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Film / Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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Hellboy: It's just a story, right Pops?
Bruttenholm: Is it now?
Hellboy: Yeah, c'mon! Those guys? They can't be real.
Bruttenholm: Well, my son, I'm sure you'll find out.
— Prologue

It's been a few years since the last movie. Myers has been (literally) Reassigned to Antarctica. Hellboy and Liz are an Official Couple, but their relationship is going through a rough patch. Hellboy, chafing under the bureaucratic leadership of Tom Manning, decides to break the Masquerade and reveals himself to the public—but the public's reaction is far less pleasant than he expects. To rein Hellboy in, the B.P.R.D. upper brass sends Johann Krauss (a spirit medium who's been reduced to ectoplasm) to take leadership of the team.

Meanwhile, Abe meets a nice elf girl, Princess Nuala of Bethmoora, and they hit off quite well. Unfortunately, her twin brother Prince Nuada has declared war on humanity. He plans to reawaken the Golden Army—invincible automatons that nearly drove humanity to extinction the first time they were used—and he kills just about everyone who stands between him and the crown that would allow him to control the Army.

It falls to Hellboy and his pals to stop Nuada, but given the way humanity's been treating them lately and after hearing Nuada's side of the story, our heroes can't help but feel a little sympathy for the genocidal Jerkass. And as if this wasn't enough, Liz finds out she's pregnant, which... worries her.

Guillermo del Toro returns as director, and Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair reprise their roles as Hellboy, Abe, and Liz, respectively. David Hyde Pierce declined to return as Abe's voice, so Doug Jones now portrays Abe entirely.

A third film was reportedly in conceptual stage, but after a long period of Development Hell, the project turned into a full-on Continuity Reboot, simply titled Hellboy, followed by a second reboot.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The first film positioned John Meyers as being Bruttenholm's replacement, but this film has him Reassigned to Antarctica. No one seems to occupy his study or act as a unifying force for the three heroes. Instead, Tom Manning leads the group.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Hellboy and Abe sharing drinks and singing along to Can't Smile Without You. While the scene itself is played for laughs, it nevertheless is a very effective way to flesh out their friendship and humanize them both.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Johann Kraus in the comics becomes Johann Krauss in the film, purely so Hellboy can make that "SS, right" crack.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Liz Sherman has upgraded from frumpy sweaters and long, unkempt hair to a sleek leather ensemble and a bob hairdo between movies.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: After the BPRD is revealed to the public, Hellboy and the others are constantly berated by pedestrians.
  • All Trolls Are Different: The trip to the Troll Market in the second movie illustrates this point magnificently. They're all different from each other.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: In their search for the Golden Army, a force that can conquer the Earth, the protagonists end up in... County Antrim. Though perhaps this shouldn't be so surprising, considering the strong ties of folklore between the Fair Folk and Ireland.
  • Always Save the Girl:
    • Liz chooses to save Hellboy, even though he is destined to bring about the apocalypse. Given how well Hellboy's been able to Screw Destiny so far, Liz's decision to save him makes sense.
    • Abe does it in standard fashion, choosing to save Nuala by giving her brother exactly what he needs to activate the Golden Army after he kidnaps her. Hellboy immediately calls him on it, and Abe promptly retorts that he would do the same for Liz. They seem to be on pretty good terms when they're done.
  • Angelic Abomination: "Hellboy's Death", a mysterious, monstrous, angelic entity that is willing to save Hellboy's life with the knowledge that Hellboy will someday die regardless.
  • Anti-Villain: Nuada. He's spent centuries, possibly millennia, watching the mythical creatures that once ruled the world fade into the background or go extinct as humans expanded, and the royal family has been reduced to ruling from sewers. He wants to take the planet back from the humans in the name of the fey beings before their kind dies out completely.
  • Art Shift: The opening exposition is depicted as a massive war between carved puppets, illustrating how young Hellboy's imagination pictures the human/Fair Folk conflict his foster father describes. This allows the actual appearance of the various fey races to be dramatically revealed later in the movie.
  • Author Appeal: The Golden Army is more fantastical than the first film, owing to director Guillermo del Toro's input, especially in terms of the Troll Market's inhabitants. Sharp-eyed viewers will also be able to spot del Toro's beloved "creepy things in jars" in a few backgrounds.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: You might think Dr. Krauss will be an unforgiving taskmaster, but he's quite a supportive and useful team member.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: Behind a hidden door under the Brooklyn Bridge can be found the famed Troll Market: a meeting ground for supernatural beings from all over the world, it's possible to find almost anything here - from tooth fairies to magical artefacts.
  • Beast and Beauty: Hellboy and Liz are still together after the first movie. Also, the elven princess Nuala gets together with the much less human-looking Abe, in what feels a bit like a trial run for The Shape of Water.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Hellboy takes advantage of an imminent explosion to break the masquerade because he longs to be part of the world. All he gets for his trouble is hecklers calling him ugly and Ungrateful Townsfolk.
