Hellboy 2

January 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm (Movies and TV)

In a year that also gave us Iron Man and The Dark Knight, it’s kind of hard to address Hellboy 2: The Golden Army with a straight face. When your 4-year-old, who has seen the movie before, is able to recount the plot in accurate detail, you know you can let your brain take a 2-hour lunch break. This movie requires that I put my “Movie Snob” on the shelf for its duration because Hellboy 2 is not meant to be taken seriously. And for once, that’s kind of refreshing.

Entertaining, it is…but only when you suspend your expectation for anything approached as seriously and with as much care as Iron Man. Fun, it is…but only when you realize that not only is nobody going to match Heath Ledger’s acting in The Dark Knight, but nobody is even trying. Say what you will, but Hellboy 2: The Golden Shower Army accurately gauges its place and purpose, and I have to respect that.

Needing to see this film because it was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Makeup, I dreaded the experience more than I disliked it, even if it’s clearly a “boy movie.” Who can keep from chuckling at a lovesick amphibian singing Barry Manilow? That Red Man, he gets ahead, man. And if you suspend all logic and laws of physics, it’s an amusing ride.

The one interesting thing about Hellboy 2 was seeing Kath & Kim’s Selma Blair in a role as a strong, smart, nurturing woman, 180 degrees different from the useless bimbo she plays on TV. I can’t decide whether this means she does an extra good job on TV, or whether it means she’s being underutilized on TV. I suspect it’s both.

The makeup, I’m guessing, was nominated for its deft combination of rubber prosthetics and actual makeup. I shudder to think about how long it would have taken poor Ron Perlman to get all those layers of red stuff off. I don’t think the makeup here is anything that’s going to outperform the age makeup for Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button…but I can at least appreciate where they were coming from.


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