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Hellboy II: The Golden Army


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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Movies)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Movies)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Movies)
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Information about Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy (9 walls) II: The Golden Army is a 2008 (11 years ago) superhero movie based on the fictional Dark Horse Comics character Hellboy. The movie is directed by Guillermo del Toro and is a sequel to the 2004 (15 years ago) movie Hellboy (9 walls), which del Toro also directed. Ron Perlman reprises his role as the titular character. The movie was commercially released on Jul. 11, 2008 (11 years ago) in the United States and Canada by Universal Pictures.



In Christmas of 1955 (64 years ago), a young Hellboy (9 walls) is told a bedtime story by his adoptive father, Trevor Broom, involving an ancient war between man and magical creatures, all started by man's greed. After years of battle and defeat, the master of the goblin blacksmiths offered to build a golden mechanical army for King Balor, the one-armed king of the elves. Balor, influenced by his son Prince Nuada, ordered the building of this Golden Army. Soon the humans attacked again but the Golden Army devastated them so mercilessly that Balor forged a truce with the humans to stop the bloodshed: man would keep his cities and the magical creatures would keep their forests. Nuada did not agree with the truce, and left in exile. The magical crown controlling the army was broken into three pieces, one piece going to the humans and the other two kept by the elves, so the Golden Army could never be used again.

In the present, Nuada declares war on the humans. He collects the first piece of the crown from an auction, massacring all at the site by unleashing tooth fairies onto them, and kills his father for the second piece of the crown. His twin sister, Princess Nuala, escapes with the final piece. Meanwhile, Hellboy (9 walls) is having relationship issues with his girlfriend Liz. He is also having trouble accepting that their organization, the B.P.R.D., must remain a secret. During a mission to investigate the massacre at the auction, Hellboy (9 walls) allows himself to be revealed to the world. In the commotion, Abe Sapien discovers that Liz is pregnant. Furious about the public unveiling, Washington sends a new B.P.R.D. agent, the ectoplasmic medium Johann Krauss, to take command. With Krauss in charge, the team tracks the tooth fairies to the troll market, an enormous merchant city hidden under the Brooklyn Bridge (6 walls), to search for clues. Abe stumbles onto Nuala, who has obtained a map leading to the Golden Army, during their search, and quickly falls in love with her. She is brought under B.P.R.D. protection following an attack by Nuada's sidekick, the troll Wink and an elemental forest god. During the elemental fight, Hellboy (9 walls) questions whether it is right to fight for the humans when he too is perceived by humans as a monster.

Nuada tracks his sister to the B.P.R.D. headquarters using their magical bond, which causes them to share wounds and allows them to read each others' thoughts to an extent. Nuala, sensing her brother's arrival, throws the map, along with the canister in which it came, in to a fire and hides the final piece of the crown within one of Abe's books. However, the real map is on the canister. Meanwhile upstairs, Abe Sapien and Hellboy (9 walls) become drunk together and sing Can't Smile Without You, by Barry Manilow. Nuada kidnaps his sister and mortally wounds Hellboy (9 walls) with his spear. Unable to remove the spear shard, Liz, Abe, and Krauss take Hellboy (9 walls) to the location of the Golden Army, hidden in the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. They encounter a Bethmoora goblin, and he brings them before the Angel of Death, who has been waiting for their arrival. Though warned that Hellboy (9 walls) would doom humanity if he lives, and that she'll suffer the most from it, Liz pleads for Hellboy's life. Amused by her choice, the Angel removes the shard from Hellboy's chest and tells Liz to give him a reason to live. She reveals to Hellboy (9 walls) that he's going to be a father, and he recovers.