  • Beleaguered Boss: The head of the BPRD is doing his best to keep the Bureau's existence (and the rest of The Masquerade) a secret from the public, and is constantly thwarted by Hellboy's extroverted grasp of public relations:
    Tom Manning: "Undercover." Can't he get the meaning of the word? I mean, we are still government-funded, we are still a secret, although a dirty secret if you ask me. Officially, we do not exist. So, you see, that's the problem when we get these.
    [shows Abe a series of photos]
    Tom Manning: Subway... highway... ah, park.
    [holds up one, showing Hellboy giving a "peace" sign with his stone hand]
    Tom Manning: And he posed for this one, and gave an autograph. I suppress each photo, cell phone videos, they cost me a fortune, and then they show up on YouTube... God, I hate YouTube!
  • Berserk Button: Let's just say that Hellboy catching you trying to eat a cat is not going to end well.
    • Or ruining his precious Cuban cigar, as Mr. Wink finds out shortly after.
  • BFG: For this movie, Hellboy supplements his Samaritan revolver with a weapon called the Big Baby. It looks like a rotary grenade launcher fused with a lever action shotgun, and takes six slugs the size of artillery rounds, each engraved with a baby bottle and the message "SUCK ON THIS." When used against a monster Nuada summons, the Big Baby liquefies the creature's head.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Fairy cities (Troll Market, Bethmoora) seem to operate exclusively on this principle.
  • Binding Ancient Treaty: Prince Nuada bases his war plans on humanity's breach of one of these.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nuala kills herself to stop her brother from stabbing Hellboy in the back. Regardless of whether you interpreted her sacrifice as heroic or pointless, it was still pretty bitter.
  • Broken Angel: The dying plant elemental's blood causes the streets of New York to erupt in bloom, and a flower blossoms from its head as it collapses against a skyscraper.
  • Broken Masquerade: A frustrated Hellboy deliberately sets himself up to get blasted out of a building... and lands right in front of camera crews from what appears to be every TV station in New York state. When a horrified Manning asks what he's done, Hellboy nonchantly replies "Guess we're out."
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Liz gets hit with this hard, as apparently, no one had any idea it could happen. Given that it's been several years since she and Hellboy became romantically involved, it apparently took a while for the genetics to match up right.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Manning is alarmed to see BPRD agents wrestling with dozens of freakish creatures and trolls through BPRD's halls. Abe's response is as nonchalant as could be.
    Manning: "What's going on?"
    Abe: "Oh, it's Friday."
  • By-the-Book Cop: Johann Krauss is the "paranormal investigator" version, who naturally clashes hard with Hellboy's Cowboy Cop.
  • Call-Back: When Interrogating the Dead tooth fairy, Hellboy produces an amulet of Saint Malachy, echoing his resurrection of Ivan to find Rasputin’s mausoleum in the previous film.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Johann accuses Hellboy of being this, hence why he initially refuses to elaborate his Fatal Flaw. When he gives in and explains that said flaw is his temper, Hellboy immediately proves him right by losing his cool and punching him.
  • Captain Obvious: "The Troll Market! As you may know, trolls live under bridges —"
    Hellboy: Hey! genius! There are over 2000 bridges in New York.
    Abe: — (but research) indicates a location under the eastern end of the Brooklyn bridge!"
  • Catchphrase: Hellboy's tendency to exclaim "Oh, crap."
  • The Cast Showoff: invoked Ron Perlman and Doug Jones both actually have decent singing voices, which makes their hilarious, slightly off-key duet fall squarely under Stylistic Suck.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The legend of the Golden Army. It describes how whoever wears the crown has the power to command the Golden Army, if unchallenged. Near the end of the movie, when all seems hopeless for the heroes, Hellboy remembers the legend and challenges Nuada for the right to wear the crown, forcing the Army to temporarily halt while setting the stage for the final battle between them.
  • Civilization Destroyer: Once again, it is prophesied by the Angel Of Death that Hellboy is the Beast of the Apocalypse and is fated to destroy human civilization on Earth, which is what Rasputin wants in the first movie. As the third movie was canceled, we will never know.
    • The Golden Army is this, too; an army of unstoppable, self-repairing Mecha-Mooks that the Fair Folk used to pressure humanity into an uneasy peace. This appears to extend beyond their physical powers into the realm of curses, as when the Golden Army was locked away beneath the elven capitol of Bethmora, it somehow caused the elves to abandon the city.
  • Classical Elements Ensemble: The main four characters trying to save the world have Elemental Motifs related to the classical elements: Abe Sapien (an aquatic Fish Man), Liz (a woman with pyrokinetic powers), Dr. Krauss (a ghost made of smoke-like ectoplasm) and Hellboy himself who has a hand made of stone. Therefore we have water, fire, air, and earth.
