After the success of Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro decided to give the sequel to Hellboy a fantasy atmosphere. With a budget of $85 million ($20 million more than its predecessor), The Golden Army is a superior sequel with a lot more humor, wall-to-wall action, and wonderful characters from before–as well as introducing some new ones. Ron Perlman, again, plays Hellboy with the wit and charm as the original.
Here, he and his team of paranormal researchers–his pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), Dr. Manning (Jeffrey Tambor), and a German ectoplasmic psychic named Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth MacFarlane, the only movie where he doesn’t turn in a bad performance) to take down Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), a creature from a mystical underworld who has collected pieces of the crown, so he could be in charge of a massive army of mechanical soldiers, known as “The Golden Army”. Resulting in a battle between the humans and his people.
I love the attention to detail in the wonderful sets, particularly the troll market where Hellboy and his colleagues go through. I’m certain it will take many repeated viewings to catch everything going on in that sequence. For someone who is a sucker for fantasy, the atmosphere works for this kind of movie. With its great action set pieces, the movie also contains some of the most hilarious moments in any superhero movie. I love the scene where Abe and Hellboy discuss issues about women, after Abe falls in love with Princess Nuala (Anna Walton), and sing Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You” while drinking some beer. It’s hard not to crack a smile during that scene.
It’s a shame to hear Hellboy III will never see the light of day. I will miss the great adventures with these actors, and I’ll watch them for the rest of my life, especially Hellboy II: The Golden Army.