The Prince is back. And he wants revenge.
No, this isn’t some Nigerian scam. This is one man’s critique of Hellboy 2, a mid-2000’s sequel to the cult classic eponymous movie, Hellboy.
Often cinematically considered as one of the standards for urban fantasy, this franchise raked in barges full of cash on its way to cementing itself in the millennial consciousness. Fraught with action and conflict, the second installment offers an experience worth shelling out a few bucks for.
The Plot Thickens
As stated in the original terse paragraph, Prince Nuada has returned, and he wants blood. Having been exiled by his elven father at the end of Hellboy, Nuada wants to restore the crown. However, this is not any crown. It is the magical crown used to command the Golden Army.
It wouldn’t be any fun if the Prince simply meandered around and stumbled upon the three pieces of the sacred and powerful crown, now would it? Of course not. All manner of bad stuff happens as the nefarious, conceited royal son strives to indulge his basest desires. Blind avarice and a lust for authority drives Nuada. However, the man finds some…interesting and unusual allies in his quest to destroy humanity. In the nascent stages of his campaign of terror, the antagonist deploys a contingent of tooth fairies. Yes, tooth fairies. It might be worth watching for that alone. Weaponized, militant tooth fairies. That gets a vote for originality.
Moving on, when we are reintroduced to Hellboy, he’s immersed in chaos. But, it is chaos of a much more banal and relatable sort: Hellboy is having some girl troubles. As Hellboy begins defying orders and rushing to investigate a string of murders tied to the infamous tooth fairies and Prince, his girlfriend reveals she is pregnant and everyone tries to stop the protagonist from doing what has to be done.
Overall, the plot seemed a bit cookie-cutter and thin. Bad guy returns to avenge the crime, only to be met by a defiant-but-resilient good guy with daddy issues and girl problems. Maybe it’s me, but it seems that may have been tried a few thousand times before. To be fair, that plot exists and thrives because it is so universally relatable, visceral, and compelling. Working on that, while the plot seems too predictable at times, the creators made some effort to insert unorthodox elements, such as the aforementioned fairies.
Truth is, we all kind of want to be Hellboy.
Four Stars for Hellboy II
Overall, I would rate this movie a solid 4 stars and recommend it. It gets a few bonus points for being much more family-friendly than many other Hollywood products produced after the 1970’s.