The goblin leads the team to the resting place of the Golden Army (revealing that he is the builder of it), where Nuada awaits them. In exchange for Nuala, Abe gives him the last piece of the crown. With the crown reformed, Nuada awakens the Golden Army and orders them to kill the team. After a seemingly victorious attack on several of the mechanical soldiers, the group watches in shock as they magically repair themselves. Hellboy (9 walls) challenges Nuada for the right to the crown, and Nuada is forced to accept, since Hellboy (9 walls) is royalty (as being mentioned as "Son of the Fallen One", possibly an offspring of the devil himself). Hellboy (9 walls) defeats Nuada and spares his life, but Nuada tries to stab him when Hellboy (9 walls) turns around. Nuala commits suicide to stop her brother: the dying Nuada tells Hellboy (9 walls) he will one day have to choose whether humanity or the magical beings must die out. Abe rushes to Nuala and psychically tells her his feelings for her- and cries after previously implying that he cannot smile, or cry- before she and her brother turn to stone and die. Liz then melts the crown, shutting down the Golden Army forever. As the team leave the underground compound, Tom Manning reprimands them for their actions. To his surprise, Hellboy (9 walls), Liz, Abe, and Krauss all hand over their belts (though Hellboy (9 walls) keeps the Samaritan) and announce their resignation from the B.P.R.D. As they walk away, Hellboy (9 walls) contemplates his future life with Liz and their baby. Liz stops and corrects him, saying "babies", surprising him with the fact that she is pregnant with twins.


