Why I almost liked “HELLBOY 2”

Monster live under the city in Hellboy, The Golden Army

Monsters live under the city in Hellboy2, The Golden Army

He looks like the Devil but acts like Cupid, what’s up with that?

Hellboy2 by Writer/Director Guillermo Del Toro has everything that I love about movies, great characters, and incredible imaginary worlds of beauty and style.

But I still didn’t enjoy this film.

Ron Perlman IS Hellboy, he brings a sense of charm and mild wit to the role. Yet everyone else in the film seems to hanging on to him for dear life as a life preserver in a horrid squall. His girlfriend or wife, I don’t think it was ever made clear. played bySelma Blair, is extremely flat. Her face is vacant and despite her obvious beauty, the only emotion that I ever got from her was that she didn’t want to be on the set and that her costume was not fitting properly. Could that be her style?

Hellboy’s confusion about the humans hating him seemed very trivial and redundant, shouldn’t he know by now that humans hate him? HELL they hate each other, how are they going to not hate him with that hole in their heart? Not to mention that he looks like Satan!

I know that Hellboy wants to be loved,and he does or did get some of that love or there wouldn’t be a Hellboy Junior in Selma’s belly.

It was hard for me to feel Abe’s (Aquatic Monster) emotions of love for Nuada’s twin sister in the film maybe “because cold as a fish comes to my mind or that such beauty like Nuada’s twin could fall in love with a blue scaled fishman reject. Am I racist against the fish creatures of the earth? I hope not.”

I think that this screen time would have been better served as character development tween Liz and Hellboy and his dilemma of choosing between the humans that hate him and his fellow monsters.

While the initial plot line was very interesting to me, it seemed to diminish quickly and was derailed by the endless monsters, though beautifully created and shot, lacked the emotional content that was promised in the opener.

“Immediately the beginning plot line made me think “this is going to be good!” It was made very clear that Humans were born with a hole in their hearts that could never be filled. Something I agree with completely, thereby totally immersing me in the film.”

And never means never, something that Hellboy himself refers to often in the film, makes me think that there were some edits in the script in which several threads were lost.

One of them was that, Nuada [Luke Goss] was going to save the earth from the never ending destruction that the heartless or holey hearted humans were forcing upon their forests and realms, again you have me ready for a righteous battle where somehow the human manage to survive their deserved end.

But this interesting premise was dropped out of sight too quickly for me and I think that it should have run as a thread through the whole film, in a more poignant manner.

The fatal flaw in the film was when Nuada attempts to appeal to Hellboy’s sympathetic nature so that he doesn’t kill a last of it’s kind elemental servant of Nuada, to no avail.

Hellboy decides “ahh what the hell, might as well kill it, I am here and I have a gun.

It should have been revealed that Nuada was smarter, not just a thug but a creature of magnificence, not just in looks but of mind and that his cause was a just one, so much so that his attempt to turn Hellboy would be more effective. The Nuada’s appeal was logical and important to the plot line, yet Hellboy seemed to go against his own nature and murder a benevolent creature that symbolized nature which was being destroyed by humans, the ones that hate Hellboy also.

It would have been interesting to me if Hellboy’s dilemma would have been to side with the magical creatures against the vicious hole in their heart humans to save the earth and to be finally brought to his senses by the revelation that his child with Liz would be half human. He had to find a resolution to the war, he helped instigate with Nuada after replacing the ogre sidekick that he killed.

Whew that was a mouthful and would have made this movie a winner.

The film should have resulted in a conflict with a final betrayal of Nuada by Hellboy, with more emotional value than the anti climatic fight scene that was redundant and as mind numbing as a bad James Bond film with too many guys with guns.

Am I the only one that finds this obvious? Again it seems like the rewrites were too loose and the threads of the original script were lost.

The too many army creatures, while interesting though very derivative from past mechanical creatures that regenerate themselves and are indestructible, bored me.

I would have a preferred a more powerful single entity, but they did that in the first Hellboy.

Still I tire easily of the side scrolling video game generic script writing that pits larger bosses against you without any emotional raising of stakes.

When I get to the final Boss, I have to kill in a video game, the only emotional feeling that urges me on, is the fact that I will have finally beaten the game and that it will be over.

That’s the feeling I got here, please let it be over.

Which brings me to the final thing that ruined Hellboy for me.

Although there is no doubt that Toro’s imagination is very creative, I find that it is turning too quickly into a cliche of itself.

There was a repetition of small creatures with wings, the small creatures in Hellboy 1 and the creature with eyes not in its head, this time in wings, last time in hands.

The humans hate me, duh. After this movie I understand why.

Things are becoming far too familiar and it blurs the realms from different films.

Let me finish on this note:

I love Toro’s work it often times has an ethereal quality to it that is very difficult to create.I went in wanting to love this movie before it started. They had me at “HellBoy 2” This film has wondrous production value, the sets were lush but I also thought that many of the scenes were overly lit, nights scenes and scenes deep in unearthly caves looked as though they were lit with huge HMIs on a sound stage, which they probably were, but you don’t want it to look like that.

It created a sense of plastic in what should have been sets of depth and interest.

Danny Elfman’s music has reached new heights in this film and the score sometimes soars in a way that is rarely achieved.

And I love the puppetry instead of CGI, its inspiring.

If only there could be a redo or a remix and we add some plot points that would raise the characters and plot to a level that equals all of the hard work put into it.

All that said, if only I could create such a masterpiece of effort and errors.

2 thoughts on “Why I almost liked “HELLBOY 2”

  1. I, too, wondered why the themes on the discordance of humans with nature was so off handedly swept under the carpet in this film. The moment after the elemental dies was the only poignant moment (the opening as well to some extent), the rest, although beautifully shot like you said, lacked direction and depth. Thank you for the thoughtful review.



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