Monday, December 27, 2010

Hellboy II Revisited


As much as I enjoyed Hellboy, the sequel didn't quite click with me. There's no denying that it's a gorgeous piece of cinema, but I felt the story was somewhat lacking. No big surprises or unforeseen twists. Too straightforward for my tastes. Within seconds of introducing Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala, you pretty much know how a certain issue would be resolved. It's also a problem when your antagonist is way more interesting and charismatic than your protagonist. With all that being said, the 3 Disc Special Edition for five bucks on Amazon was just too good to pass up for Christmas.

The funny thing about Guillermo Del Toro's commentary track is that he addresses the majority of my complaints. Some people said the first film was too dense and that Rasputin's goal wasn't clear enough, so he attempts to simplify here. Del Toro makes an admirable effort laying down some visual clues instead of bogging down the story with too many subplots. He also talks about certain story choices and trying to make an anti-superhero film. Clearly, the screenplay wasn't put together on some willy-nilly decisions. I'm still not in love with the film, but his excellent commentary has given me a lot to think about. Gonna check out the feature-length documentary on Disc 2 shortly.

DVD commentaries are a screenwriter's best friend. They're like a film class at your fingertips. Here's a great site I used to frequent a few years back and rediscovered today, www.ratethatcommentary.com. Not as active as I remember, but hopefully, more writers will take advantage of it.

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