  • Ron Perlman as Hellboy (9 walls): The main protagonist of the movie. A super-strong demon who works for the government organization Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). Guillermo del Toro described the character's dilemma in the sequel, "[He] has always fought on the side of humans, but this [destruction of fantasy] pushes his buttons to reconsider." In the sequel, Hellboy (9 walls) is armed with an enormous new gun called "The Big Baby", which fires flare-like bullets.
  • Selma Blair as Liz Sherman: A pyrokinetic member of BPRD and Hellboy's girlfriend. Blair described her character as more engaging in the sequel, "In the first one she was afraid to take a step. She was completely a zombie, not wanting to own up to her power and having the memory of what she'd created in her life... I was really eager to come and play Liz with a little more vibrancy." Blair also had short hair for her role, avoiding long hair from her portrayal in the first film, which she felt "brought her face down". The actress emphasized Liz Sherman's growth in the sequel, "She's looking to the future much more, and things are happening in this one that she has to buck up... I think you're dealing with a lot knowing this young girl that we last saw as very damaged, and now she's with this guy, and all these people around her, I think, we've really had to step up a strength, and a confidence in her so that I don't look like the little baby kid sister tagging along."
  • Doug Jones as Abe Sapien: An aquatic empath who works for BPRD with Hellboy. Jones said of his return to the role after the first film, "He's been an absolute treat for me to play this time. He's written with so many different colours and levels and there's a love interest... And his buddy time with Hellboy (9 walls) is more concrete and his brother/sister time with Liz is even better." Jones believed that Abe Sapien became "the brains, the intellect of the team" while Hellboy (9 walls) protects his character because he is still "kind of innocent". The actor pointed to his character's adolescence with love, "His love life is something that's never been tapped into before... So just like a 13-year-old with his first crush, this is how you're going to see Abe this time. A portion of him. Will this affect his decision-making powers?" Unlike the first movie, where Abe's voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, Doug Jones provided the voice himself. In addition to Abe, Jones also portrayed two more characters in the film.
  • Angel of Death: A female angel with androgynous characteristics. Jones explained his portrayal, "The script refers to the angel as a her and that's what I do. I think she has feminine qualities, but she's not totally a woman either. And that's okay. I like characters that keep you guessing."
  • Chamberlain: The door keeper for King Balor. The creature is long, gangly, eight feet tall and wears silk and velvet robes. It also has long, spindly fingers, which filmmakers mobilized with servos and which Jones wore as extensions of his own hands.
  • Luke Goss as Prince Nuada: The main antagonist of the movie. He is King Balor's son and a martial art expert of extraordinary proficiency. Goss was previously cast as the mutant vampire Jared Nomak in del Toro's 2002 (17 years ago) movie Blade II, and the director approached the actor to be cast in Hellboy (9 walls) II. Goss trained with action director and former-Jackie Chan Stunt Team member, Brad Allan, learning sword and spear skills for six to seven months for his role. He and Anna Walton also learned ancient Gaelic from a dialog coach for their lines. Goss did not perceive Nuada as evil, explaining, "It's issues, his people, he's part of what he truly believes. I don't think, really, he's so deluded... [He] is driven by an ethic that was instilled by the person he has problems [with] his father, and inevitably, that leads into the conflict with him and Hellboy." Goss also noted that his character admired and revered his twin sister, portrayed by Anna Walton. He said of the prince and the princess, "There is an incestuous relationship that's not maybe overly obvious to everybody, but some people hopefully will pick up on the fact, certainly from my direction towards her."
  • Anna Walton as Princess Nuala: King Balor's daughter and Nuada's twin sister. She is described as "very light" while Nuada is "very dark", creating a yin and yang dynamic. She elaborated on the incestuous tones between her character and Prince Nuada, "He's the dark side and she's the light side and they're pulled apart and pulled back together again, and she's trying to get away because she knows there is something she has to do. He can't let that go and they can't really do anything without each other so it's a really interesting thing." Her character also forms a relationship with Abe Sapien, and Walton noted their similarities, "They are both slightly lost souls and they understand each other." Walton spoke of her character's sense of purpose, "She feels very strongly about what she has to do in the film, and then her absolute connection and love for the Earth and what we are given. That's what she's here to protect... Her relationship with her brother, and how he is almost a part of her but she has to break away and will do whatever it takes to stop him from achieving what he wants to achieve, which is the mass destruction of mankind."
  • Seth MacFarlane voices Johann Krauss: Actors John Alexander and James Dodd wore the suit. Krauss is a German psychic whose ectoplasmic being is contained in a suit after a botched séance. Originally, filmmakers planned to create a computer-generated version of the glass fishbowl helmet, but with the cost being prohibitive, they created an actual helmet. To ensure the invisibility of the actor's head under the glass, perspective and mirror tricks were used. The helmet was controlled by two puppeteers, so the heavy contraption had to be shared between Alexander and Dodd. MacFarlane took over voicing duties from Thomas Kretschmann, after del Toro decided that Kretschmann's voice and the mechanical sound FX to Johann's suit did not mesh well. John Alexander also plays:
  • Bethmoora Goblin: A legless goblin who helps Hellboy (9 walls) and the team find the Angel of Death.
  • Brian Steele as Mr. Wink: A giant cave troll who was originally conceived by Guillermo del Toro. Wink was sculpted by Mario Torres, and the costume was worn by Brian Steele. In the film, Wink's right arm has a giant metal fist. The fist was designed by filmmakers to be made of heavy plastic to stay light enough for motors to operate the mechanical fingers. The fist could also be physically detached and used as a projectile without any computer-generated imagery used. Several of Mike Mignola's comics characters wield similar mechanical fists on chains, including the Kriegaffes used by Herman von Klempt. Del Toro said that he named Mr. Wink after Selma Blair's one-eyed dog. Likewise, Mr. Wink has an old wound on the left side of his face that has closed one of his eyes. Steele also portrays:
  • Cathedral Head: Another troll, the owner of a map shop who gives Princess Nuala the hidden map
  • Fragglewump: A monstrous Scottish troll that masquerades as a sweet old lady and feeds on kittens.
  • Cronie Troll: A spice shop owner who gets in an argument with Hellboy (9 walls) in the troll market.
  • Jeffrey Tambor as Tom Manning: Head of the B.P.R.D., he has a slightly antagonistic relationship with Hellboy.
  • John Hurt as Trevor Bruttenholm: Hellboy's adopted father, he is seen in the beginning of the movie telling young Hellboy (9 walls) the story of the Golden Army.
  • Roy Dotrice as King Balor: The one-armed king of Elfland. All of his dialogue is in Gaelic.


In May 2004 (15 years ago), following the release of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy (9 walls) the previous month, a sequel was announced by Revolution Studios with del Toro returning to direct and Ron Perlman reprising his lead role as the titular character. The director sought to create a movie trilogy with the first sequel anticipated for release in 2006 (13 years ago). Revolution Studios planned to produce the movie and distribute it through a deal with Columbia Pictures, but by 2006 (13 years ago), Revolution had gone out of business. In Aug. 2006 (13 years ago), Universal pictures (wallpaper) acquired the project with the intent to finance and distribute the sequel, which was newly scheduled to be released in summer of 2008 (11 years ago). Production was scheduled to begin in Apr. 2007 (12 years ago) in Etyek, Hungary (near Budapest) and London, England.

