The film is often humorous, and its creatures are imaginative. However, fans of director del Toro’s other films will detect a certain sameness to some of the creatures shown here. Hellboy II also lags a little as it winds its way to a conclusion, with special effects taking prominence over story and character development. When it comes to summer movies, that’s no great sin—audiences that want to be “wowed” by the film’s visuals will be satisfied, and the story always can be developed in the inevitable Hellboy III. Nevertheless, in terms of telling an involving story, Hellboy II:  The Golden Army is a disappointing comedown from del Toro’s captivating Pan’s Labyrinth, which was among the best films of 2006.

The director recently signed on to remake The Hobbit and a planned sequel. He certainly has the imaginative force to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale to life, but we can only hope he brings more craft to the storytelling in those films, without leaving behind the striking visuals that have become his hallmark.

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at


  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Beer drinking and drunkenness.
  • Smoking:  Cuban cigars are offered as a form of payment, and are smoked.
  • Language/Profanity:  Lord’s name taken in vain; a few instances of foul language.
  • Sex/Nudity:  None.
  • Violence/Other:  The prince strikes a man with a sword and kills him; security guards are thrown through a door; a face-sucking creature latches onto a man; winged creatures attack and are squashed; gunfire; sword fighting and stabbing; a creature in the form of a woman prepares to eat a cat; punching/fighting/slapping; a creature is sucked through a spiked press; helicopter and cars are destroyed; a forest god creates carnage; a human cheek is slit; a self-inflicted stab wound.