Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Release Date: July 11, 2008
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Movie of the Day for Sunday, November 4, 2007
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Boy, is his face red.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
17/43 Kim Hollis I loved that del Toro took this into a fantasy world. It's a movie with a really great heart and I admire it for that.
23/31 Les Winan Visually stunning but generally uneven.
23/98 David Mumpower Imaginitive, colorful sequel is more of a fable than most comic book adaptations. I expect it to stand the test of time as a family classic.
28/52 Sean Collier Del Toro really, really likes making cool monsters.
56/196 Max Braden I liked the first movie, and I like that del Toro uses makeup monsters instead of cgi, but the sequel lacked some heart.

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While Hellboy was not exactly a runaway hit, grossing $59 million at the domestic box office versus a production budget of $60 million, it had a strong enough opening that Sony and Revolution Studios gave a greenlight to a sequel for the Guillermo Del Toro helmed project. While the film, which is based on a comic book by Mike Mignola, was well received by critics, fans seemed to shy away as time went by and word-of-mouth spread. Hellboy is a good movie that suffered in terms of perception. It did have the same problem a lot of superhero comic group movies face. The story had to rely too much on character development and not enough on storytelling and therefore suffered slightly because of it. Del Toro’s visceral direction and the gorgeous eye candy he presented was occasionally offset by a contrived central story. The entire movie was essentially was a series of events designed to move the action from one set piece to another. This, however, is good news for the upcoming Hellboy sequel.

Hellboy 2 should benefit from the same newfound freedom that X2 had; mainly a lack of necessity for prolonged exposition and detailed character development. Now that the main players have been introduced to the audience, Del Toro can really take his gloves off and rip into a tight narrative akin to his work on The Devil’s Backbone. If Del Toro can achieve that and maintain the eye-popping visuals and kinetic action, Hellboy 2 should be a winner.

What is working for Hellboy 2 is the fact that its budget should stretch a lot further than budgets usually go. A combination of largely unknown actors, including Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, who are already inked to advantageous contracts, and the low costs of shooting in the Czech Republic means that Del Toro can once again stretch his dollars. This will be Del Toro’s third production to be based in Eastern Europe - namely Prague - and that will only benefit the production in terms of time and budget.

In terms of what Hellboy II: The Golden Army's storyline will be, simply put, Guillermo del Toro gets it. In describing his sequel to the splendid Hellboy, the noted director all but spits at other comic book movie adaptations. He boldly states that all of them are going darker in tone as if that gives the director some sort of street cred about the process. What del Toro has sussed out is that the way to distinguish his title from the masses is to go entirely against mainstream expectations. Hellboy II is intended to be a fable in tone. The fantastical creatures that are featured in the movie, elves, are on the verge of extinction. There are two schools of thought on how to proceed. One group believes it is best to accept their fate and go quietly into oblivion. Another more militaristic group knows that there is a way to guarantee the survival of the species, but its short term results are perhaps too horrible to imagine.

Placed squarely in the middle of this existential debate is everyone's favorite Baby Ruth lover, Hellboy. The Devil's least favorite child is drawn into the conflict as he tries to determine a solution that saves not only the elves but also his adopted human race that may be semi-accidentally extinguished by the decisions the elves make. Presumably, he smokes a cigar and pets a kitten or two during these proceedings as well. Whatever the specifics, here is what BOP knows. We adored Hellboy. We consider it to be one of (if not the) best comic book movie(s) ever made. We were also blown away by del Toro's last fable, Pan's Labyrinth. At this point, our trust in him as a movie maker is total, so it's a foregone conclusion that we are going to love the Hellboy sequel. It is also our sincerest hope that other directors will be so analytical in their evaluations of the state of the industry, possibly learning something from del Toro's deconstructive evaluation of the flaws within the comic book genre. They'd be taking advice from the best of the best. (Walid Habboub and David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Main Cast Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
Supporting Cast Luke Goss, Seth MacFarlane, Anna Walton, Brian Steele, Roy Dotrice, John Hurt
Director Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriter Guillermo del Toro
Distributor Universal Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.hellboymovie.com/
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 3,204
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
X2: X-Men United 5/2/0385.56 85.56 3741 22871.00 22871.0 214.95 214.95 2.51
X-Men, The 7/14/0054.47 60.93 3025 18007.00 19376.7 157.30 175.97 2.89
Daredevil 2/14/0345.03 45.03 3471 12974.00 12974.0 102.54 102.54 2.28
Blade II 3/22/0232.53 33.82 2707 12017.00 12017.0 81.65 84.89 2.51
Hellboy 3/26/0423.17 23.17 3028 7652.72 7652.7 59.04 59.04 0.00
Catwoman 7/23/0416.73 16.73 3117 5366.83 5366.8 40.20 40.20 0.00



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