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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (**)
directed by Guillermo del Toro
written by Guillermo del Toro, based on comic book characters created by Mike Mignola
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Principal Cast
Ron Perlman -- Hellboy
Selma Blair -- Liz Sherman
Doug Jones -- Abe Sapien / The Chamberlain / The Angel of Death
Seth MacFarlane -- Johann Krauss (voice)
Luke Goss -- Prince Nuada
Anna Walton -- Princess Nuala
Jeffrey Tambor -- Tom Manning
John Hurt -- Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm
Brian Steele -- Wink / Cronie / Spice Shop Troll / Cathedral Head / Fragglewump
Andrew Hefler -- Agent Flint
Iván Kamarás -- Agent Steel
Mike Kelly -- Agent Marble
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

In order to enjoy movies these days, it's best to turn off your brain, using the same quantity of drugs the writer/director uses to make the film. Sad to say, my beatnik days are behind me, my IQ has risen into the triple digits, and it has become difficult for me to attain the state of consciousness necessary to really appreciate Hellboy II.

There is a lot to like in the film. I enjoyed the intro about Hellboy as a little boy. I enjoyed the flashy visuals. I enjoyed the Barry Manilow song. The death of the forest god was pretty.

But I kept asking myself questions. Such as:

If you are being attacked by millions of ravenous tooth fairies, is a gun really the weapon of choice?

Will all of the tooth fairies really disappear when you decide it is time for the fight to be over?

Will a human being with no protection at all really survive such a fight?

If you are getting ready to go to battle with a giant forest god, is it a good idea to carry a baby in your arms instead of handing him off to the nearest passer-by?

If you are an elf whose brother can read your mind, would you really try to hide something from him, or would you give it to someone else to hide?

If you are an elf who can read his sister's mind, would you stop searching for the one object you need to complete your conquest of the world, when you know it is in the room you are in and is hidden inside a book with a blue binding?

I could go on, but you get the idea. You will probably enjoy Hellboy II, but you'll like it better if you use drugs to lower your IQ to the appropriate level.

It is visually stunning, much as Pan's Labyrinth was. But I can only look at pretty pictures for so long before getting bored. When it became clear that the final big battle against 4,900 giant golden mechanical men was going to make absolutely no difference to the plot, I had trouble staying awake.

Guillermo Del Toro is scheduled to direct The Hobbit next. I hope he doesn't write the script.

No credit cookies.

Copyright © 2008 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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