs over too many wildflowers. The fight choreography is pretty good and there are enough crazy-looking monsters walking around to provide cos-play material for every nerd this side of the nearest LAN party.
Moment that will give you douche chills:
There are lots of cheesy one liners that would be better suited coming out of your dad at Thanksgiving dinner, but the Barry Manilow sing-along with Abe and Red was embarrassing enough to give me the same feeling I used to get when Uncle Jesse’s band would play on Full House.
Missing in action:
David Hyde Pierce decided not to resurrect his uncredited role as the voice of Abe. His official reason was because he thought Doug Jones did a better job of bringing the character to life, but my guess is that Guillermo Del Toro doesn’t keep enough crumpets on the crafts service table.
Going in, I was expecting it to be campy, but the corny jokes are so frequent and some of the creatures are so Jim Henson-like that it almost felt like they weren’t taking it seriously That said, The Golden Army is still plenty entertaining. Fans of the comic series will be ecstatic that there are some inside jokes that only they will get, but they will continue to be sad that they have never known the loving embrace of a woman. The characters also do a lot more thinking about their own places in the world, which either adds an extra layer of complexity to the characters or just takes up too much space between the ass-kickings depending on how you see it.
So, is it worth the 10 bucks?
Yes. With the end of the summer movie season in sight, you should be getting your fix of the big-screen now because it might be a long winter full of romantic comedies arty indies.