“Curmudgeonly, cantankerous, cigar-chomping Hellboy is a cross between a ’40s noir detective and a burning fireplace,” writes Variety‘s John Anderson, “but he’s also cool enough to make Hellboy II: The Golden Army the hipster’s hit of the summer. It’s certainly a more deliberately (and successfully) funny movie, thanks largely to Ron Perlman, who returns with the rest of the cast, and without whom an onscreen Hellboy would have been almost unthinkable.
“Yes, Catholic imagery has always run rampant through helmer Guillermo del Toro‘s movies, including Pan’s Labyrinth, which he made in between the two Hellboy entries, but he’s really an evangelist of fanboy excess: Given the right push by Universal, he’ll be making fantasy-horror acolytes out of the heretofore unconverted.”
“In a previous life, del Toro might have been a maker of clocks — clocks inhabited by gargoyles instead of cuckoos, and which exploded on the hour. But there’s a precision to the visual ornateness of Hellboy II that exceeds even that of its predecessor.”