I was pleasantly surprised by Hellboy II. I remember the story from the first one being completely ridiculous. Here the main story is more interesting if hardly plausible, but the rich characters make it a memorable movie. Center stage are two romances. Even though only one of these four characters is human (and two don’t even look human), their relationships are quite compelling. The bad guy is the son on an Elvish king and the brother of one of the love interests. He’s a “complex” villain, meaning that the viewer is supposed to sympathize with him. This leads to a bifurcated character.
The movie is hilarious. Truly, deeply funny. This from the guy who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth. Two of the fight scenes are an absolute riot (given that our hero is nearly indestructible). And there are some very funny moments in Hellboy’s love life. So “funny” comes to the fore, leaving melancholy to fill the recesses. I have no interest in seeing the first film again, but I’m sure I’ll rent the second film down the road.