Yay, I finally saw Hellboy 2, in which Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz the firestarter and Dr. Strauss the ectoplasmic comic relief race to keep an insane elf, Prince Nuada, from activating mechanical warriors and destroying the world. Meanwhile, Hellboy and Liz have domestic disputes, which are magically resolved when Liz gets pregnant with two devil/human halfbreeds, and Abe goes gooshy and loses all dignity for the insane elf’s twin sister, Princess Nuala. Cigars are chomped; monsters are dispatched; quips are tossed off, and everyone has a silly good time.
This movie is amusing, diverting and charming, and it could be even better with a reduction of romantic goop, which is out of character for all the characters, and a greater focus on Nuada and Nuala. They’re actually interesting, since they know they’re part of a dying kind; even though Nuada fights back, both he and his sister seem to know that the elves and all the magical creatures that they represent are doomed. Thus the film argues for a manifest destiny sort of colonization of the imagination, with Hellboy et al. in especially weird positions because they’re on the colonizers’ sides. But the film ultimately prefers to wallow in sluggish love songs, rather than this interesting thematic tension.