Please Don’t Ruin This for the Rest of Us

Dear American Moviegoers:

I felt the need to reach out to all of you fine folks across this great purple-mountained nation with a request.  I think it’s a pretty simple request, really, and one that all of you should be quite capable of fulfilling.

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Moviegoing America, the rumors are true: the genius behind the dazzling Pan’s Labyrinth  has, indeed, made another movie (I don’t know about you, but I see movies or pictures…not films, and, if anyone suggested that I go to the cinema…well, they’d better be able to outrun me, or at least have a pretty high tolerance for physical pain).  I know you all really dug Pan, so you’re probably pretty curious to check out Hellboy II: The Golden Army.  I say go for it.  You deserve it, Ma and Pa Multiplex.  You work hard, you provide for the little Multiplexes, so why not splurge on a $12 movie ticket (that’s 12 beans a piece, guys, so you’re looking at a grand total of $24).  I’m just begging you, one and all, do not ruin this for the rest of us.

What exactly do I mean by that?  Well, you need to know that Hellboy II: The Golden Army is based on a comic book.  Hellboy (and all related characters) has had a 14-year existence at Dark Horse Comics, under the careful eye of creator Mike Mignola, and a cadre of equally talented writers and artists.  He is, in no uncertain terms, a comic book character (with a little Lovecraftian and pulp influences thrown in for good measure).  Now, based on the trailers, this one does look like del Toro had a little more say in the over-all look and feel of the movie than he did with the original–the first Hellboy flick was clearly inspired by Mignola’s comics, while the sequel has a certain Pan’s Labyrinth-ian flavor to it–but, make no mistake, this will be a comic book movie.  There will be the trappings of comic books, I’m sure: wisecracks, huge battles, seemingly all-powerful villains, massive collateral damage, characters who get thrown clear across the room and get up unscathed.  Del Toro knows what he’s doing.  He knows that you can not approach a movie like this the same way you would approach a movie like Pan’s Labyrinth.  He understands what people want in a Hellboy movie, and he’s going to deliver (shit, he nearly quit the first one when the studio tried to force him to cast Vin Diesel as HB instead of the supremely awesome Ron Perlman, that shows del Toro’s dedication to the Mignola-verse). 

So, I guess all I’m asking is that you walk into the theater fully aware that you’re walking into a comic book movie and not some artfully crafted allegory (although I’m sure del Toro crafted the shit out of this one, just like he does with all of his movies).  When you see the fish-man or the fire-girl, don’t snicker and start muttering to the person next to you how “ridiculous” and “stupid” this movie is.  Don’t call the big red dude with the stone hand “a joke.”  And, when the giant monster shows up (and this is a Hellboy flick, so you know there will be a giant monster), please do not grumble that it is “totally unrealistic.”  Of course it’s unrealistic, it’s a movie about a demon who fights ghosts.  If you wanted realism, you should have stayed home and watched the History Channel.

So…please, just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.  You wouldn’t go to a baseball game and expect them to play hockey, would you?



8 responses to “Please Don’t Ruin This for the Rest of Us

  1. Thanks for the warnings…I’m completely ignorant of the whole Hellboy thing and I can tell from your post that there are certain aspects of the movie that might strike me in exactly the way that you suggest — “unrealistic”, “stupid”, etc. Nevertheless, I loved Iron Man and thought many of its scenes to be unrealistic as well, so I don’t think I have a problem with the comic book on screen thing in general.

    And yes, I have seen a good “film” or two in my time when I’ve gone to the “cinema” (I don’t actually use that one…just couldn’t resist) but have also fully enjoyed a number of flicks, movies, shows, and pictures as well.

  2. I had a feeling that throwing the line “From the director of Pan’s Labyrinth” into the trailers was going to bring in a lot of people who wouldn’t know Hellboy from Boy George.

    If you have no problem accepting a hero who was summoned by the Nazis at the close of WWII and was adopted and raised by a top secret government agency tasked with fighting the forces of darkness then you should be set.

  3. ………but has it got Nazis Danno????? I’m not going if it doesn’t have Nazis…….
    As you say nobody should be pissed if it’s “stupid” or “unrealistic” it’s a bleedin’ comic book thingy…..
    Four On the Floor suggestion…..things that made one go “unrealistic”, “STOOO-pid” “oh FFSAkes” in so-called serious movies………

  4. As far as I know, this one doesn’t have Nazis. But it does have the Angel of Death…which, y’know, is kinda close.

  5. Miss Filmish

    “but I see movies or pictures…not films, and, if anyone suggested that I go to the cinema…well, they’d better be able to outrun me, or at least have a pretty high tolerance for physical pain”

    So how long have you been an Anglophobe? Do you hate the way English people speak because you’re afraid of them or because you’re simply unable to understand them?
    There’s a reason the language you speak is called ‘English’.
    I’m going to have a cup of tea then I’m off to the cinema. Cheerio old bean.

  6. Actually, if you had taken the time to poke around the site further, I think you’d see that I like the British quite a bit. Some of my favorite novels were written by British authors. Some of my favorite comedians are British (although apparently not ALL Brits have a good–or any–sense of humor).

    Now, I’m off to have a cup of coffee and reread the Declaration of Independence…perhaps you’ve heard of it?

  7. Aghh, I apologise.
    Really, I do, without any hint of cynicism or sneeriness. I’m afraid you fell foul of bad coincidences and timing – nothing more. A few days earlier I’d been arguing with some European friends of mine about the whole ‘US is evil’ nonsense (and yes, I had been sticking up for the US) and after that stumbled upon a succession of seemingly anti-Anglo posts from those I’d just argued for – yours just seemed to be the straw that broke the (grumpy, pms-ish, unreasonable) camel’s back.
    I realise now you probably had no intention of slighting poor old Blighty, and I went into ‘defensive deranged harpy’ mode for nothing – and at a fellow Hellboy fan too, oh dear.
    Oops. Sorry. xx

  8. No problem. We all have bad days.

    I was guilty of a knee-jerk response myself, since, of the many things I am accused of being (some incorrectly, some probably not-so-incorrectly), anti-British is one that I’d never even thought possible.

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