Following up from the also impressive origin story, this outing sees Big Red and the team travelling across the globe as they seek to intervene in a war between worlds as the Prince of the Elves Nuada tries to bring his people out of mythology and into reality. Everything that made the first film is turned up to ten and one scene in particular gives cause to consider this not only the best film in the series but also one of the best comic book films ever made.
Mike Mignola’s comic masterpiece is being revived currently by Newcastle’s own Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers) with David Harbour (Stranger Things) playing the lead and looking the part. For me though not allowing Guillermo Del Toro to finish his gothic fantasy saga is one of the great missed opportunities in modern cinema. In his second and consequently final outing as Hellboy, Ron Perlman brings the range, funny and fury to a character that evolves leaps and bounds through the film. Changes in the workplace see ectoplasmic boss Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth McFarlane) drafted in to keep Red on the leash, whilst partner Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) deals with an unexpected pregnancy.
The morally complex storyline involving the extinction of multiple races of fantasy species makes for thought provoking drama, and the embracing of the weirdness of the story helps unshackle the film from the formula of the superhero genre. No doubt this film isn’t for everyone but there is truly no story like it, and fans of the first film and the source material are richly rewarded. No expense is spared with visually spectacular scenes and thrilling action set pieces ensuring the film garnered wide critical acclaim. The funniness of the first film is dialled up also with ‘Hellboy II’ cruising past the five laugh test.
Lush greenery engulfs the New York streets in a scene that is as visually captivating as anything you'll see, with the heavy consequences giving real emotional depth
The best of the film however is in the scene underneath Brooklyn bridge, where Red embraces his inner Lone Wolf and Cub cradling a baby whilst trying to fight off the giant Elemental. Lush greenery engulfs the New York streets in a scene that is as visually captivating as anything you'll see, with the heavy consequences giving real emotional depth also. It’s truly riveting stuff. The only negative against this film is that Del Toro was never given a chance to finish his trilogy. One can only imagine what he had planned for the final film.