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?