Sunday, July 27, 2008
Attack of the Sequels; Hellboy Dos
I've now got the Hellboy sequel under my belt. No, I haven't slept on it, in fact the least amount of time possible from viewing to writing has occurred. But it's kinda late, I'm kinda tired, and it was only 'kinda' good. Was I let down? A little. Did I have huge expectations going in and didn't think for a moment it would disappoint? Yup.
Okay, Ron Perlman is Hellboy, period. Yes, the makeup is spot-on and near comic perfect. Yes, the dialog is also spot-on comic perfect (which is a nice by-product of having the creator tagging along for the ride). But the way he wears the makeup, the way he delivers those lines; he is Hellboy. I know that's an incredibly simple way to say it but sums it up perfectly. The rest of the cast could use some work, although the pyrokineticist, Liz, was much better in this one than the first, but I still need to "feel" more from her character in terms of emotion. Abe Sapien was good too, I missed the original voice, but at least he had much more screen time this go-round, however the movies have painted him up to be more and more the nerdy scholar type. This is unfortunate, 'cause I remember him pulling some slick moves and harpooning a few key bad guys in the comics. The ectoplasmic psychic, Krauss made an appearance this time, but his role wasn't exactly aligned with the comics, which is fine, there's always a little wiggle room in the comic-to-screen translations.
The movie itself just didn't feel like a Hellboy comic (or movie). Yes, the character Hellboy was perfect, but it felt like he had wandered onto a neighboring set that was filming a crazy sci-fi/fantasy movie. The visuals, as lauded, weren't a letdown, it was a pretty colorful palette of imagery, all fantastic and unique. But this might've been a problem as well; it was almost too fantastic, and at the sake of the story too. The 'underworld' inhabited by fairy tale denizens was painted on such a grand scale that the unbelievable seemed real, err, surreal, but still occupied a forgotten space in our own world. There were some minor hiccups with the story's continuity itself, or little hang-ups involving the characters, but all these things were easily overlooked in the bigger picture.
Was it good? Yeah, it was a good flick, and it did its job by adding more depth to the Hellboy mythos. It could've been tweaked a little here and there for some of the minor stuff. Larger expanses of the movie could've been given a bit better of a once-over, but it still worked out just fine in the end. A couple of one-liners that come to mind are "whimsical" and "comical" which are two words I normally wouldn't think to put at the top of a list to describe what I would think would be an "excellent" Hellboy sequel. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go retcon the heck out of my comic book top five list, haha...