If there is one absolute statement that can be made about [[[Hellboy II: The Golden Army]]], it is that this is easily director Guillermo del Toro’s lightest and funniest film — which may just be its greatest downfall. If the first film were to be classified as a “horror/action with comedic relief”, this film is most definitely a “horror/comedy with action sequences,” and that could be what hurts the film the most.
The story picks up about a year from where the first film leaves off: the [[[B.P.R.D.]]] has grown, with the addition of Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), who is now Hellboy’s live-in girlfriend. Tom Manning (Jeff Tambor) is still in charge of the team and is trying his hardest (“trying” being the operative word) to keep it all a secret from the public. There’s all of this, and then there’s also an epic war being forged between a renegade elf prince and mankind.
The film starts off sweet enough, on a military base on Christmas during one of Hellboy’s adolescent years. A cameo from John Hurt gets the audience excited right off the bat. Hurt then tells a young Hellboy the story of the first Human/Elf war. This is where we set the mood for the rest of the film. The story is told using computer-generated wooden dolls, rather than actual elves or humans. While Guillermo is known for his imagination with monsters and/or children, this may have been a bit much in the direction of puerility. Instead of giving the impression of a childhood story, the CGI comes across as sloppy and unfinished.