Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hellboy and Wanted - Reviews

I made a trip to my local Blockbuster to rent the final two films I needed to watch in order to have seen all of this year's nominees (not including foreign, documentary, or shorts).

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Visual mastermind Guillermo DelToro's follow-up to the under-appreciated Hellboy improves upon the first without ever seeming to try too hard. Though the pacing feels a bit uneven at times, DelToro doesn't try to make Hellboy II anything more than it was intended to be, which is an enjoyable but dedicated comic book adaptation. It is ripe with sharp humour, vivid characterizations from the entire cast (all of whom appear to be having great fun), marvelous effects, and several mind-boggling makeup jobs.

**1/2 out of ****

The only significance I can see in the title of “Wanted” is that I so desperately wanted it to end. This hyper mess of a movie seems designed for people with an attention span of five minutes. The violence is excessive and over-stylized, and the special effects are as glaring and unconvincing as the acting itself. James MacAvoy comes across as annoying and has a completely unbelievable character arc. Granted that he doesn't have much to work with, as the script is hack-kneed and only adds to the unpleasant noise in this picture (although I do have to give kudos to Wilie Stateman for his inventive sound effects).

* out of ****

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