Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Rated 3.0

Returning with the second installment of the Hellboy franchise (one last stop before disappearing for the next few years in Hobbitville), director Guillermo del Toro at times seems as if he’s using what was left on the cutting-room floor of Pan’s Labyrinth. It comes as no surprise that there is a demon on the government payroll, and genre stalwart Ron Perlman’s Hellboy is easily the most entertaining superhero on the Hollywood Rolodex. This time around, he’s cranky with the stirrings of wanting to come out of the PR closet while his squeeze is even crankier for some (soon to be revealed) reason. Meanwhile, C-3PO-esque sidekick Abe Sapien has fallen gills over fins for some Elven princess with a bad case of eczema and pinkeye. The bad news is that her twin brother has just whacked their father and is dead set on raising the eponymous army in some elfquest to erase the human race. Issues. Serious issues. Of course, the narrative piffles are set into place in order to kinda tie the big slam-bam set pieces together. For the most part it works. When things get moving here, the thinness of the narrative doesn’t seem all that troublesome. That is, until the third act, when a cinematic sugar crash sets in just before the final epic confrontation promised by the film’s title.