  • Clock Punk: The finale of the movie is fought on giant gears.
  • Clockwork Creature: The Golden Army is Nigh Invulnerable because they are made of giant wind-up gears and can piece themselves together.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Like in the first film, Hellboy has a red light on his communicator, Abe has blue. Liz has a gold/yellow one, and Krauss has white.
  • Convenient Color Change: The Golden Army glows red once they are activated by Prince Nuada. When Johann takes control of one soldier, it glows blue. How else would you know it's him and he's good?
  • Costume Porn: The elves and the trolls in the Golden Army. Especially Nuada and Nuala.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nuada vs. the guards (both his father's royal guards and the guards at the gate of B.R.P.D headquarters) and his first encounter with Hellboy. Justified in that Hellboy had been pretty hammered in the first fight, having been drinking heavily after Liz wanted to separate, and was barely able to walk down stairs without stumbling. The second fight is much more closely matched.
  • Cute Creature, Creepy Mouth: The tooth fairies would be kinda cute, if it wasn't for their face being taken up by a toothy mouth that they put to good use.
  • Cute Kitten: Hellboy loves kittens. There's a scene where he's supposed to be spying on a troll but disobeys orders and breaks cover to prevent her from eating a kitten.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Aside from Hellboy himself, a few other things like the Angel of Death also count.
    • Lampshaded by the tagline for the film, "Believe it or not, he's the good guy."
  • Did Not Think This Through: Hellboy outing himself in the hopes of becoming a celebrity of some sort. It doesn't work out for him.
  • The Dragon: Mr. Wink to Nuada. He dies rather quickly for a Dragon, though.
  • Drowning Our Romantic Sorrows: "You're in love. Have a beer."
  • Emerging from the Shadows
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Though his methods are extreme, it's clear that Prince Nuada's crusade against the human race is driven by his desire to protect his people from mankind. He's clearly devastated after killing his father, and he loves his sister deeply - perhaps a little too deeply.
  • The Evil Prince: Nuada again.
  • Eyeless Face / Eyes Do Not Belong There: The Angel of Death: eyes on its wings instead of its face.
  • Exact Words: Only a "prince" may challenge Nuada for control of the Golden Army. When Hellboy challenges him, he snubs it off because he is not "royalty". Then his sister reminds him that Hellboy is the son of the King of Darkness, the "Fallen One" and is technically royalty, meaning that he must accept Hellboy's challenge at the climax of the film.
    • Hellboy promises not to kill Nuada, as he knows it would kill his sister, who his friend Abe is in love with. However he didn't say anything about not kicking his ass, which he does with glee.
  • Extranormal Institute: The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, as the name suggests, studies and fights against paranormal threats.
  • Fair Folk: The Elf world and troll world are explicitly thus. Prince Nuada of Bethmoora is specifically the prince of the Tuatha De Danaan. And the tooth fairies.
  • Fake Crossover: A series of TV ads for The Golden Army showed Hellboy interacting with James Lipton, Chuck, and the Ghost Hunters, and appearing in American Gladiators and a PSA.
  • Fanservice: Prince Nuada likes to fight with his shirt off and has gained a large fandom because of it.
  • Fantastic Fragility: The eponymous Golden Army is completely indestructible and invincible. However, its greatest weakness comes from the Golden Crown with which it can be commanded. Disassemble or destroy it and the army becomes a bunch of clockwork paperweights. The Fair Folk tried to counter this by stressing that the crown was completely indestructible. It was effective in that nobody ever tried. Until someone did, of course.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hellboy experiences hatred and prejudice. He also takes an immediate dislike towards Krauss, which he claims is because Germans make him "nervous". Given how he first came to this dimension and Kroenen in the previous film, is there any wonder why? And Prince Nuada doesn't view humans in a favorable light because of their wanton destruction of the environment.
  • Fertile Blood: When the plant elemental is killed, its blood blankets the city and sprouts moss, grass, and flowers.
  • Flanderization: Tom Manning. In the first movie, while not a very good field leader, he was still a competent bureaucrat; he and Hellboy butted heads but ultimately gained a bit of respect for each other, and bonded over cigars. The second movie made him almost completely incompetent, and reduced him to bribing Hellboy with cigars to keep him in line. Maybe justified by the fact that, without the professor, there is no one who can truly keep Hellboy from doing something stupid.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Wink, the murderous troll.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Kraus, after reprimanding him about radio silence during a covert operation, said in an undertone "schmutziger Affe", which is German for "dirty ape" (Stylistically more correct would be "dreckiger Affe", but compared to the butchering of German in other films, it's more or less OK). And at the end of the film, when Hellboy, Liz, Abe and Krauss decided to leave the B.P.R.D., Krauss told Manning to "suck my ectoplasmic schwanzstucker". The word "Schwanzstucker" doesn't exist in German, but it contains the German word "Schwanz", which is "tail" and a mildly obscene word for the penis. In the German dub the word "Schwanzstück" is used, which sounds REALLY awkward, but stylistically correct. This was probably a del Toro Shout-Out to Young Frankenstein.
