I've been looking forward to this movie. Guillermo del Toro is a director I've come to love, mostly through his movie Pan's Labyrinth, which is a visual feast. It's also a beautiful (and horrible) statement about fairy tales and hope and all that stuff.
Hellboy II got looked over, I think, partially because of all the hubbub about Dark Knight. Heck, I looked it over. I intended to write this when it came out, but Dark Knight took my attention away.
But it deserves some recognition. Where Dark Knight was, in essence, a crime drama about a superhero (seriously, put Dark Knight up next to Heat), Hellboy II was, in essence, a High Fantasy movie about a superhero.
Seriously. Put Hellboy II up next to Lord of the Rings.
The character designs are fantasy.
The sets . . .
Heck, even the plot. They must stop the evil fairy/elf from finding the object that can raise an evil army to take over the world. Okay, I simplify it . . . but if you take the Reader's Digest version of Hellboy II and put it up next to the Reader's Digest version of Lord of the Rings . . . you're reading two Reader's Digest stories that are quite similar.
Truth be told, Hellboy II is, like Pan's Labyrinth, a visual feast.
Indeed, when the fantasy parts were the best parts. When the characters leave that world, you almost feel bad. Like you didn't want them to leave that world because you don't want to leave that world.
If you like High Fantasy and you like smart Alec superheroes and you don't mind getting a bit of peanut butter in your chocolate, check it out.
Images from Yahoo Movies.