Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a 2008 American supernatural, superhero film based on the fictional character Hellboy created by Mike Mignola. The film was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and is a sequel to the 2004 film Hellboy, which del Toro also directed.
During Christmas 1955, a young Hellboy is told a bedtime story by his adoptive father, Trevor Bruttenholm, of an ancient war between human and magical creatures. After the magical creatures are driven back by the humans, the goblin blacksmiths extend an offer to Balor, king of the elves, to build him an indestructible mechanical army. Encouraged by his son Prince Nuada, Balor accepts; the Golden Army subsequently decimates humanity. Regretting his actions, Balor forms a truce with the humans, that they will keep to the cities and the magical creatures to the forests. The crown to command the Golden Army, which can only be worn by one of royal blood, is split into three pieces. Nuada, disagreeing with the truce, leaves in exile.
In the present, Nuada returns and begins gathering the pieces of the crown. He collects the first piece from an auction, killing everyone at the site by unleashing tooth fairies, and kills his father for the second piece. His twin sister, Princess Nuala, escapes with the final piece. Meanwhile at the B.P.R.D., Hellboy is having issues with his girlfriend Liz, and dislikes that their organization must operate in secrecy. Investigating the auction slaughter, Hellboy allows himself to be revealed to the world. In the commotion, Abe Sapien discovers Liz is pregnant; she swears him to secrecy. Furious at Hellboy's actions, the Bureau's superiors send the ectoplasmic medium Johann Krauss to rein him in. With Krauss in charge, the team tracks the tooth fairies to a secret market under the Brooklyn Bridge. Abe finds Nuala, who has obtained a map leading to the Golden Army, and falls in love with her. Hellboy fights and kills Nuada's accomplice Wink, and an elemental forest god that Nuada summons against him. During the fight Nuada questions why he fights for the humans when they have driven the magical creatures into hiding, of which he too is one. Nuala is taken under the B.P.R.D.'s protection.
Nuada tracks his sister to the B.P.R.D. headquarters using their magical bond, which causes them to share wounds and read each other's thoughts. Nuala hides the final crown piece before Nuada finds her, and he battles Hellboy. Nuada critically wounds Hellboy with his spear and abducts Nuala, promising her return in exchange for the crown piece. Unable to remove the spear shard in his wound, Liz, Abe and Krauss take Hellboy to the Golden Army's location in the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. They encounter the Bethmoora goblin master blacksmith who brings them before the Angel of Death to retrieve the spear shard. Though warned Hellboy will doom humanity if he lives, and that she will suffer the most from it, Liz pleads for Hellboy's life. The Angel removes the shard from Hellboy's chest and tells Liz to give him a reason to live. She reveals to Hellboy that he will be a father, and he recovers.
The goblin leads the team to the resting place of the Golden Army, where Nuada awaits them. Abe gives him the last piece of the crown and Nuada awakens the Golden Army, and commands them to kill the team. Hellboy challenges Nuada for the right to command the army; as Hellboy is the son of a Prince of Sheol, a member of Hell's royal family, Nuada must accept the challenge. Hellboy defeats Nuada and spares his life, but Nuada tries stabbing him. Nuala commits suicide to stop her brother; the dying Nuada tells Hellboy he will have to choose whether humanity or magical beings must die. Abe psychically shares his feelings with Nuala before she dies. Liz melts the crown apart, deactivating the Golden Army. Hellboy, Liz, Abe, and Johann resign from the B.P.R.D., and Hellboy contemplates his future life with Liz and their baby. Liz corrects "babies", revealing that she is pregnant with twins.
Why It Rocks
- Ron Perlman returns as the mighty Hellboy, make-up, voice, attitude and all.
- The film has more heart and humor than most fantasy films can dream of.
- The film has it's own unique take of Tooth Fairies, Trolls, and Giants, some that fit the gritty Hellboy lore and style.
- Unlike the first film, which featured a darker, gothic atmosphere, the film features a fantasy atmosphere akin to Guillermo's other film Pan's Labyrinth.
- Many of the film's scenes that take elements from horror movies, like the tooth fairy attack scene, for example.
- An amazing soundtrack by veteran superhero film composer, Danny Elfman.
- The film's action scenes are phenomenal, examples are the fight in Trollmarket and the final battle with Prince Nuada.
- Unlike the first film, the special effects still hold up.
- The final battle with the Golden Army is poorly choreographed, compared to many of the scenes.
- Hellboy 3 never happened, and instead we got a soulless reboot after this.