Director Guillermo del Toro explored several concepts for the sequel, initially planning to recreate the classic versions of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolf Man. He and comic book creator Mike Mignola also spent a few days adapting the Almost Colossus story, featuring Roger the Homunculus. They then found it easier to create an original story based on folklore, because Del Toro was planning Pan's Labyrinth, and Mignola's comics were becoming increasingly based on mythology. Later, Del Toro pitched a premise to Revolution Studios that involved four Titans from the four corners of Earth—Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth—before he replaced the Titans with a Golden Army. Mignola described the theme of the sequel, "The focus is more on the folklore and fairy tale aspect of Hellboy. It's not Nazis, machines and mad scientists but the old gods and characters who have been kind of shoved out of our world."

Del Toro released Pan's Labyrinth in 2006 (13 years ago), and the movie earned multiple Academy Awards, providing the director enough clout to begin production on Hellboy (9 walls) II. Guillermo del Toro began filming Hellboy (9 walls) II in Jun. 2007 (12 years ago) in Budapest and concluded in dec. 2007 (12 years ago). The movie was the first American production to shoot at Korda Studios in Hungary, then newly built outside Budapest. The creature shop was led by the company Spectral Motion, and Filmefex contributed work in makeup and prosthetics. The latter company designed a creature for the troll market scene and built several statues and full-sized replicas of the Golden Army.


Hellboy (9 walls) II opened on Jul. 11, 2008 (11 years ago) in 3,204 theaters in the United States and Canada. The movie ranked first at the box office, grossing an estimated $35.9 million over the weekend, outperforming the opening of its predecessor Hellboy (9 walls), which had opened with $23.2 million. The opening was the biggest of Guillermo del Toro's directing career.

According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the movie a B grade. The demographic for Hellboy (9 walls) II was mostly male, and the age distribution for moviegoers below and above 25 years old was evenly split. Outside of the United States and Canada, Hellboy (9 walls) II had a limited release on 533 screens in Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, grossing $4.6 million.

In its second weekend in the United States and Canada, Hellboy (9 walls) IIs box office performance dropped 71% to gross $10.1 million, a larger drop than its predecessor, which dropped 53% in comparison. The sequel's larger drop was attributed to the significant opening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight. As of sep. 9, 2008 (11 years ago) Hellboy (9 walls) II has grossed $75,986,503 in the United States and Canada. The movie came top in the UK and Ireland box office charts upon its release on Aug. 22 and earned an additional International gross of $84,342,286 bringing its worldwide total to $160,328,789, meaning it has currently outgrossed the first movie by nearly $53 million, and has yet to open in at least one country.


Hellboy (9 walls) II received very positive reviews from movie critics. As of Feb. 15, 2009 (10 years ago), Rotten Tomatoes reported that 88% of critics gave the movie positive reviews, with an average score of 7.2/10, based upon a sample of 196 reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the movie has received an average score of 78, based on 35 reviews, gaining a better critical reaction than the first film.

