Traveling into the theater to see this I knew nothing of the character or the story. I hadn’t seen the first Hellboy but I had become such a fan of Guillermo Del Toro that I am at a point that I will watch anything with his name attached to it, director or not. So with all that lack of knowledge I stepped into Hellboy II expecting a superhero movie with Ron Perlman, another actor who I find incredible, so I thought that nothing could go wrong, and I am glad to say that for once my entering expectations were right on the money.
Guillermo Del Toro is easily one of the most visually creative directors around today, overcoming even Tim Burton in look but not quite feel yet, and you can tell my the design that all these mystical characters have. Hellboy, Abe, and newcomer Johann Strauss all look excellent and I would mention Liz but she’s a human torch, female form, played by Selma Blair. However the brilliance of Del Toro’s vision shines through the film’s villains. The Wink, The Prince and Princess, and all of the inhabitants of the Underground Troll Market are exceptionally done.
Aside from this being a visual masterpiece though I found several other great points in the movie as well. The performances are excellent and while I was expecting without a doubt that Ron Perlman would give a great performance, which he did, but the surprising part for me came from Abe played by Doug Jones whose performance I found fascinating. The other actors also did their parts really well, a gem in the supporting cast being Jeffrey Tambor as the head of the organization, and overall I couldn’t find a single bad performance in the entire movie. Even the Prince and the Princess gave noteworthy performances.
While the performances and visual style of this movie were far above average, I feel that Del Toro was still missing something in this movie. While I found many of the action scenes enjoyable, there was one in particular that stuck in my mind and irked me. It was near the beginning in which a bunch of “Tooth Fairies” begin attacking Hellboy and his crew in a mansion type house. In this scene Hellboy watches as these evil fairies eat through one of the human member’s body and Hellboy doesn’t seem to care one bit. The poor human was being eaten and screaming for help and Hellboy just stood over him and laughed, I was waiting for the moment in which Hellboy was going to blurt out “You’re mortal? What a dumbass.” And laugh.
Besides that little nitpick I found myself not truly caring for the characters because although they looked incredible and gave great performances, I never really felt attached to them or felt that they were completely believable. They never really went near the ‘One Liner Typewritten’ character but they were far from someone you could truly relate to.
However, despite those nitpicks I enjoyed this movie thoroughly and found myself laughing a lot more than I expected I would. Guillermo Del Toro has given us one of the most fun and visually appealing superhero movies in quite a while. While it’s not the greatest by far, I had more fun watching Hellboy II than any of the Threequels from last year, 4/5.