110 min. minutes | Rated PG-13
After Schindler's List won seven Oscars, Steven Spielberg could've made whatever artsy, fancy-pants picture he wanted. Instead, dude turned around and made a sequel to Jurassic Park. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro found himself in a similar spot in 2006, when his acclaimed fantasy fable Pan's Labyrinth wowed arthouse crowds all over the world. Suddenly, del Toro found himself able to do pretty much whatever he wanted--and it turns out all he wanted was to revisit Hellboy, his 2004 comic book flick. For the record, The Lost World: Jurassic Park didn't win any Oscars, and Hellboy II probably won't either, but fuck it: That's not the point. The point, rather, is fun: In any other movie, it'd be a sign that things had gone seriously awry if a red demon and a blue talking fish got together, drank too much Tecate, and started slurring out a drunken duet, but in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, it kind of makes sense. About the only way I can describe the gorgeous, bizarre, and thoroughly entertaining Hellboy II is as an "epic-fantasy-action-comedy-romance": It's got parts that are awe-inspiring; its lush, bright colors are beautiful; and there are some kickass action scenes. There's also some clumsy comedy and a few ham-fisted emotional beats, but when the whole is this bizarre and cool and unique, it's hard to complain.
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