Michael Rechtshaffen writing in The Hollywood Reporter said Hellboy (9 walls) II was an uncompromised vision of Guillermo del Toro's imagination. He said that with the director given free rein, the movie came across as an amalgam of the best moments from his previous films, only with better visual effects. John Anderson of Variety wrote of a rococo precision to the visuals that exceeded that of the first film. He cited del Toro's "clockmaker's preoccupation with detail" and ability to blend state-of-the-art technology with more classical visuals as the reasons for the film's success. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that the plot didn't often deviate from its comic-book traditions, but that del Toro staged the action "brilliantly". He said that while the visual effects deserved recognition, what made the movie so exciting was the personality they were imbued with. Chuck Wilson of The Village Voice said that del Toro was on autopilot, but that he and his Pan's Labyrinth crew, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro in particular, staged the steady stream of action set-pieces expertly. Mike Goodridge of Screen International wrote that del Toro had retained the B movie tone of the first film, saying the movie managed to avoid the self-importance of The Incredible Hulk and the Batman movie series and that del Toro was simply a "great storyteller" providing a "good time". Stuart Levine in Premiere praised the visuals and "beautiful" set-pieces, but said del Toro's script fell a little short of his direction. Alonso Duralde writing for said it represented a backwards step for del Toro, saying that despite several creepy sequences, the movie was a return to the muddled storytelling and pretty visuals of his pre-Pan's Labyrinth films. He said del Toro's screenplay lacked energy or momentum. However, Peter Bradshaw, of The Guardian said almost the opposite was the case, as he thinks "it is a crackingly enjoyable and exciting sequel, with something that the memory of Pan's Labyrinth might have entirely erased: a sense of humour." Noting that "this spectacular movie seethes and fizzes with wit and energy, absorbing and transforming influences such as Ghostbusters and even Harry Potter and the secret world of Diagon Alley."

John Anderson said the movie would be "almost unthinkable" without Ron Perlman in the lead role, saying the movie was more successful than its predecessor mainly due to the more deliberately amusing tone and the "drily ironic" title character. He said the only weak link was Luke Goss' "unimposing" villain. While praising the general banter between Perlman and Blair, Stuart Levine said the nonchalant Hellboy (9 walls) exhibited insufficient growth as a character, and that Jeffrey Tambor was largely wasted in his role. He agreed that Goss' villain was weak as written, with no tangible menace. Helen O'Hara of Empire said the character was only let down by a lack of screentime in which to give him enough dramatic weight, and that Goss did "a perfectly good job". Owen Gleiberman said Perlman was more assured than in the first Hellboy (9 walls), funnier and more cantankerous. He said the entire ensemble had "an appealing, outsize grandeur" about it. Mike Goodridge said the movie carefully developed the character relationships, and Chuck Wilson said that other than the title character's penchant for chewing cigars, he was otherwise "uninteresting". Alonso Duralde wrote that the "sitcom-ish" character dilemmas were uninteresting, saying that Perlman and Tambor's performances were regularly let down by the script. He said that Blair's performance was possibly the first bad one he'd seen by the actress, and that while Jones was "brilliant" physically, his vocal performance was inferior to David Hyde Pierce's in the first Hellboy (9 walls) film. Michael Rechtshaffen called Perlman "terrific" and said Blair's brooding portrayal was effective.

Michael Rechtshaffen concluded that Hellboy (9 walls) II was less focused than the first film, but that it played "faster and looser" and mostly a "wild ride". In a positive review, John Anderson's main criticism was a sequence set in Northern Ireland, which he called the least interesting and most conventional segment of the film. Chuck Wilson said the movie "didn't have much on its mind", but that it would amaze children and amuse adults, Stuart Levine said the movie was worth viewers' time, and Alonso Duralde said Hellboy (9 walls) II was "limp and unengaging". Owen Gleiberman surmised that the movie was "derivative yet... dazzling", and Mike Goodridge concluded by praising the filmmakers' skill at creating a movie that, despite featuring "stunning" action sequences and creature effects, still found time for character development and a fulfilling story that expanded the franchise's wider mythology. Peter Bradshaw suggested that "'Visionary' is a word too easily applied to fantasy movies, but it sticks easily here."

The movie appeared on some critics' top ten lists of the best movies of 2008 (11 years ago). Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald named it the 5th best movie of 2008 (11 years ago) (along with The Dark Knight (13 walls)), and Stephanie Zacharek of Salon named it the 10th best movie of 2008 (11 years ago) (along with Iron Man (17 walls)).

Awards received

IGN named Hellboy (9 walls) II: The Golden Army Best Fantasy Movie of 2008 (11 years ago), also receiving the same honor at the 2008 (11 years ago) Scream Awards. At the end of 2008 (11 years ago), Rotten Tomatoes listed the movie as Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy in their 10th Annual Golden Tomato Awards. It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup, but lost to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


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