"Hellboy II: The Golden Army" is visually arresting and packed with interesting characters, though even at two hours its story feels rushed. Ron Perlman's Hellboy -- tasked with stopping an indestructible army led by a vengeance-seeking fairy prince -- seems to race from set piece to set piece, which is a shame given the amount of work that went into creating various locations and creatures. Still, the movie looks great, and moving to the small screen helps disguise less good sequences like the patently back-lot New York City street during a tree god battle.
Though the packaging boasts three discs, the third is a digital copy of the film, leaving the movie and featurettes on what's really two discs. The Collector's Edition also comes with a Golden Army warrior figurine, creature design sketchbook, poster and more.
DVD Bonus Features:
The Good: The Troll Market tour is amazing. A huge amount of work went into creating the set, and director Guillermo del Toro lets no intricate amount of detail go unnoticed. That's enough to make me wish the bulk of the movie had been spent there. Hellboy fans will want to check out "In Service of the Demon," more than two hours of behind-the-scenes documentary (not including the now-standard featurettes on pre- and post-production). More casual viewers will be relieved to know "In Service to the Demon" is broken into short, easily digestible chapters.
The Bad: While the Collector's Edition has some interesting editions (especially del Toro's sketchbook), the extra $30 is really only worthwhile for true-red Hellboy fans; casual viewers probably won't find much use for a Golden Army warrior action figure. The movie itself moves at too fast a clip to really enjoy the creativity behind it, which is unusual for del Toro. With luck, that means a director's cut is on the way. And hey, where's Perlman on the feature commentary?
The Price: $34.98; $64.98 for the Collector's Edition.