Written by Robin Bell
Maybe people weren't baying out for a sequel to Hellboy after the original comic book adaptation from 2004, but there was a definite anticipation for Guillermo Del Toro's next offering after the beauty of Pan's Labyrinth. So, it was a surprise to hear that he was going back to Hellboy to do a sequel for Mike Mignola's eponymous character.
Building on the first films cult following the sequel has had more of a marketing push and a release as a summer blockbuster. This resulted in it performing well at the US box office. It deserves to do well; it's an imaginative, fun film. The antithesis of The Dark Knight in tone, which here is light and comedic with playful visuals and situations a constant. Highlights including the tooth fairies, the troll market and the drunken rendition of Barry Manilow's Can’t Smile Without You.
The downside to this rampant invention is that the plot suffers. Whilst the themes come across strongly and seem very personal to Del Toro the story itself limps along and moves in fits and starts sidelined by interesting visuals. This ensures the Harryhausen like ending doesn't hit with as much impact as it should, although there is a neat set up for a third Hellboy film at the end which I would still love to see even if Hellboy 2: The Golden Army didn't fire on all cylinders for me. Who knows when another Hellboy film could be possible, with Del Toro in New Zealand working on the Hobbit we could be waiting an awful long time.