  • Fragile Speedster: Prince Nuada is extremely fast and agile, however, he is not invincible and relies on his synchronization with Nuala to protect him, since Abe and the others don't want to hurt Nuala. This ends up being his undoing.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Check out the monster-wrangling in the background when Abe and Manning are walking down the hall.
    • After Hellboy and Liz are walking away from the large stone statue-portal at the end, it curiously turns its head to watch them go.
  • Funny Foreigner: Despite being a By-the-Book Cop, Johann Krauss is an incredibly animated individual who throws out several colorful German swears and mispronounces ‘focused’ as ‘fuck-yoused.’
  • Garrulous Growth: Abe Sapien tells a character that he has a nice baby only to be told "I'm not a baby, I'm a tumor" by the "baby".
  • Glamour Failure: The Spectacles cause this, allowing the person wearing them to see the "true nature of things".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The only way the tooth fairy kills squeak by with a PG-13 rating is because the hapless BPRD redshirts are either 1) mostly offscreen when they're being disemboweled or 2) so covered up in tooth fairies that we can't actually see their flesh being shredded off.
  • Gratuitous German: Johann Krauss, whenever he feels like insulting someone. Seth MacFarlane, who played Johann, actually speaks decent German.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Ogdru Jahad, a team of Eldritch Abomination aliens worshipped by Rasputin who tries to lay the world to waste in the first film by using Hellboy as a way of summoning them. While they don't appear in the second film, the Angel of Death reveals that while Hellboy is alive, their arrival on Earth is not only still possible, but imminent.
  • Ground by Gears:
    • In the Troll Market, Hellboy's Deadly Dodging of Wink's fist caused the troll minion to end up in a set of gears, somehow left exposed to the public.
    • The final battle in the Golden Army's chamber have a few members of the army being knocked into gears, where they're squished into bits.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Nuada and Nuala are both very pretty with the same white hair.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The goblin blacksmith, who lost his legs to a furnace fire, and is left carrying himself on a small cart.
  • Hat of Power: The crown which allows its wearer to control the Golden Army.
  • Healing Factor: Hellboy demonstrates a pretty sick one, with his mortal wound from Nuada's spear disappearing between cuts the moment he tears off the bandage.
  • Heroic Suicide: Nuala kills herself to save Hellboy from her brother, since given their psychic link this kills him as well via synchronization.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Despite their heroic deeds, Hellboy and his friends instantly become pariahs after revealing themselves to the public.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Mr. Wink dies this way.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Abe tries to trade the last piece of the crown for Princess Nuala's freedom. Unfortunately for him, Nuada never actually made any sort of promise on that front.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Hellboy is is a hulking demon, while Liz is a slender woman.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Pretty much every normal human outside the B.P.R.D. treats Hellboy and his group like unstable monsters. This is probably why they end up quitting. Which is strange, given that a lot of people were quite enthusiastic about Hellboy in the first. A possible explanation is while they enjoyed the urban legends about Hellboy, even making an in-universe comic-book about him, being confronted by the truth that he really does exist was simply too much for people to handle. And Nuada's Freudian Excuse revolves around his (not entirely untrue) belief that humans are this.
  • Humans Are Flawed: The main reason we're bastards is because we were created with a void in our hearts causing an endless greed.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Hellboy gets guilt-tripped over this here.
  • I Call It "Vera": Hellboy's BFG is named Big Baby.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: How does Hellboy respond to Krauss saying he Can't Take Criticism and has a temper problem? By punching him right where his face would be, naturally.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala share a telepathic link that lets them know what the other is thinking and causes them to share any physical damage they incur. When Nuada is sentenced to death, Nuala accepts the verdict, sacrificing herself to prevent her brother's scheme. When Nuada escapes, Nuala tries to stop him, but she could, at any time, kill herself to stop him, as she was already prepared to do earlier. In a later scene, she allows herself to be taken to the heroes' headquarters, but neglects to inform them that Nuada can find her anywhere and knows everything they tell her, allowing him to progress in his scheme. When Nuada throws his magic bean into the gutter, Nuala neglects telling the others to keep it away from water until it's too late for them to do anything. Only in the end does Nuala finally put two and two together and kill herself to stop Nuada.
    • Abe gets it rather badly shortly after spinning the "my brother knows everything I know" idiot ball — what does he do when he is informed of this rather critical piece of information? Go inform HQ that they'll probably be getting a PO'd elf prince breaking in? Work on evacuating everyone to safety? No, he and Hellboy get drunk and sing love songs.
