I went to go see Hellboy 2 today, and I got exactly what a expected, which is a great popcorn movie. The visuals were great, the story was solid, and I enjoyed myself immensely. I expected something good from Del Toro, and I expected him to show his skills, so my worries about him making The Hobbit would be assuaged. Well I am now excited about what he may deliver in The Hobbit. His creatures are awesome. Every movie he makes, I end up walking away from just amazed at the ingenuity that goes into his creatures.
Without spoiling the movie for anyone, I will tell you to look out for the tooth fairies. Despite the fact, that I don’t need anymore creepy crawlies to give me the heebie-jeebies at night, the tooth fairies were classic. Of course I will probably be on the look out for them tonight, and I will never think of the tooth fairy in the same way again. That is just one example of how masterful Del Toro is, his creatures are so good that they displace their predecessors.
Ok, so what works in the movie? Like I have already explained the monsters work. I have always liked how Hellboy looks–he doesn’t look as styrofoamy as the Thing from Fantastic Four–and he looks better in this movie. The story works, it’s not overly complicated. It’s a simple story that works within the mythology, and it creates tension with the characters. The best part is Hellboy’s origin, and the back story for the Golden Army, are given to the audience quickly and efficiently within the first 10 minutes of the movie.
After that Del Toro dives into the action. Hellboy, Liz, and Abe then embark on a pseudo-detective mission trying to figure out what is going on, and it works. The action flows, and these scenes are much more action packed that the first movie. Even the slow scenes are great–the scene where Abe and Hellboy get drunk is brilliant (they drink Tecate how cool is that?)–and they aren’t overly emo, but they just keep the story moving. The movie is also really witty, and funny. I found myself laughing quite a few times, and in a good way. The dialogue was well written, and helped to keep the movie light, especially when it started to get dark or emotional, but the timing of the comedy was perfect, and didn’t take away from the action or emotions, but instead complimented it nicely.
I do believe that this is the last Hellboy movie, unfortunately. Del Toro has said that beginning in 2009 he will be devoting himself to The Hobbit for the next 5 years. Because of that, and the ending, I believe that this will be the last one. It’s too bad–if that’s the case–because I want to see where Del Toro would have gone with the next one. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but I will say that it’s a good ending, and it feels like a real ending and not a set-up for a sequel. Also, I like how Del Toro resolved the conflicts that had arisen in the movie.
One last thing, when the credits rolled I was floored to learn that Danny Elfman had done the score for the film. I am so used to hating his music, mostly because Tim Burton always has Elfman make music that sounds exactly like his previous work. His score this time around sounded nothing like his previous scores, and it was a compliment to the movie, and not a distraction. With that said I will tell you to see this movie. It deserves to be seen in the movies, and I was glad to see that it was the #1 movie of the weekend; it pulled in over $35 million. I hope it continues to make money because it is a well made movie, and movies with this amount of creativity deserve to be seen. There is too much unoriginal trash being made in Hollywood these days, and it is good to see a movie that hits on all cylinders, and that has some originality in it. Go see it and enjoy yourself.
I forgot to mention this earlier, but I love Selma Blair. She is great in this role, and doesn’t overact like Katie Holmes. Have I mentioned that I am so happy that Katie Holmes won’t be in The Dark Knight. She almost single-handedly ruined Batman Begins so it will be nice to see Batman without her goofy ass in it.