del Toro and Ron Perlman have always seemed like the perfect match for the Mike Mignola created Hellboy. They balanced the sense of horror and humour in the first film, and then expanded on everything in the second, which is my next stop in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies.
If the first film was about introducing the character, and punching paranormal nazis in the face, then the second film is very much about putting the building blocks aside and diving full force into the fantastical world created by Mignola, and brought to life dazzlingly on screen with del Toro’s brilliant visual acumen.
This time around Hellboy, Abe (Doug Jones), and Liz (Selma Blair) are going up the mystical forces that humanity shares the world with in an uneasy truce. Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) has returned and is ready to declare war on the human race for their greed, destruction of the planet, and their pushing out of the creatures they share the world with, the elves, trolls, fairies, elementals and more.
Hellboy has to stop him, but Nuada isn’t entirely wrong.
Things are complicated with a new team leader, the ectoplasmic Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and Nuada’s twin, Nuala (Anna Walton).
Mignola worked on the story with del Toro, and the two of them created something truly enjoyable, that plays to both of their strengths as you can see their hands at work everywhere in creature and character design. They create a realm that just works, that is just askew from ours, but could be ours, if we could only see it that way.
Perlman is absolutely spot on as Hellboy, bringing a working class sensibility to the jobs he is sent out to do, grudgingly, as all he wants to do is hang out with his cats, drink beer, and be in love with Liz.
But there are complications on that front (again) too.
I love exploring Mignola’s world, I’ve devoured the comics, and delighted in the del Toro and Perlman collaborations. My one problem with them is that they feel too short. I could have sat through a truly epic horror-fantasy humour-filled film. And I wonder, if perhaps, a television series wouldn’t best serve the character.
I would love to see Perlman take on the role again, I would love more tales from del Toro and Mignola. But I suppose for now, and possibly ever, this is all we’ll be getting from them.
If you haven’t seen this one, or the first, check them out, and if you have maybe it’s time to watch them again, or pick up a copy of DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies, and find something else monstrous to watch tonight.