Hellboy 2: The golden army

Yep. I'll do it this way because I can.

Once more that beautiful word, “respect”, comes to mind. Respect to an author like Hellboy-creator Mike Mignola, who has earned the reverence of his peers and the interest of readers all over the world with his solid and original characters, and his very personal, apparently simple and yet so complex style and enjoyable stories. But also, respect to the audience, us. We don't go to the cinema to watch a bad film, we subconsciously expect the best and, if rightfully feel disappointed when we don't get it, we may even feel betrayed when we are lured to a film with false hopes and lies.
In the comic-book, Hellboy -despite his appearance- is quite a human character. His believability and sense of humour contrasts with the very essence of his stories, in which he often sees himself involved with mystery, darkness and monstrous creatures, while remaining someone we can identify with.

Director Guillermo del Toro and his producers take all this and, quite lightly, turns it all into a mixture of forms and colours where you can hardly identify which character is which. After the success of Pan's labyrinth, he, apparently backed up by Mignola himself, seems to think that the key to a good film is to pack it with his typical creatures, and so he creates an unrealistic (but not fantastic) and more often than not even ridiculous world populated by dozens of ugly monsters, supposedly ON creativity's sake. Characters' arcs are clumsy and vague, as are their personalities (so to say). Over and over again, we are forced to see visual and make-up effects which are so careless most of the time that one would think that not even the crew liked the film, not even during the making.

In other circumstances, this Hellboy 2 would only be a poor film. Being an adaptation, however, it denotes either a complete lack of interest or too lax a criteria when working with someone else's character. This is an offense to good, solid stories (like the original Hellboy's), and to the audience.

Let's be professional. If adapting, let's do serious research before embarking ourselves in this fascinating although dangerous journey of transformation. OR let's create our own characters and then, if we so wish, let's destroy (or rape!) them. But in this case, don't expect the audience to come back for Hellboy 3.

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