Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo Del Toro

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo Del Toro
In summer crowded with comic-based blockbusters budgeted in the $150 million-plus range, Guillermo del Toro trumped them all by milking every cent out of his modest $85 million passion project. The sequel to del Toro’s underrated Hellboy ups the ante on every front. Addressing concerns of a slightly muddled plot in Hellboy’s first outing, del Toro worked closely with character creator Mike Mignola to develop an original story in the mythology with a tersely scripted objective. The Golden Army opens with a flashback to Hellboy’s childhood, the demonic youth requiring a bedtime story from Professor Broom, and the movie capitalizing an opportune moment to provide back-story. This tale of an ancient war and truce between elf and mankind turns out to be more than a simple fairytale though, acting as an allegory to the encroachment of man over the rest of the earth. The end of the elves is imminent and the vicious Prince Nuada refuses to go quietly into the night, setting off a violent chain of events in his attempt to awaken the Golden Army, which necessitates the intervention of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, namely Hellboy, Abe Sapien and Liz Shurman. Their encounters with Prince Nuada lead the team of devastatingly powerful but hilariously "human” superheroes into battles against piranha-like tooth fairies and a giant mechanical fisted troll, and through some of the most magical and beautiful sets ever shot. One of the greatest visual feasts in film history, the "Troll Market” is explored in a behind-the-scenes tour with del Toro. It, in addition to a series of "Set Visit” features and del Toro’s insightful and forthcoming discourse on both the deleted scenes and feature commentary tracks, is a valuable look at the process involved in creating true cinematic wizardry. It’s an astounding film and DVD that could only be bettered by the special edition version. If The Dark Knight is the "best” comic movie ever made, then Hellboy II: The Golden Army is the most purely enjoyable. (Universal)