So I finally got to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army yesterday.
It’s a fun movie with some fantastic visuals. They brought in Johann Kraus, a great character from the comics and translated him pretty well. The general idea for the story is great and very appropriate for a Hellboy story. It’s more fantasy-inspired than the typical Lovecraftian fare we usually get for Hellboy, but it worked. There’s definitely a big fairy tale feel to the whole event. Abe even gets a fight scene that’s a lot of fun to watch, though it makes me wish they’d been a little more true to the character from the beginning. Praise be Odin that they finally let Doug Jones voice himself. There are some great character moments, like Hellboy getting Abe drunk, and some great banter between Johann and the other agents.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of huge problems that prevent me from being all that enthusiastic about the movie. First, there are some plot holes big enough to guide a Cthulhu through. Secondly, there is a major cheese factor going on here. del Toro and crew turned the corny factor up to eleven, and everything from the dialogue to the music suffers for it. Several cartoony slapstick scenes are quite groan-worthy. It doesn’t just make you roll your eyes there, though, it makes it hard to take the action scenes seriously. You rarely feel like anyone is really in danger (other than the predictably expendable human BPRD agents, of course). You feel like you’re watching Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck argue about who can get momentarily inconvenienced by a face full of buckshot from Elmer Fudd. There’s no gravity to anything that’s happening.
I don’t know. The more I think about the film version of one of my favorite characters, the more I feel like they strayed too far from the page.