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14 July 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Or, as I think of it, The Day I Lost Interest in Benicio del Toro. Now, the special effects in this one are great, and the fact that I was incredibly disappointed with this movie does not necessarily mean that others will be--so if you intend to watch it in the cinema, be aware that spoilers most definitely follow:

--No more Lovecraft! That's right--Hollywood has dumbed down Lovecraft-inspired references (in this case, the Ogdru Jihad; the Seven Gods of Chaos from the actual Hellboy comics) into references to "the Devil." Hellboy is no longer Rama-Anung-Rama, construct of the Ogdru Jihad and bearer of the Right Hand of Fate; now he is Rama-Anung-Rama, "Son of the Fallen One." Yawn.
--Lots of Harry Potter! The occult-conspiracy element of this movie is taken almost entirely from Harry Potter, with the occassional nod to the Lord of the Rings movies--and one reference I believe to be a nod to Willow. Now, don't get me wrong; the fairies in this movie are visually stunning--but they are ENTIRELY derivative. The visual appeal is taken almost straight from El Laberintino del Fauno, del Toro's Spanish-language fairie movie (for some reason re-named in English as "Pan's Labyrinth"), and the "Troll Market" which was such a major plot-point is quite OBVIOUSLY Diagon Alley.
--War! Let's see--a long time ago, the King of Faerie got into an ideological war with humankind, and killed lots of people with his "indestructible Golden Army" in an unstoppable advance. At the last minute, he developed a conscience, and decided to rely on diplomacy rather than continue the war. Today, his son has decided to pursue the war and lead the Golden Army against his own father's wishes and the wishes of the other rulers of Faerie. In the end, he accomplishes nothing except killing people and destroying beautiful things--and of course, the "real" heroes have to stop him.
Gee, I wonder to what Hollywood was attempting to draw an analogy there?
--Gay Marriage! See, while they got rid of my favorite part of the original Hellboy movie (the Lovecraftian influence), they kept my least favorite part (the ridiculous love story between Hellboy and Liz). In fact, in this movie, Liz is pregnant with twins by Hellboy (yawn). When BPRD becomes publicly known in this movie, "certain religous groups protest inter-species marriage" and throw rocks at Hellboy when he stands next to Liz. That's right--so, if you are part of those "certain religious groups" (Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, et al.) who oppose nonstandard--let's say homosexual--marriage, you're by extension just like those people throwing rocks at Hellboy while he's "just trying to help them." Of course, this ignores the fact that demons aren't a species, Hellboy and Liz weren't married, and--if we're going to take the whole "occult conspiracy" element of the movie seriously--various cultures have records of demonically-conceived children... and it never ends well.

I had been REALLY looking forward to this movie, too. It just proves my friend's previous point about critics giving higher ratings to movies with hippie-liberal leanings...

4 comments:

bluebird said...

Hm, Hub and I watched this last night. I found it scary and strangely amusing (was it supposed to be a comedy?)... I liked the special effects.

Gnostic Paladin said...

Well, it was an action movie with humor--which the better action movies usually have.
If you liked the special effects, have you seen Del Toro's previous movie, "Pan's Labyrinth?" (Literally, "The Labyrinth of the Faun," but that's what happens when Hollywood releases a foreign-language film...)

bluebird said...

I LOVED "Pan's Labyrinth"!!

If you like that, then you would also like "The Fall". You can watch the trailer on youtube. Hub and I loved it.

Gnostic Paladin said...

I'll definitely check it out!