Hellboy II : The Golden Army (2008)

Director : Guillermo del Toro

The movie starts in 1955 with a young Hellboy looking forward to a visit from Santa. Professor Broom was reading a nighttime story about a Golden Army to Hellboy.

Flash forward to today. At an auction of ancient items a blond elf-like creature named Prince Nurada comes for an ancient royal crown. Meanwhile at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Hellboy and Liz are fighting. When a call comes in the team heads to Manhattan to fight some paranormal creatures.

Prince Nuada and his sister Princess Nuala appear before their father King Balor to explain why they have broken the ancient truce with the humans. Prince Nuada wants to wage war. King Balor condemns his son to death, but Prince Nuada fights his way out and then kills his father, taking another part of the Golden Crown needed to call out the Golden Army. Princess Nuala has the third crown piece that Prince Nuada needs.

A new agent comes to watch over Hellboy : Johann Krauss, a disembodied ectoplasmic spirit with psychic abilities, who inhabits a containment suit, without which his form would eventually dissipate. Johann seems to know everything.

Johann and Hellboy lead the team to the Troll Market where Abe meets Princess Nuala who wants to keep her brother from unleashing the Golden Army and destroying humanity. When one of Prince Nuada's creatures, Wink, with a metal arm that shoots on a chain, attacks them, Hellboy comes to their rescue.

When Prince Nuada hears about Wink he finds Hellboy to get his revenge. He has some great little devices and he releases a jumping bean from one that hits the water and turns in a a huge forest god monster. Prince Nuarda tries to persuade Hellboy not to shooyt the monster. He tells him he should be on their team, the last of their kind. But Hellboy shoots and kills it anyways. Despite all he has done, including saving a baby, the police draw their guns and the crowd shouts insults at Hellboy. The get Liz all fired up.

Liz decides that she has to leave for a little while to think about what is going on. Johann tries to talk to Hellboy about his temper and then they have a fight. Hellboy release the gas from Johann's suit but then the gaseous spirit beats Hellboy up.

It sseems Abe has fallen for the Princess and in probably the best musical scene in any superhero movie, Abe and a pining Hellboy sing along with Barry Maniow to "I Can't Smile Without You." Worth seeing the movie for this scene alone.

When Prince Nuada comes over for his sister Abe and Hellboy are both drunk. Nuada stabs Hellboy, maybe fatally, and tells Abe to save him he must bring him the missing piece of the crown. Liz, Abe and Johann bring Hellboy to Bethmoora where they hope he can be healed. They meet another one of del Toro's creatures (who looks just like one from Pan's Labyrinth) who tells them that it is Hellboy's destiny to bring about the destruction of the world. Liz still picks Hellboy and the creature heals him and then Liz gives Hellboy a reason to live.

Abe gives Nuada the third part of the crown to save Luana. Nuada unleashes the Golden Army on them. Johann goes to a gaseous form and takes one over, and begins fighting the others. Hellboy kills a bunch, but they rebuild themselves and keep coming. Hellboy then challenges Nuada for the right to rule the army. The problem is that whatever happens to Nuada also happens to his sister. Hellboy wins the fight and takes the crown and as he turns Nuada goes to stab him, but Luana then stabs herself, killing them both.

Guillermo del Toro is a great director and he is especially good at creating wonderful Star-Wars-like looking creatures such as the ones we see at the Troll Market. Really good dialogue for a superhero movie, along with a great look, and a good story make for a really good superhero story. It may have been better than the first Hellboy.