31 October 2006

Ink Blots XXXVI - Hellboy: Sword of Storms

Hellboy (actually baby Hellboy) was summoned by the Nazi's during World War II, only to be captured and raised by us good guys in these United States. Now he fights the paranormal with his pyrokinetic friend Liz and the aquatic Abe. These three were previously seen in the Hellboy comics and in 2004's live action Hellboy movie. I caught Sword of Storms in its Cartoon Network debut, though the film will be released on DVD in early 2007.

The film opens with a neat sequence of the trio fighting some Mayan zombies and a big flying beastie. Liz cooks the crap out of them, and we know never to mess with her. Then Hellboy gets called off to Japan to investigate some mysterious happenings. Turns out a professor has been possessed by some demons (Thunder and Lightning) that are trapped in a sword. Hellboy finds the sword and in transported to a land of Japanese myths. He beats up on some corpseless heads, a big she-spider, and a water beastie and eventually learns that he can only escape this land by breaking the sword, an act that would also free those demons. In the meantime, Liz and Abe are left to deal with some dragons being summoned by the sword demons.

In all, its a nice little film, that plays more like a long episode of a series than a feature. It is surprising that the cast of the live-action film were brought in to voice their animated counterparts, a nice touch. I enjoyed the live-action film more, but this movie is a decent follow up. One problem is that the scope of the villains never seems as intense or threatening and I would have liked a bit more complexity to the story, though the humor was nicely balanced with action. I am encouraged that another animated film, Hellboy: Blood and Iron is in the works which promises to up the ante for the animated Hellboy universe. With a bit of room to grow on, Hellboy: Sword of Storms earns a B.


Anonymous mysterious person said...

Yea. cool blog! I'll link ya up!

anonymous mysterious person said...

hey, do more reviews on Studio Ghibli's films! They deserve it for their skills and commitment!

Chip Chief said...

very well, since you asked so nicely. i think november will be "great movies you may have never heard of" month, or something along those lines. i think i can squeeze a ghibli in there.