Okay, so when I originally watched the first Hellboy movie, I have to say that I wasn't really all that impressed. I re-watched it recently, in preparation for Hellboy II, and I was more impressed the second time, but just sort of "meh" about it in general. However, the previews for Hellboy II had me pretty excited, because it LOOKED like a Guillermo del Toro movie--lots of crazy freakishness! :)
And, of course, Hellboy II really is all about the crazy freakishness, from the members of the BPRD to the things they're fighting. I mean, c'mon. You've got a demon, a fish man, a girl who is on FIRE, and now a ghost in a really elaborate suit. That's a fine bunch of freaks. :) (And as an aside, my mention yesterday that they use one of my favorite songs in the movie: the song is "Beautiful Freak" by The Eels.)
Anyway, plotwise, it's all about elves who warred with the humans a long time ago, and then went into hiding. Now the elf prince comes back to resume the war against the humans, because they ruin everything (cue environmental message). This all revolves around the Golden Army, which is supposed to be 70 times 70 of these big gold robots. Two issues:
1) There were way more than 490 of those things.
2) Whose wise idea was it to make robots out of gold?! Don't they realize that gold is a really bendy metal? Oh, sorry, apparently the elves know how to make gold so that if a DEMON punches it, it will stay solid. Right.
Anyways, minor quibbles aside, it's a really good movie. There were definitely some slow points, and there's far more love story-ness than you'd expect in a comic book action movie, but that didn't harm it too much. And really, it's all PURE Guillermo del Toro, with even more crazy over-the-top-ness than Pan's Labyrinth. And Doug Jones gets to wear even MORE freakish costumes/makeup. :)