• Tag Archives Abe Sapien
  • Canister X Movie Review #38: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

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    Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
    Written by Guillermo del Toro
    Directed by Guillermo del Toro
    Runtime 120 min.
    4.5 out of 5

    Long ago a war was fought between mythical creatures and humanity and, during that war, King Balor, leader of an elfin race, had an unstoppable Golden Army created for him, one that laid waste to humanity. The army marched and destroyed everything in its path. Amidst the piles of bodies and oceans of blood, the king felt great regret so a truce was made between mythical creatures and humankind. The agreement: the mythical creatures stuck to living in the forests whereas humanity could have the land. As well, the special crown that King Balor (or anyone of royal blood) used to control the Golden Army was split into three parts, of which two were kept for himself, the third given to humans. Also, the Golden Army was hidden somewhere on Earth in dormancy, locked away.

    King Balor’s son, Prince Nuada (Luke Goss), didn’t like the agreement so exiled himself and waited for the right time to strike and take control of the Army and remove the humans from the planet.

    Enter present day, where business flows as usual for Hellboy (Ron Pearlman) and the rest of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). That is, until, Nauda resurfaces and begins slaughtering humans as he tries to piece the crown together so he can control the Golden Army and find out the secret location as to where the Army is hidden.

    To add to the B.P.R.D.’s distress, Hellboy and Liz (Selma Blair) are having issues. She wants him more domesticated; he wants to remain free-spirited. Also, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) is taken with Nuada’s twin sister, Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) and, unfortunately, she is linked to Nuada so everything that happens to him happens to her as well. Nuala wants to stop her brother for what he has planned.

    The B.P.R.D. seems to have met its match, especially when things turn south and the Golden Army rises once more.


    I was super late seeing this movie. In fact, I just saw it prior to this review. It wasn’t for a lack of trying either, but life happens and other movies come out and, well, the next thing you know it’s almost two years later and you’re finally playing catch up. Let me just say it was worth the wait. I was a fan of the first Hellboy and though this one carries with it the same undertone as the first, the overall feeling of it is different: the first one was more monster-oriented and this one was more fantasy-oriented. I felt at times like I was watching a cross between Lord of the Rings and Van Helsing.

    Ron Perlman as Hellboy was pure awesome. I love the down-to-earth nature of the character plus the fact that despite him being a kind of rock ‘n’ roll tough guy, he’s really just a big kid underneath all that red.

    Selma Blair was feisty and dark as always, and she and Perlman had excellent chemistry in their Liz/Hellboy relationship.

    It was cool, too, to see Abe Sapien get more of the emotional spotlight in this flick with him falling in love with Princess Nuala. At first I thought the dude was all about books and that was it. Looks like there’s a tender heart underneath those gills after all.

    The layered storytelling was great, and there was a sense of history to the Army, the elfin race, and everything on Hellboy’s side of the fence. It wasn’t just some standard good-guys-versus-bad-guys stuff. Cool beans.

    The action was superb, hardcore and fun. The epic scale for some of the battles rocked, especially when Hellboy goes up against the big green guy that grows trees. Cool fight and Hellboy’s big hero moment/pose on top of the hotel sign hanging onto that baby was comical yet cool as well.

    Was this as good as the first? Hard to say. Tied for sure, though the first one is still my favorite.

    This sucker’s worth 4 and a half cigars in my book, though.


  • Canister X Movie Review #37: Hellboy (2004)

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    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Hellboy (2004)
    Written by Guillermo del Toro
    Directed by Guillermo del Toro
    Runtime 122 min.
    4.5 out of 5

    A baby demon comes through an interdimensional portal originally created by the Nazis near the end of World War II, but is rescued by the Allies before he could fall into enemy hands. Fast forward some sixty years later to the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. The baby demon is grown up—now called “Hellboy”—and he works for the BPRD.

    When an evil hellhound known as Sammael is unleashed, Hellboy and the BPRD are sent to stop it. What ensues is a supernatural battle between Good and Evil.


    This movie is a superhero monster movie, two of my favorite genres rolled into one. You got Hellboy (Ron Perlman), the lone gunman type but with a heart of gold; Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), the intellectual who is a humanoid amphibian; Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), who is a distraught young woman with major issues and also has a hard time controlling her pyrokinetic abilities; and Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt), the scholar and father-figure who guides the group.

    As an amateur scholar of the supernatural world myself and all that that entails, the idea of the BPRD really appeals to me as I think modern society is very close-minded on the subject when the very world we live in—never mind all that’s beyond it—suggests that there is much more to our existence than what we can perceive with our five senses. Too many accounts of supernatural happenings to discount that. But that’s not what this review is about, so onward.

    Hellboy is an exciting movie with loads of action. Watching Hellboy fight is, well, just plain cool. Very brutal, and is sheer brawn mixed with skill. (He also wings things, too.) There’s some real good humor in this flick, as well.

    With certain superhero movies you could swap out the lead with someone else and wouldn’t miss a step, but with Hellboy, Ron Perlman did such a fantastic job with the character that it’s hard to envision anyone else. Kind of like how Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark or Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. It’s difficult to picture someone else in the role. Perlman played it straight, played it tough, and played it fun all the while making you believe this big red creature is a real person with real heart.

    I’m so glad they made a sequel and as of the writing of this review, there’s rumors of a third one starting up to round out the trilogy. I, for one, can’t wait to see it.