Hellboy II: animated prologue and early review

Yeah, yeah.? It’s becoming apparent that The Dark Knight is the greatest movie ever made.? All the early screenings are hitting the net and you can’t cross the street without people throwing around superlatives like Godfather II or Heat or epicfuckingmoviethat’sthebestthingevermade. It also doesn’t hurt that the push for Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar has already started.

Be that as it may, we can now turn our attention to promoting another movie.? Hellboy. I tried explaining the premise behind the franchise to a co-worker a few days ago (he also celebrated the recent SJC Second Amendment decision, there is no correlation to what I’m about to say, except that I thought you should know this.? Also, I’m going to get him to take me to a shooting range.? See, dreams do come true!) and he was just baffled by it.

I was like, so Satan’s child gets sucked through a dimensional portal to Earth by the Nazis during WW II, except he’s rescued by a benevolent American and raised like a human and he protects us from mystical? creatures.? He likes to drink and cuss and eat Snickers and he loves cats.? Basically, he’s like a petulant teenager, except he has horns and a huge right hand that may or may not one day bring about the apocalypse.

I wish I captured his facial expression.? Priceless.? But my guess is he’s now intrigued enough to go and see Hellboy II: The Golden Army when it opens July 11.

According to John Anderson of Variety, “In a previous life, del Toro might have been a maker of clocks — clocks inhabited by gargoyles instead of cuckoos, and which exploded on the hour. But there’s a precision to the visual ornateness of “Hellboy II” that exceeds even that of its predecessor. It’s certainly a more deliberately (and successfully) funny movie, thanks largely to the drily ironic Hellboy — Ron Perlman, who returns with the rest of the cast, and without whom an onscreen Hellboy would have been almost unthinkable.”

Anderson thinks that del Toro got a huge push from Universal, but if anything the studio hampered del Toro’s vision the first time around almost neutering the franchise from the onset.? Given a second chance, it is abundantly clear that del Toro’s chutzpah oozes out of every frame and second of film.? To call him a visionary director would be to short change just what an impressive run he has been on over his last four or five pictures.??

“But the reason the movie plays so well has nothing to do with the leading man’s paternal instincts; rather, it’s rooted in del Toro’s rococo instincts for the stylishly creepy and crawlingly macabre, his clockmaker’s preoccupation with detail, and a flair for combining state-of-the-art technology with his taste for the antique, the gothic, the Catholic. Not to disparage the f/x guys, but what’s onscreen in “Hellboy II” is all about the seismic eruptions in del Toro’s head. Comparing his work to most fantasy cinema is like comparing cave drawings to the Cathedral of Cologne.”

Exactly what I was trying to say.? This prologue sets up the story for the movie and it’s totes awesome.

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