Friday, July 19, 2013
Guillermo del Toro Retrospective: HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Seth MacFarlane, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, Jeffrey Tambor
And after Pan's Labyrinth we're right back to Hellboy. This sequel was commissioned shortly after the first's release and supposed to be put out in 2006, but Revolution Studios went out of business, putting the sequel on hold. Universal studios picked up a backdeal on Revolution's films and put this one forward. del Toro always wanted to at least craft a trilogy out of the Hellboy character and here was a second stab at it. The film expands upon and improves the universe set in the first film. It feels more comfortable with itself and makes for a much better film than the first go-round.
As opposed to David Hyde Pierce resuming his role as the voice of Abe Sapien, Doug Jones is allowed fully display his character by providing his own vocals this time out. However, there's a new character physically played by someone and voiced by another. But this one is a total scene stealer. Seth MacFarlane breathes ectoplasm into Johann Krauss. The character is an absolute annoyance of the best kind. He provides a lot of the laughs without trying, just being his authoritative self. One would hope if a Hellboy 3 ever happens (I'm gonna blame The Hobbit movies if one never does, you with me Tommy Valdez?).
Hellboy II had Guillermo del Toro's highest opening weekend ever. Any normal summer time, his film with this success probably would have crossed $100 million. Hellboy II did make some decent change, but sadly its mostly the answer to the trivia question "What film was released the week before The Dark Knight?" That's right, Hellboy II's audience and any general folk that might have been curious were dragged away the following weekend never to return. Its a shame, because this is such a damn good film in its own right.
Next Time: It'll be tough...but I'll rank Guillermo del Toro's filmography.