Hellboy 2: The Golden Army review

An ancient truce between elves and men is broken when an elven prince, Nuada, kills a group of humans for a piece of the golden crown, which when worn gives the person control of The Golden Army, an indestructible army once used against mankind. Meanwhile, Hellboy, still fighting the supernatural and arguing with Liz, wants to stop hiding, and so allows himself to be seen by humans.

The golden crown is in 3 pieces, one held by mankind, one by the elven king, King Balor, and one by princess Nuala, the twin sister of prince Nuada. When the 3 pieces are together, it gives the wearer, if they are of royal blood, the power to command The Golden Army. Nuala goes on the run to hide from her brother and meets Hellboy and the others, who take her into their protection while they try to stop Nuada from resurrecting the army.

The film takes more of a fantasy approach than the first films darker approach. The film may not be as dark in storyline or atmosphere as the first film, this film still has small moments of his darker side, but still keeping it more on a friendly level for younger audiences. We get many typical fantasy creatures in this film, such as elves, trolls, and goblins, we still get some more of the darker elements such as the fairies we see that are called “Tooth Fairies”, because while they eat everything of a person, they go for the teeth first. The expenditure of the lore is appreciated, we get to see many more creatures, and of some of their background, and this ranges from larger creatures such as the “Forest God”, to the little ones such as the “Tooth Fairies” and “Goblins”. The creativity and looks of the monsters is better than the first one, if only due to the increase of how many creatures they have, and like the first movie, this creativity also extends to the sets, my favourite being the Troll Market that they visit about 45 minutes into the film, showing off its crowding of not only architecture and items, but also the many creatures who inhabit it.

Once again, the characters go under some development, growing more than in the first film. Abe is the character that this time around who gets more focus than he did last time, as he falls in love with princess Nuala. Abe’s sometimes awkward attempts at flirting are humorous to watch, as he tries to tell the princess his feelings. Abe even brings in a side to him not seen before, nor would you think him capable of when he goes against the logical action that he seems to favour, for his emotions. Hellboy is the character that most of the changes happen to, but at the same time, he doesn’t feel like he changes at all. He is told that his temper is his weakness, which looking back on the first film, his temper and recklessness might have a parallel to them as it’s due to this a few people die in the first film. When he is warned to look after his temper, while later on he still gets into difficult situations not due to his temper, but because he does what he feels is right, his temper issue never truly feels resolved. It might be more subtle when in the last fight he seems more composed than usual, however, I am not too sure if it’s really anger he would have fought with in the first place in that particular fight.

I like this film more than the first film, it expands on its universe with more detail, and still allows itself to have great action scenes, a quiet moment to see the characters goof off and relate to one another, and still always have time for some humour when it can.


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