Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Guillermo del Toro’s last film before making the Hobbit movies, with his characteristically gorgeous visuals and fantastical creatures.  (If you haven’t seen Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) you really should – and you’re in for a treat. A tragic, painful, wonderful treat.)

The story is very nicely put together, with a lot of beautifully realised creatures (and characters) revealed as we delve into the hidden world of faeries, elves, goblins, and such.  Including a new origin story for toothfaeries (yeah, plural – very plural), very old-school Brother’s Grim style nastiness.

(I love this kind of alternate mythology for our old and well known tales – the first thing dragged me into really liking Stargate SG1 was their alternate explanation for the Norse “gods” and such, with the Asgaard, and such.)

The special (particularly creature) effects are spectactularly good.  The makeup is fabulous.

There’s something about the look & feel of the movie that bothers me though, like it’s been processed at a lower res, then upsampled with some sort of sharpening applied.  Or maybe it was shot on strange cameras?  I don’t know, I can’t quite put my finger on it.  But something felt a bit off.

Another thing that’s off, but probably even harder to put my finger on, is the story.  There’s a lack of depth somehow, there didn’t seem to be anything to really sink my teeth into.  I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t there.

Maybe it’s just that everything was thrown up on screen, with no real thought required?  I’m not sure.

Still, it’s a lovely colourful spectactle, if you see a lot of movies you should definitely see this one.

(Actually I’m putting some more thought into it, and there’s a possibility that the problem was my being distracted by an amazing smell throughout the film.  Like, I don’t even know, happiness & sunshine?)