‘Hellboy II’: a demonic delight | VailDaily.com

‘Hellboy II’: a demonic delight

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

It’s easy to understand why Hellboy (Ron Perlman) would be an unpopular movie franchise. The star is a muscle-bound demon raised by a Catholic scientist to be the good guy and fight even bigger demons for a living. The supporting cast is made up of a telepathic fish man, a fire-controlling woman and tooth fairies that eat human flesh. It’s custom made to give kids nightmares.

That’s the surface view of “Hellboy.” Anyone willing to take a closer look will see a brilliant character examination of good versus evil, killer visuals that rival what the world saw in the first Star Wars trilogy and more action than most summer-time theater spectacles ever offer.

“Hellboy II” picks up shortly after the first one ended. His relationship with girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair) has moved forward and the two now share a room in the bowels of The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense where the good freaks of the world keep an eye on the bad ones. New team members are added to the old cast and the heroes are given a new villain to fight ” Prince Nuada, the ruler of a fantasy realm that wants to begin a war with humans by resurrecting and controlling an invincible golden army created by goblins. It sounds more confusing than it is, trust me. At its core “Hellboy II” is just a basic fairy tale wrapped in new packaging, but that packaging is what makes it all worth while.

Perlman carries the movie on his broad red shoulders playing the role of Hellboy with juicy and sarcastic delight. The darker overtones of death and impending world-wide destruction are downplayed in this installment, although they haven’t totally disappeared. After all, Hellboy was originally sent to our world to bring about the destruction of mankind, something that del Toro never lets us forget. As the movie moves on in quick-paced form through blazing action sequences and a lot more fighting than the first, more and more characters are added to the roster, making the movie at times hard to keep track of, but each new character is more bizarre and peculiar than the last, making it hard to care what role they fulfill in the film. How can you not be mesmerized by an evil angel sporting wings with eyeballs or a baby-shaped tumor that talks?

Perhaps the most human moments in “Hellboy II” comes when he and his crew of misfits are exposed to the outside world. Suddenly they see that the very people they save on a daily basis are afraid of them, even hate them. The struggle to keep doing the right thing, even though he’s designed to do evil, is more intriguing than Superman any day of the week. It’s this uneven moral playing field that makes Hellboy more than your average hero and makes “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” more than your average super hero movie.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

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