    • At any point in the movie someone could have thwarted the prince's plan by destroying part or all of the crown that controlled the Golden Army, which is exactly what they end up doing in the end.
  • Immortal Breaker: Prince Nuada Silverlance's eponymous spear, which has a regenerating tip that not only burrows deeper into the target if one tries to remove it, but also inflicts a mortal wound on the otherwise-immortal Hellboy.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Prince Nuada is shown bisecting water droplets in midair.
  • Incest Subtext: Nuada and Nuala. And just barely subtext, at that.
  • Interrogating the Dead: As soon as he’s arrived on the scene, Krauss decides the first order of business is interrogating one of the dead tooth fairies to find out where it came from. Hellboy prepares to use an amulet of Saint Malachy for the job, but Krauss opts to perform the resurrection manually with teleplasty (most likely out of a desire to maintain more precise control over the corpse’s movements). The fairy re-expires quickly, but not before giving them a lead on Troll Market.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: FBI Director Tom Manning is trying to perform a Gas Leak Cover-Up of the events in the auction house when, the next floor up, Liz sets off an explosion that blows Hellboy out a window and into plain view of the reporters.
  • Intangible Man: Krauss outside of his suit. Used for an amusing sequence when he beats up Hellboy using locker doors.
  • Interspecies Romance: Hellboy (demon) and Liz (human), as well as Abe (ichthyosapien) and Nuala (elf).
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Hellboy tends to overdo it, throwing his witnesses across the room before he's gotten any information.
    Hellboy: Feeling a bit chattier now?
    Baby-Like Tumour: We'll never talk.
    Troll: Oh! Yes, we will! Only, don't hit me, anymore!
    Baby-Like Tumour: Chick-en!
  • Jerk Ass Has A Point: During the fight with the elemental, Hellboy takes the baby with him in a dangerous situation and one point throws the baby high into the air, but we're supposed to see the bystanders as entirely in the wrong for verbally attacking Hellboy after the fight. It's a downplayed, if not outright averted example, given that Hellboy didn't exactly have a lot of time to get the baby to safety and was just trying to keep the baby safe, with the bystanders being definitely ungrateful jerks to some degree.
    • Manning is meant to come across as selfish and short-sighted when he tries to convince and bribe Hellboy that the outside world is bad for him, but he ultimately is right: Once the secret came out and they were public agents, the three protagonists came face to face with ridicule and scorn by people who don't understand them or what they're doing. The message is downplayed, but it's there.
  • The Juggernaut: The Golden Army, due to their ability to reassemble themselves.
  • Keystone Army: The Golden Army, with Nuada's crown as the keystone.
  • Kill All Humans: Nuada's goal.
  • Killer Rabbit: The tooth fairies, which live on a diet of calcium and go for the teeth first but will gladly settle for what they can get from bones and flesh. One Red Shirt is taken in by their unassuming appearance as he watches one chew on a tooth, only for it to open its mouth far wider and pounce on him.
    Krauss: Poor creature. Starved, bought and sold on the black market—
    Hellboy: Yeah, right. He bit off part of my tail!
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Hellboy's soft side is established early when he's introduced in a bedroom filled with pet cats. Hellboy's many cats complicate the living conditions between him and Liz.
  • Last of His Kind: A bit of a plot point with the faerie creatures. Nuada and Nuala, being psychically linked, certainly seem to be the last prince(ss)es of the Elves. Then there's the Plant Elemental.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Johan Krauss has no visible face, so the performer can only emote with his hands. In Krauss's first scene, Manning comments on his "expressive hands."
  • Left Stuck After Attack: Hellboy ducks under Mr.Wink's fist on a chain and it lands in some kind of ore grinder, eventually pulling Wink himself in.
  • The Legend of Chekhov: Hellboy is told the story of the Golden Army at the beginning of the movie.
  • Lightning Bruiser: By human standards, Hellboy is definitely this, but since his actual fights tend to be against various supernatural creatures, he can be anything from a Fragile Speedster (compared to the Behemoth,) or a Mighty Glacier (compared to Nuada).
  • Literally Shattered Lives: When Nuada dies, unlike his father and sister he does not merely turn to stone but also shatters into pieces, as though something that was holding them together just isn’t there for him.
  • Magical Weapon: Prince Nuada's spear is a Telescoping Spear, and when Hellboy is stabbed with it its tip breaks off and proves almost impossible to remove, moving towards Hellboy's heart every time Abe tries to remove it. The spear also grows a new tip as soon as the old one is removed.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The throne room of Bethmoora and that giant grinder machine in the troll market.
  • Masquerade: The Fair Folk and other supernatural elements walk around unseen protected by an aura of glamour. Hellboy is not, as poor Manning soon finds out.
