hellboy_2.jpgrating-4.5Hellboy was one of the better comic-related films that has been made. It was a fun, exciting, and good-looking film and was generally well-liked and well-received. There are probably those that didn't like it. I won't be talking to you in this review; we probably have nothing to talk about in general.

Many will argue about whether Hellboy was one of the best or the best comic adaptation to be put to film. I enjoyed it but didn't quite deify it. It's hard not to enjoy the movie, though, with its snarky, three-dimensional characters and fun action. Even the villains are likable in their way. It was a good movie, though one could perhaps argue that it could have been paced somewhat better.

If there were any flaws, or if you perhaps claimed that Hellboy was perfect, you'll be interested to know that Hellboy II is better, stronger, faster and corrects any flaws of the previous movie. It is, all around, a more streamlined movie and highlights all the strengths and erases all the weaknesses of the first film.

A more focused plotline, the deceptively simplistic tale features Hellboy and friends attempting to save the world yet again, this time by stopping an embittered elf prince from breaking a truce between his people and humanity, unleashing unstopable automatons to kill all humans. Along the way, there is the requisite humor, bravado, character development, drama, and action, as well as large things with tentacles. It wouldn't be Hellboy without an injection of Lovecraft.

As usual, the acting is good and even Seth McFarlane can't fuck up the movie. Doug Jones' voice being used for Abe Sapien isn't quite the delight of David Hyde Pierce, but it's something one grows used to quickly. He may lack the excellent inflections of Pierce, but he's still a good actor. All the old favorites are still there and Selma Blair seems more comfortable with her role this go-round. Perlman was born to play the role and he performs like it.

Guillermo Del Toro's writing and direction excel more with every film and the visual style and fantasticism of Pan's Labyrinth are added to the Hellboy tone to create an even better pallette to work from. He doesn't aim for flash, even if much of the movie is grand CGI work, but keeps things to beautiful and full-bodied look without being overindulgent.

All in all, Hellboy II remains one of the most reliable films to catch this summer, with the expected level of enjoyment and none of the flaws.

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