Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (Steelbook) Blu-ray

Guillermo del Toro, 2008

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Film Details

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Produced in 2008

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - American film

MovieMail's Review

With its skilful blend of magical realism and fairytale horror, the sublimely beautiful Pan's Labyrinth (2006) announced Mexican director Guillermo del Toro as one of the most original talents in contemporary World Cinema.

With Hellboy II, a sequel to his 2004 cult favourite, del Toro has used his new-found clout to up the budget and broaden the spectacle, and - most importantly - to stamp his distinctive creative vision on what could have been yet another comic book franchise.

True to form, the array of creatures and settings are truly breathtaking; there are single frames of Hellboy II that contain more wonder and imagination than a Harry Potter all-night marathon. Witness thousands of tooth fairies, hungry for human enamel; a pussycat-eating troll who has disguised itself as a dear old lady (and who is terrified of canaries), an angel of death whose wings are studded with swivelling eyes, and - in a sequence which recalls the spectacle and pathos of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke - an epic battle between Hellboy and a giant forest god.

For the uninitiated, Hellboy (played by frequent del Toro collaborator, Ron Perlman) is a demon who was snatched from the underworld as a baby by Nazi occultists in WWII. Rescued by the Allies, he was raised by a kindly professor of the paranormal (John Hurt) to protect mankind from the monsters which go bump in the night.

In Hellboy’s latest adventure, an environmentally-minded Elven prince seeks to unleash an indestructible clockwork army upon mankind. As with del Toro's earlier films, Hellboy II succeeds by combining the conventional with the unexpected; in-between the good-versus-evil bar-room pugilism the lovingly-detailed fantasy netherworld is explored and the film’s offbeat characters are given room to develop.

More than anything else, Hellboy II is a character piece, and with his adolescent insecurities and mood-swings – not to mention his fondness for kittens - Hellboy makes an unlikely hero. Hellboy's colourful troupe of sidekicks includes his pyrokinetic on-off girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), a psychic amphibian (Doug Jones, who provides the physical performances behind many of del Toro’s creatures) and, in a new addition to the team, a German scientist who has been reduced to a smoky ectoplasm trapped inside a deep-sea diver’s suit.

Del Toro's work has included mainstream titles such as Mimic (1997) and Blade II (2002) as well as quirkier fare such as Cronos (1993) and The Devil's Backbone (2001) (the latter, like Pan’s Labyrinth, a tale of magical realism told against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War). Hellboy II arguably represents the best of both worlds, combining broad comedy and blockbuster action with quiet moments of beauty. In a summer already crowded with superheroes, Hellboy II holds its head (and horns) above the rest.

Milo Wakelin on 22nd August 2008
Author of 106 reviews

Film Description

A second big screen outing for the popular cult superhero Hellboy (Ron Perlman). In this highly acclaimed instalment, an environmentally-minded Elven prince seeks to unleash an indestructible clockwork army upon mankind in a bid to take over the Earth, and Hellboy and his team are all that stand in their way. As with del Toro's earlier films, Hellboy II combines the conventional with the unexpected; in between the good-versus-evil bar-room pugilism the lovingly-detailed fantasy netherworld is explored and the film's offbeat characters are given room to develop.

Blu-ray Details

Certificate: 12

Publisher: Universal Pictures

Length: 120 mins

Format: Blu-ray Colour

Region: B

Released: 4th February 2013

Cat No: 8289016

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