|Genre:||Science Fiction & Fantasy|
Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Aug 18, '08
Don't get me wrong, I loved Nolan's The Dark Knight as much as any four-eyed fat geek, but Hellboy II: The Dark Army kicks Homo Chiroptera ass!
While TDK was quite possibly the most plausibly realistic interpretation of a comic book world that anyone has ever seen, del Toro's vision in Hellboy II portrays a world filled with wonderful nightmares, a delirium of fantastical imagery that evokes something entirely different from Nolan's gothic paradise. Watching it, you can't help but have a visceral reaction to the creatures and characters that he and his team at Cafe FX and DDT have created; a shiver of disgust at the bridge troll, awe at the rise of a forest god, and admiration of the deadly grace of the night elves.
If you've watched del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, you'll find alot of similarities between the two films. The aforementioned creature designs, the perpetual motion of his camera, the fairy tale feel of the story, and characters that keep a veiwer invested. If I had to compare this to something, it'd be Jackson's Lord of the Rings.
Though the Dark Knight's actors are still heads above the acting here, there is something more lovable about Hellboy and his crew. In TDK, everyone was out of their gourd. In a way the cast here is bigger than life because they're so human. Big Red and Liz just wants to fit in, Fishsticks just wants to find someone like himself, Jeffrey Tambor's character want to relax, and Nuada just wants everything back the way it was. There is something so extraordinary about actors that can convey the emotion that many of these guys do through the all that makeup.
Granted, I've never read the Hellboy comics (on my list of things-to-do-eventually), and I can't give you the perspective of a fan of Mignola's series. As a fan of Mignola's Marvel work however, I can say that he and del Toro are perfect creative partners. Sort of like Burton and Depp, or the Watchoskis... or Gumby and Pokey. Mignola's work has always had a dark twist to it, but maintains a clean, linear look to it. Guillermo's storytelling is surprisingly similar; sinister, but enchanting.
Adding to the fact that this is a kick-ass movie, the fact that they have got these great Mezco Toys that are already sold out in the states (and cost about 1.3k a pop here in PI) and you have the makings of a geek classic.