A somewhat critical Hellboy 2 review
Note: Still under construction ... experimenting with the form
First of all, I think the film is truly awful. Instead of just saying that I think it is rotten, I will make it absolutely clear why I have such a low opinion of this film. Reading this, you might wonder why I know the movie so well. I have to confess, I am very fond of Prince Nuada, and thus I watched the movie quite often. This is not so much a review as rant about this movies many, many plots holes and other flaws.
Why Hellboy 2: The Golden Army sucks royally
At the beginning, I was not immediatley alarmed. I was well aware that Hellboy was something of an idiot. It seems fitting that as a kid he was regular moron. My first clue should have been that he suffers from Rachel Corrigan Syndrom*. Funny thing is, I actually think that the idea of introducing the background story as a bedtime story was rather brilliant idea. However, the way it was done just made me want to hit my head against a wall.
Manhatten, 8 p.m.: Prince Nuada does a little ballet opening with weapons in the sewers of Manhatten. Before we are introduced to his friend Mr. Wink. Then the two head up to an auction. Nuada grabs the piece of crown he needs to awaken the Golden Army. He really does not like humans and opens up two mysterious boxes with a pretty design ...
While the introduction of Nuada was rather clichee, I am not going to complain. I am never going to say anything against scenes that feature hot villains without a shirt. The whole disrupting the auction scene was also making me hope that this was going to be a good sequel.
Trenton, 10:08 pm:
Manning complains to Abe about Hellboy posing for photos. Abe gives some advice that is even more stupid than your usual ask Aunt Edna column. Liz has some issues and unintentionally destroys the steel arm-thick security door to Hellboy's room. Somehow, the room is not incinerated to ashes.
Manning behaves like he usually does, just more childish and than usual. Immediately, I realise something is off with Abe, as well. At first it is the routine, a character tells another character information that character already has. The idea is of course to inform the viewer, however, any viewer with an ounce of brainpower is going to feel that the first character thinks the second character is a moron.
In this case, I think both Abe and Manning think the other is an idiot, at least they treat each other that way. Giving this dumb advice that usually only works on pre-school kids. Yet, this seems to be the norm at HQ. Because Liz also has lost all her marbles and behaves like a school kid with serious issues. I have the feeling Hellboy is acting a lot dumber as well. Considering, his almost non-existent maturity in the first movie, that is really hard to tell.
I guess, I should be grateful that they even bothered to mention what happened to Myers. The agent from the first movie, who befriended our "heroes" and was assigned to Hellboy personally by Prof. Broom to look after him. I guess, if he had stayed on, his character would also have followed the same path as the others, especially since the aim of the movie seemed to be to portray all ordinary humans in a bad light. Seems like the writer took a few pointers from Stephenie Meyers.
Back to Manhatten, 11:37 pm: While Manning can not decide which cover story he wants to use. The place is a goo-y mess and while the characters still have awfully artifical conversations, Abe does a bit of reading and figures out the goo on the floor is toothfairy poop. Also, that the delivery of the boxes is a declaration of war.
Thanks to Abe, we finally have an explanation why Liz reverted to braindamaged teenie girl. She is pregnant and everyone who watches movies knows that pregnant women can't help themselves but act as moronic as possible. Using her awesome firepowers, she could barely control in the last movie, Liz grills the army of tooth fairies who has multiplied at least by 20 in less than four hours. Hellboy decides to get blasted out of the nearest window.
Drop good characterisation, this movie has total overkill. Obviously, the tooth fairies have a really high reproduction rate. In a few hours they not only doubled their numbers, they are about 20 times as many as before.
Midnight: Nuada pays a visit to his father's court. Not yet, first we meet his sister Nuala. For effect they switch between using English and some cool sounding lingo (I've read it might be Gaelic).
In-Between: Hellboy enjoys how idiotic Manning seems now in the tv reports, Liz pouts because she hates being noticed and realised that she really is knocked up, Manning pouts and notifies Hellboy that he will be replaced.
Back to the royal court: Nuada (using English) argues with his father (who uses strange lingo). The father sentences him to death. However, even without the sword he had to surrender before, Nuada kills all of the guards. Then he kills his father and takes the next piece. Turning to his sister for the next piece, he realises that she has run away.
As you probably guessed, this language thing totally botheres me. Either stick to English or have them use the strange lingo all the way. After all, one might assume that this is supposed to be their native language. I wonder if this was done on purpose to give Nuada's motiviation even more power. After all, the general "then let us die" attitude both Nuala and their father hold is not really that enticing to being with.
No wonder, I am rooting for the bad guy here. He is the smartest character in the movie (which does not really say much), he is driven and he has a point. While I am not a supporter of genocide, I totally can understand that he wants to do something before humankind fucks up the planet even more. I just wonder what took him so long.
Time, ??:??: The new boss Krauss arrives, Hellboy kindly informs us that he is supposed to be German. Manning creams himself. Using his ectoplasma abilities, he controls a dead tooth fairy who mentions hearing trolls. Krauss orders them to find the troll market, which according to our red demon from another dimension protagonist does not exist.
"Come Again"- Moment: So Dr. Krauss can control the limbic system of the little critter, but how does that active the memory? I should only enable him to control the body. Why not let Hellboy do his thing, magic explanations are much neater in these situations.They could have introduced the teleplastic abilities of Krauss at the door puzzle.
"Who were you again?"- Moment: In the first movie, Manning was a funny character in his own buerocratic, stuck up way. In this sequel, he is not just an idiot, he is reduced to being a pathetic, whiny, ass kissing fop with no redeamable qualities to him at all.
Brooklyn Bridge, 3:03 am: So the team moves out putting surveilance cameras very noticeably on the street.
"How did that work again?"-Moment: So the crystal diopters remove the aura of glamour - apparantely they also provide the viewer with the ability to look at complex locking mechanism as 3-D model. Cool. Thinking a bit further, I think it is awesome that the aura of glamour works even on modern technology.
"Are you blind or stupid?"-Moment: So many people looked for the troll market, some occultist even figured out the right bridge and yet nobody notices the huge assed fucking door? I guess, the agents from this bureau qualify for service as policemen in Gotham City. They seem dumb and blind enough.
He said what?
Royal fuck up: After realising that Nuala is gone, he wonders where she is and yells for Wink to find her. Later, Nuala tells Abe that because she knows about the secret base, so does her brother. Yet, here he did not even knew that she had just run around two or three corners.
* Explantion: Rachel is a charachter from Poltergeist ....