The trailers we got before Batman included one that at first sight looked like a preview of The Mummy 26. Quite soon “Red” was shown and then a whole range of Del Toro creatures looking as amazing as those in El Laberinto Del Fauno, so I realised that this was a trailer of a sequel to Hellboy. I have no idea why the first Hellboy, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and Hellboy II are so popular/hyped, since this is quite unusual for good films. Del Toro doesn’t make the easiest movies either with his (semi-)political stories and scenes (especially in El Laberinto), but of course the superhero-movies did well this summer and Hellboy is a magnificent example of the genre, mixed with over-the-top fantasy and humour and magnificent costumes, stages and special-effects. Inspite of the hype, only a few weeks after the premiere, it is already hard to see this film on the big screen, so we went at the impossible time of 17.00 (or 5 pm for American readers).
Hellboy II is quite like the first one. It has great humour, fantastic scenes, superb creatures (more so than in the first Hellboy on this part), but also a bit too cheesy drama. Ups and downs, with more ups than downs, so definately a good watch. The trailer suggested that this is really a film for the big screen, but in the end, I don’t think you need to see it in the cinema. The scenes in the troll market and that creature in the cave look amazing on the big screen, but overall it is not as overwhelming as El Laberinto.
Story-wise the film comes close after the first. Red and Liz have their first arguments and the group is almost the same as in the first Hellboy. A great new addition comes in the form of Johann Krauss.
Conclusion: Hellboy II as good as I, not really better (except for the weird creatures), but definately not worse.