Genre: Action & Adventure Rating: 12A Trailer: Click here The Film - With a signature blend of action, humor and character-based spectacle, the saga of the world’s toughest, kitten-loving hero from Hell continues to unfold in Hellboy II: The Golden Army.Bigger muscle, badder weapons and more ungodly villains arrive in an epic vision of imagination from Oscar-nominated director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy). After an ancient truce existing between humankind and the invisible realm of the fantastic is broken, hell on Earth is ready to erupt.A ruthless leader who treads the world above and the one below defies his bloodline and awakens an unstoppable army of creatures.Now, it’s up to the planet’s toughest, roughest superhero to battle the merciless dictator and his marauders.He may be red.He may be horned.He may be misunderstood.But when you need the job done right, it’s time to call in Hellboy (Ron Perlman). Along with his expanding team in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz (Selma Blair), aquatic empath Abe (Doug Jones) and protoplasmic mystic Johannt, the BPRD will travel between the surface strata and the unseen magical one, where creatures of fantasy become corporeal.And Hellboy, a creature of two worlds who’s accepted by neither, must choose between the life he knows and an unknown destiny that beckons him. The Verdict - I have to start by saying that I was pleasantly surprised by HellBoy II: The Golden Army. But was it as good as the first movie or was it even better? Well, if I'm honest, there didn't seem to be much of a strong divide between the two in terms of action, SFX or character/narrative development. In fact, i had expected a lot more from Del Toro in this sequel. The action sequences were short and infrequent and seemed to lack that old, familiar power struggle between good and evil. Hellboy seemed to effortlessly defeat all those that stood in his way without problem or consequence. Why have enemies at all if this is going to be the case? Ron Perlman who is terrific as Hellboy doesn't have anything truly interesting to say or do, the world around him is magical but the plot isn't. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="HellBoy prepares to face the Alimenter"]HellBoy cradles a young baby in his arms[/caption] Despite this, the unfolding of the secret underground world of Hellboy was enough to impress me, with an incredibly imaginative set of creatures that ranged from mutant citizens to an awesome 50 foot flower type monster, robotic henchmen and my favorite the Tooth Fairies (who without giving anything away, give a more sinister twist to the childhood fable we all know) You can see Guillermo del Toro's influence all over the character designs, as a lot of the creatures look like cousins of Pan's Labyrinth. Visually I can't complain about them because they are amazing but they serve little purpose to the story. Del Torro constantly wants to remind you that he directed Pan's Labyrinth because visually the creatures look like they were leftovers from that film. I don't mind this per say but these characters just don't have much to do, they are there really to look at rather than them having significance. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="436" caption="The Angel Of Death"]The Angel Of Death[/caption] Selma Blair was really fantastic in this however and had a more hands on role this time around. It was great to see HellBoy's and Selma's character Liz's relationship develop and unfolded during the film, it really gave more of a sense of being and reasoning behind the story, since the un threatening main plot seemed to come seconday and with little impact. New character Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) was also a welcomed dose of comic relief. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="434" caption="Johann, Abe,HellBoy & Liz prepare to face the Golden Army"]Johann, HellBoy & Lizz prepare to face to the Golden Army[/caption] I didn't hate Hellboy II I just think it needed some beef in it's story. Del Torro has shown us he is a master storyteller but this time he didn't focus on the story it's self. I would recommend this film but I know Del Torro can and has done much better.