  • May It Never Happen Again: After defeating Prince Nuada in a duel and claiming the crown that controls the mechanical Golden Army, Hellboy seems momentarily tempted by the power the crown offers; Liz responds by taking the crown from him and melting it with her pyrokinesis, shutting the Army down forever.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Golden Army, though unlike your normal Mooks, they're all Implacable Bots and Nigh-Invulnerable.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Johann gesticulates a lot whenever he speaks. Tom Manning even comments that he has very expressive hands.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: The gateway to the Golden Army is an animated stone half-figure, which resembles an ordinary scattering of boulders until signaled to rise up.
  • Morph Weapon: Nuada's spear magically grows longer during his duel with Hellboy, nearly spearing his opponent by surprise.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • In the backstory, King Balor had this reaction when he realized how monstrous the Golden Army was, prompting him to sue for peace with the humans.
    • Nuada is implied to feel this after killing his father to retrieve his portion of the crown. After he stabs King Balor, he stops for a few seconds, looking at the (shaking) hand that wielded the blade before reaching out to his father's face.
    Nuada: I always loved you, Father...
    • The goblin blacksmith who created the Golden Army now feels this way about them.
    Goblin: Sometimes I wish I'd never created them.
  • Mythology Gag: Roger the Homunculus, a comics character, can be briefly glimpsed as a statue in the B.P.R.D lobby.
    • For those more familiar with the comics (or anyone who’s seen the 2019 film), Nuada’s assumption that Hellboy is not royalty and cannot challenge him is doubly wrong; in addition to being the son of Satan, Hellboy is also eventually revealed to be a direct descendant of King Arthur on his mother’s side.
  • Myth Prologue: The film starts with a young Hellboy's adoptive father Professor Bruttenholm telling him the story of the titular Golden Army and how it was used by the king of the fairies in an ancient war against humanity before being locked away.
  • Nature Spirit / Physical God: The plant elemental that Nuada sics on Hellboy.
  • Never My Fault: Nuada blames Hellboy for the death of the Plant Elemental - the last of his kind - putting it as a show of humanity's destructive nature. Nevermind that it's Nuada who specifically unleashed it into a fight as a distraction, essentially purposefully sending the thing to its death.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The furnaces of Bethmoora. Also: just what exactly was the purpose of that giant, totally unprotected grinding machine right in the middle of the Troll Market?
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Hellboy, moreso here than the first movie.
  • Oh, Crap!: A literal example. Hellboy loves to say those two exact words when things don't go his way. However, his best one is an unspoken one, at the end where Liz reveals she's carrying twins, his face is PRICELESS.
  • Oppose What You Suffered: Pyrokinetic Liz Sherman bursts into flame when a crowd throws a rock at Hellboy, turning the whole situation into a Face-Heel Temptation, but manages to restrain herself and merely launch into a "Reason You Suck" Speech. A flashback in Hellboy (2004) showed that Elizabeth had had rocks thrown at herself, too, when she was still a little girl and her powers were manifesting uncontrollably, which then resulted in an explosion that killed several bullying kids.
  • Our Angels Are Different: “Hellboy’s Death” is an Angelic Abomination with a blank face, a heart filled with dust, four wings studded with eyes and a voice like the wind in a crypt. However, despite being an angel of death they actually heal Hellboy, though not without warning Liz that he is still destined to bring about the Apocalypse.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elves rule a secret kingdom of The Fair Folk and all appear albino with somewhat cracked-looking skin. Twins are linked psychically and if one dies the other dies too. They also turn into stone upon dying for some reason.
    • The Elves of the Bethmora Clan are called the "Sons of the Earth" and so return to stone upon death. From what we see of its ruins, their former capitol city was underground, more akin to archetypal fantasy dwarves than forest-dwelling elves.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The tooth fairies are a prime example of the Killer Rabbit, sporting More Teeth than the Osmond Family and living on a diet of calcium that they will gladly take from living prey. Nuada uses them as little more than attack dogs to clear out an auction house of the Idle Rich that had earned his ire.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Johann Krauss, an ectoplasmic cloud of Super Smoke who currently inhabits a specially-designed containment unit but can freely exit it to perform various ghostly feats such as possession and Poltergeist antics.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: And they are, being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink world.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: The Golden Army.
  • Pet the Dog: In several instances Prince Nuada was kind to members of species other than the humans he despises, including a dog. He also seems genuinely upset when his Dragon is killed. Justified by the fact that his big problem is with humans overrunning the planet and pushing out other species.
  • Practical Effects: Used extensively and very effectively throughout, as is Del Toro's tradition. Basically, any monster that's not running or fighting is a suit or animatronics rather than CGI.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: The motto of the BRPD is "In absentia luci, tenebrae vicunt." Or, "In the absence of light, darkness prevails."
  • Product Placement:
    • Unlike the first film, which features Bud Lite, in this film Tecate is Hellboy's beer of choice. We see boxes of it in his room, and he later gets drunk with Abe on the stuff. Tecate is one of the few beer companies that will pay for product placement even if characters drink it to get drunk.
