Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

Published 7 years ago by , Updated July 14th, 2008 at 9:39 am,

Short version: Hellboy II: The Golden Army stretches beyond the first film in both creepiness and humor, making for kind of an odd mix that manages to work in the end.

hellboy ii review Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review
Screen Rant reviews Hellboy II

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is great, but like the first one, I don’t think it’s for everyone. The first Hellboy only earned $100MM worldwide, which does not exactly classify it as a (pardon the pun) monster hit. That’s not to say it wasn’t great (it was), it’s just that the world of Hellboy is an odd combination of demons, humor, action and creepiness. Oh, and the hero is a demon.

Director Guillermo del Toro’s fingerprints are all over this, right from the start of the film. We actually meet Hellboy as a, well, boy – and this gives John Hurt a chance to cameo as the adopted father of Hellboy, despite his having died in the first film. Seeing our big red buddy as a cute little child with big buck teeth was a bit weird, although he was very cute and wide-eyed.

Adding to the weird feeling at the start of the film was an animated sequence that gave us a visual of the bedtime story that Hurt was telling Hellboy – although the story consisted of humans, elves and trolls, the humans were portrayed as featureless wooden dolls. It was very interesting visually, but more than a bit strange. The story basically sets up the premise of the film, in which there was a huge war between men and the elves. The Elves were losing and had the trolls build them a golden, mechanical army of “70 times 70″ soldiers – the soldiers obeyed whoever wore a golden crown and were emotionless killing machines.

Eventually the elf king feels remorse over all the death that has come by his orders and arranges a truce between the elves and mankind, which has held for many centuries. The prince of the elves was never satisfied with this and still lives today in shadow, awaiting the opportunity to once again destroy mankind. He has part of the crown, but it is in three pieces and he needs to acquire them all in order to re-animate the golden army.

When we are reintroduced to our intrepid heroes: Hellboy, Liz and Abe Sapien (this time voiced by Doug Jones, the actor behind the makeup) we see that things have progressed by big H and Liz as far as a romantic relationship, but things are not going well. Hellboy is stuck in his bachelor ways, and on top of that is desperate for their secret group to become public.


Our Rating:

4 out of 5

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  1. I really enjoyed the first film and since I had had no previous exposure to Hellboy before that, it made it all the more enjoyable to me…I went out and got a few of the books and read them after seeing it..I am really looking forward to this and I think Del Toro and crew have done an excellent job in marketing this to those who would not normally be into this type of film…I hope it does well enough to spawn more films…

  2. I agree greenknight. I can’t wait to see this. Although I think I’ll pull a double=dipper and see it back-to-back with TDK next weekend.

  3. Check your local theaters in advance TDK is selling out matinee shows.

    Nice review Vic, I’m lucky I’m going to see this in about 20 min….

  4. Wow, a HUGE improvement over the original.
    A visually breathtaking film.
    This was the T2 of Hellboy films !!!
    And yes there will be a sequel !!!! I’m pretty sure. ;-)

    Vic has a point about the creatures some of them could scare little kids, however it was funny at the end of the (last battle) during the silence I lone kid in the audience said “that wasn’t scary”.
    I guess kids are really getting apathetic to horiffic images.

    4 out of 5 is a perfect rating overall.
    I’d give the visuals a 5 out of 5. ;-)

  5. Liz, pay attention to the line Red says over the radio to Liz when he gets to Trollville.

    Halairious. :-)

    There’s also a great scene where we see what Hellboys aura looks like.


  6. I really enjoyed the first, so I’m looking forward to this one for sure. Sounds fantastic…I will check it out next week. We’d love to see it before the midnight showing TDK we’re going to, but we just can’t leave our dog alone for that long at night, for the sake of our neighbors.

  7. also Screen Ranters there’s nothing after the credits. So when the Barry Manilow music starts, run out. ;-)

  8. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. Went to see and not only was this a phenomenal film, but everyone in the theater was in a good mood and it was just a classic movie going experience. Like Vic said very VERY good date movie :D

  9. Looks like Hellboy II will make 32-33 million this weekend(early estimates)
    thats rougthly a 50% increase from the 23.1 million it made 4 years ago .
    Hancocks drop is estimated at 45%
    If estimates Hold Hancocks current take will be around 163 million.

  10. According to BOM it HB II had an estimated Friday BO of almost 14 million..If word of mouth is good it could get42-45 million this weekend…certainly looks promising…

  11. Yeah GreenKnight, its beating “hancock”, real good news there. Go HellBoy !!! (I guess I’m choosing a good demon over a scientologist, ghessh how things have changed).

