I saw this in theaters on opening weekend after watching the first one earlier that day. Both were fun, but I actually like the story and action better in the sequel.

Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) team up with renowned, eccentric scientist Johann Krauss (Seth McFarlane) to stop an evil prince (Luke Goss) from releasing and taking control of The Golden Army, a near indestructible army of machines that can wipe out humanity. The film manages to balance riveting action (Hellboy takes on a giant, tentacle laden monster while holding an infant, Shoot Em Up style) and tongue in cheek comedy quite well for a super hero movie. While it doesn’t come close in comparing to other cape capers of the summer (Iron Man, The Dark Knight), Hellboy knows where it stands. It excels, mostly, in Del Toro’s vision of the creatures in Hellboy’s world- a scene that brings the team into a black market of sorts while wearing glasses that see through all spells and guises is breathtaking. The world of creatures is like a mix between Pan’s Labyrinth and Diagon Alley of the Harry Potter films.

Nominations:

Best Makeup
Therefore it’s quite deserved to see those creatures, almost all results of practical make up effects, land itself a nomination in this category. Del Toro’s creatures from Pan’s took home all sorts of gold back in 2007, so it certainly gives me hope. The contenders in the category are very diverse and it could really go any way this year.

***½