    • Hellboy again munches on Baby Ruth bars, carrying over from the first film.
  • Psychometry: As with his appearance in the previous film, Abe Sapien has the power to learn about the history and nature of objects simply through touching them. He is able to scan an area with a wave of his hand, though he still needs to cross-reference what he sees with a bestiary to provide helpful information. When he puts a protective hand over Liz in the first action scene, he accidentally discovers that she is pregnant.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Contrary to the Myth Prologue, the soldiers of the Golden Army are not conventionally indestructible, something Hellboy even comments on as the gang are tearing through robots without much issue. But then they notice that ‘seven times seventy’ adds up to quite a lot, and all the shattered robots start magically coming together, either repairing themselves or reassembling cog by cog until they’re none the worse for wear. In the end, their only chance of stopping the Golden Army is to take control of it via Challenging the Chief.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Hellboy and Mr. Wink. Also, Hellboy and Krauss against the Golden Army.
  • Put on a Bus: Hellboy has Myers shipped to Antarctica before the start of the film as his actor was unavailable during filming.
  • Punch Parry: During their fight in the Troll Market, Hellboy's Right Hand of Doom and Mr. Wink's artificial fist come together, breaking Mr. Wink's hand.
  • Put Them All Out of My Misery: Prince Nuada sees humanity as endlessly greedy and unable to be satiated even after they've destroyed everything in their path, so he has no issues plotting to exterminate them all.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Literally. Poor, poor John Myers. The cynical way to look at this is that Hellboy removed any impediment to his and Liz's relationship; a more idealistic one is that he was trying to keep Myers safe. Of course, given the Lovecraftian overtones of this franchise, being sent to Antarctica might not help...
    Hellboy: He said he liked the cold!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In The Golden Army notably, Hellboy's brashness and emotional volatility contrasts with Abe's apprehensive thoughtfulness.
  • Red Shirt: Just about any non-main character who has the gall to tag along with the main characters on their missions isn't coming back.
  • The Right Hand of Doom: Of course.
  • Rock Theme Naming: The various B.P.R.D. redshirts are all named for minerals.
  • Rocket Punch: Mr. Wink. Crosses over with Artificial Limbs.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Nuada prefers to do everything personally. This might have something to do with the fact that literally everyone else refuses to do anything.
  • Scenery Porn: The Troll Market is a smorgasbord of sights.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Despite spending most of his screen time being a by-the-book leader, Johann decides to aid Liz and Abe's journey to Ireland to save Hellboy's life.
    Liz: So we have clearance, then?
    Johann: Agent Sherman, "Liz"... screw ze clearance! We will take that plane.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Myers' absence from the second movie is explained by his reassignment to Antarctica. His story in general counts as a "Shaggy Dog" Story, since he was supposed to look after Hellboy once Bruttenholm died and Red himself had him reassigned.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the opening scene, a young Hellboy watches Howdy Doody on TV.
    • In a shout out to John Landis, a movie marquee reads See You Next Wednesday, a riff on that director's Creator Thumbprint.
    • Some Elder Things show up in the film, first we see a group of men at the BPRD HQ struggling to keep one down on a table, then more show up at the Troll Market (along with a 3D model on a monitor of the van from which Manning is following the team). Presumably based on designs from del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness adaptation which he attempted to greenlit in 2007.
    • The troll's "I'm not a baby, I'm a tumor" moment is possibly a shout out to Total Recall.
    • Hellboy lives on the 51st floor of the BPRD HQ.
  • Shower of Angst: Hellboy has a short one in the sequel after Liz tells him she's leaving for a while.
  • Shown Their Work: With Mignola and Del Toro co-producing, it wasn't hard to squeeze in all kinds of obscure mythological references. Of course, it's a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, so...
  • Smoking Is Cool: Hellboy is constantly smoking cigars; the second film even included a disclaimer that the smoking was for artistic effect and not an endorsement of smoking. It may double as a real-life Actor Allusion as Ron Perlman is an avid cigar aficionado.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: A feature of the elves in the film.
  • Surprise Multiple Birth: Liz discovers she's pregnant by Hellboy. In the end, Hellboy says they should move to the countryside which will be "great for the baby", only for Liz to state "babies" and hold up two fingers, revealing she's expecting twins.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Hellboy and the audience come to see that Prince Nuada has some legitimate grievances against humanity. He's still a sadistic dick in how he responds.
  • Synchronization: Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala, due to their being twins. If one is injured the other receives the same wound, which is why Nuala is the only female elf with the horizontal scar across her face. She uses the connection in the finale to kill Nuada by sacrificing herself.
  • Tae Kwon Door: When Hellboy and Johann have a locker room disagreement, Johann, being a formless ectoplasmic being and thus Made of Air, travels inside the lockers and begins slamming them open, one at a time in Hellboy's face - and every other part of him - repeatedly.
