One “Hell” of a Ride

After much deliberation, I finally broke down and saw Hellboy II: The Golden Army yesterday and I can sum it up in two words: Awe. Some.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Hmm, I think Jon meant to write awesome, which clearly is just one word, not two. Why the hell is he being such a f**king idiot?”  I’m not being an idiot.  I actually wanted to love this movie, especially since I had anticipated its arrival in the theaters for quite a while.  However, my hesitation– it turned out– was well-grounded.  The movie was only awesome some of the time.

Awe. Some.

Don’t get me wrong; I liked the movie. It was visually stunning and the details were meticulous.  It seemed that whatever minutiae they found to be wrong visually with the first film, they’d caught, corrected and even perfected.  I’m sure it helped to have Guillermo del Toro at the helm.  After all, the one who brought us Pan’s Labyrinth couldn’t possibly go wrong.  Indeed, when it came to the various monsters that run amuck throughout the film, del Toro certainly didn’t disappoint.  The rich (and often artistic) cinematography had his unmistakable signature too.  And the fight scenes, especially those between Hellboy and Prince Nuada, were quite gripping, well-choreographed, and exceptionaly kinetic.

But— and it’s a big but– the movie also took us to the thresholds of campiness that I personally wasn’t willing to come near. I can deal with the “Oh, crap” bylines and other unspoken/unstated examples of the ridiculous, which are at the very nucleus of this franchise and are what make the roguish characters so darn likable. But, to include a scene where Hellboy and Abe suddenly break into song was, in a word, senseless (pronounced “useless”).

Are you confused about my title then?  Don’t be.  I did like the movie.  So much so that I would probably own it once it comes out on DVD.  However, this doesn’t remove the fact that it wasn’t completely awesome.  It was just awe…some.


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