Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hellboys 1 and 2

I followed the good doctor's advice and sat myself down to watch a Hellboy double-bill this week.

While the froth of fun and visual invention never really subsided in the first film, at times it felt a little bit like a pilot for an expensive new television series.

The same can't be said for the latest installment however, which is not only the best of the summer's super-hero flicks, it's also possibly one of the most creatively effervescent movies of the last couple of decades.

There's a clear debt to Star Wars, George Lucas's now creatively-moribun franchise, especially in the central Troll Market scene, which the studio apparently pressured Guillermo del Toro to drop. He was right to resist as it is probably the scene that serves to raise this movie up to classic status - though the final fight between Ron Perlman and Luke Goss on the moving cogs is pretty astounding as well (...and how great are those tooth fairies?)

If I have any criticism to make, it would be that Del Toro has left the character of Liz Sherman a little under-written, choosing instead to extract maximum comic potential from the other significant relationship in Anung un Rama's life, that with his pesco-mammal sidekick Abe Sapien.

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