    And everything’s beating “Meet Dave”. I think the worlds finally had enough of Murphys brand of product.
    Yeah Eddie bring on that Bev Cop sequel and let’s finish your career off for good ! ;-)

  12. The real Box office bomb was Meet Dave. on friday it made an estimated 1.7 million.
    It should finish with about 5 million.
    I just saw Ebert and Roeper
    and Roeper and Michael Phillips LOVED TDK! Roeper said he thought it desereved
    An oscar nomination for Best Picture.
    He also said Heath Ledger deserved an oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and (Paraphrasing)”Indeed it would be crime if he didnt get a nomination for Best Supporting Actor”
    I wonder what going to be Number one next weekend?

  13. I gots o excited abot the TDK review I forgot mention it looks like Hellboy II
    will make somewhere between 34 -37 million dollars this weekend .
    Sorry I took the thread off topic.
    Ebert and Roeper was on while i was typing this and i just wanted to spread the good word .
    oh and Roeper/Phillips both like HellBoy II except Phillips liked the original a little better.

  14. Ha yeah Gary we must be in the same time zone cause I just watched that as well on ch 7.

    Hey they both liked Hellboy2.
    And yeah I’m tellin ya TDK is epic like Star Wars.

  15. TDK is at 100%..ONE-HUNDRED FREAKIN’ PERCENT!!! on RT…I know they have only counted 15 reviews but some major critics are calling this movie UBELIEVABLE!! I haven’t read a bad review yet or even a mediocre review…Now with Ebert and Roeper..SHEESH!! This is looking like it could be the crime-drama of our generation…I hope it shatters records and spawns about 15 more movies!! GO DK!!!

  16. I should modify what I said above …Every major critical review that I have read …Newsweek, Time, Rolling Stone, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and now Ebert & Roper have all written glowing reviews…This could and probably will do more for the genre than SPiderman did in 2002!! Geez Louise C’mon Friday!!

  17. I think people are sick of Eddie Murphy doing pretty much anything, no matter how bad it truly is, for a big paycheck Gary..Then he has the nerve to get upset with the academy because he didn’t get an Oscar for Dream Girls..Sorry Eddie but did you see Norbit or the rest of the crap you have been doing for the last 15 years…Take a chance Eddie instead of taking the payday everytime!! 5 million though for a movie that cost 65-85 million to make and then another 20-30 million for P+A..SHEEEESSSHHH!! Another big dud for him…

  18. I think if Norbits relese had been delayed Murphy might have that Oscar.
    The RT rating will probably go down after a few people have seen TDK .
    But that all right.
    what I like about what I have seen of TDK
    is that this will be an action filled film that is at its heart a character piece .
    and thats EXACTLY what I want!
    and I VERY STRONGLY Support any film with the title THE DARK KNIGHT!
    I cant believe they didnt call it Batman: The Dark Knight.
    This tells me polling on the title was EXCELLENT!

  19. Nikki Finke Estimates Hellboy II made 35. 8 million.
    Journey To The Center Of The Earth made 20.5 million.
    And Dave made 5.3 million

  20. LMAO. 5.3 mil that dosnt even cover his paycheck. Hahaha.
    How much did that mobile Big Head cost? (Ya guys see that monster?)

    Funny story, when I went to see Cloverfield it was during the daytime on a weekday. Anywhoo I decided to sneek a peek at Norbit. I walked into the theater and stood down in the hallway alongside of the theater wall. While watching I noticed that nobody was laughing. I walked down a bit turned and looked into the seats. Not a soul…. It was like a Twilight zone episode. Not one person in the theater yet the film plays on. It was an Omega man moment. Haha. ;-)

  21. 790,
    That was actually a packed house for Norbit, its just this time the starships didnt look like Eddie, They were disguised as CHAIRS!
    Complete with cup holders too!

  22. Lol Gary, yeah well the spaceship chairs wernt laughing. ;-)

  23. was it just me, or was there the ending poorly written? Why go to the chamber to face the prince? Don’t wanna post any spoilers, but it didn’t make sense to me. I may have missed something.

    Anyway, overall I liked the movie better than the first. LOTS of imagination. And the Goblin market scene was well done – Lukas should take notes on when to and when not to use 100% green screen

  24. Panda, Hellboy and crew were trying to save the human race. I thought that was pretty obvious.

    Remmeber the Prince wanted to use the Golden Army to kill us all?

  25. SPOILERS ****
    The prince didn’t have any leverage – he needed the 3rd piece of the crown (which Abe had) to awaken the army. Once Hellboy’s life was saved, they could have turned around and left with the 3rd piece. The prince could stay in that chamber with the sleeping army forever. Why go in there?
    That’s all I’m sayin’

  26. Good point Panda but its a movie, so logic goes out the window. ;-)

  27. Abe wanted to see the princess, to try to save her. I guess that’s why they pressed on…

  28. Because Abe loved the Princess n wanted her to be saved. Otherwise it would b like wtf u love her go save her.

  29. is it me or does anybody else who’s a girl think the guy who played the prince is hot.