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Review: 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army'

Another bulked-up superhero returns, accompanied by an endless parade of freaks and creepy-crawlies, to fight an otherworldly army.

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Another reluctant superhero cometh. Hellboy is certainly more gung-ho than, say, Hancock, but that's not saying much. He's the average Joe of comic-book behemoths, and in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," he looks as if he'd rather be kicking back than battling beasties.

Despite its comic-book trappings – it's based on the Dark Horse comic books created by Mike Mignola – "Hellboy II," even more so than its predecessor, "Hellboy," resembles nothing so much as an art film phantasmagoria.

This should not be surprising since the director of the series is Guillermo del Toro, best known among cinéastes for "Pan's Labyrinth," a sinister fairy tale set in Fascist Spain that won the 2006 Oscar for best foreign film. He's also noted for such high-style Hollywood bloodbaths as "Blade II." In other words, he's an auteur who likes to have it both ways.

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