  • Taken for Granite: When they die, Elves turn into orange stone.
  • Technology Porn: The Golden Army. Also, the film's logo during the intro.
  • Third Act Stupidity: None of the characters make intelligent decisions in the third act, which lead to Nuada getting the crown and Nuala dying (although critics felt it didn't hurt the overall film).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Liz isn't particularly tomboyish in the first film, but with her snarky attitude and combat boots becomes the tomboy to regal, demure Princess Nuala.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Hellboy spends the first half of the film being rather unkind to those around him, even his best friend (Abe Sapien) and girlfriend (Liz). Even compared to the first film he seemed to be tripping on an It's All About Me phase. This eventually blows up in his face when making his existence known to the world doesn't work out as well as he thought it would, which humbles him considerably.
  • Touch Telepathy: Abe Sapien is able to use his powers of Psychometry for this effect. It turns out Princess Nuala shares that ability, and this allows them to develop a romantic connection at speeds not usually possible for characters who only share a scene or two of dialogue.
  • True Blue Femininity: Princess Nuala. Her main color is blue (with gold accents and a gold dress later).
  • Turn in Your Badge: HB and pals hand in their belts and (most of) their guns to announce their resignation from the B.P.R.D.
  • Twins Are Special: Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala can read each others' minds and when one of them is injured, the other is injured as well. No other characters have these abilities in the film.
  • Twin Telepathy: Nuada and Nuala have a constant psychic link and Synchronization that allows Nuada to track his sister and generally circumvent her attempts to hide MacGuffins from him. The only reason he doesn’t secure the third crown piece when he kidnaps her from the B.R.P.D is because the most distinctive detail about the hiding place was that it was a blue book.
  • Twincest: Del Toro's DVD commentary as well as Luke Goss say that Nuada and Nuala had something going on, and the library scene had rather interesting implications.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Hellboy, Liz, and Abe.
  • The Unfettered: The Golden Army itself and one of the reasons it was sealed away. The problem with the Golden Army is that they cannot distinguish between combatants and non-combatants so if you tell them "Kill the humans!" and point to a human army, they will do it, as well as ignore pleas of mercy from soldiers who have given up, the soldiers who are too injured to fight back, and any innocent women and children who might be behind said human army. In essence, sicking the Golden Army on someone is like sending a tornado to handle a few people you don't like.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: Most bystanders immediately slander the B.P.R.D. as freaks after just having been saved from a plant elemental! Then again, Hellboy was jumping around and scaling buildings to fight that thing while juggling an infant, and not always very carefully, either. Improbable Infant Survival or not, can you say, "shaken baby syndrome?"
  • Uniqueness Value: The plant elemental in The Golden Army.
  • The Unmasqued World: In the second movie, Hellboy reveals himself, which causes Tom Manning no end of grief.
  • [Verb] This!: "Name this."
  • Villain Has a Point: Nuada is correct that the humans squandered Balor's mercy and broke the treaty that saved them, and that humans in their current state are killing the fey creatures. It might not quite justify genocide, though.
  • Villainous Friendship: Prince Nuada is genuinely fond of Mr. Wink. In fact, when he goes to confront Hellboy about the latter's death, all he says is, "You'll pay for what you did to my friend back there."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nuada wants to unleash the Golden Army against the humans because he sees their greed as a threat to his kind.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: While there are significant Badass Normal characters in the first movie, by the sequel the entire non-superpowered roster of Hellboy's unit consists of one commander whom everyone treats like dirt and a Redshirt Army who die fast, often, and completely unmourned by any of the superpowered members. Hellboy was more shocked over the death of the rampaging tree-monster than over any of his human allies.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's not hard to see where Nuada is coming from. He had to watch as humanity violated their oath with the fey and endlessly expanded, forcing his once proud people down into the sewers. His hatred for humanity is intense only because he believes that they are actively trying to drive his kind to extinction.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Hellboy loses his first fight with Nuada due in no small part to the fact that he's completely hammered, and even then, he holds his own until he's distracted. During the rematch, sober Hellboy holds his own until he can grab Nuada.
  • Written-In Absence: Rupert Evans was unable to return as Agent John Myers due to a theatrical commitment, so it's explained that Hellboy had him Reassigned to Antarctica out of jealousy of him and Liz.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Inverted; Nuada never actually says he'll let them go. Even then, only Abe's surprised.
    Abe: You'd do the exact same for Liz!
    Nuada: Kill them!
    Abe: But... he lied to us!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hellboy II


The Troll Market

Behind a hidden door under the Brooklyn Bridge can be found the famed Troll Market: a meeting ground for supernatural beings from all over the world, it's possible to find almost anything here - from tooth fairies to magical artefacts.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BazaarOfTheBizarre

Media sources: