It's been a long and rocky road for Hellboy 2. Finding a studio willing to back it, finding a story and at one point finding it's director again amongst a deluge of rival projects. Well, it seems to be finally all falling into place. Del Toro is committed, the fan hype is poised and now, thanks to Latino Review, we have news of a script which is ready to rock your netherworld.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army returns us to where we left off with our horny devil trying to make some sort of life for himself and his one love Liz. It also appears that the characters we enjoyed last time round will be returning to delight us again. Agent Tom Manning is still trying to keep up with Hellboy and clean up after him while Abe Sapian is back with new and improved fish out of water action.
I always loved the premise for this character and still get a kick out of superhuman people having trouble dealing with simple human problems i.e. love, loss, forging friendships etc. But if there was one thing I could have held against Hellboy it was that it was a little too self-contained, too buffered from the reality of life. I would have liked to see frank, real consequences of how society, that is us, would react to these events and how that in turn would affect the lives of these noble but strange characters. Well the good news is that it appears they're done with secrecy, and the shazbat is about to hit the fan. The plot breaks down a little something like this:
The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) is having more and more trouble keeping the team under wraps from the public as Hellboy is being hunted more and more by the media. The new exposure also prompts the government to bestow upon them a new leader in the form of an ectoplasmic German named Johann who takes a particular shine to Liz!
During an attack on an auction house Hellboy battles against an Elf, a Troll and flesh-eating tooth-fairies but the fracas spills out into the street and blows the lid off the BPRD for all to see. Cue talk show appearances, fan clubs, sponsorship and product placement all of which distract from the problem at hand... saving the world again.
Turns out that the guys who attacked the Manhattan auction house work for the King Of Elves and leader of the fairy realm. He's tired of peaceful co-existence and is now in search of the means to take over the earth in the form of ten thousand robots hidden somewhere, The Golden Army.
Latino Review pull out some serious setpieces for our consideration and the list is simply staggering: "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is a huge movie. It’s much bigger than the first, including flashbacks to the Golden Army tearing through a human army, a troll market filled with dozens of strange monsters, a five story tall tree elemental battling Hellboy on the Brooklyn Bridge, Yokai spirits rampaging in Tokyo and a dragon attacking Moscow. And that’s just for starters!"
They serve up Hellboy 2 a stellar "A" grade whilst also having some other points to gush about: "The opening pages of the script feature more action than most movies this year – and that’s before the credits roll!" ... "The script barely lets up from battle to battle, each getting bigger with bigger stakes." ... "even when the BPRD gets product placement Hummers, Hellboy still prefers to solve his problems with his big rock fist."
I knew nothing of this story or it's merits prior to the first film and found it to be an extremely entertaining, well acted, superbly directed slice of fun which was executed with genuine depth. I love the characters and can see so much potential for development. From reading a couple of peoples reactions, I know I can't be the only one who wants to see what happens to these people and where their stories go. And while we're on it... the script also contains a setup for a third. Premature thinking? Good news? If it keeps the general spirit of the first film, I'll hand my money over.