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Floppie's Blag

Entertainment, technology, and the occasional shenanigans

The Dark Knight - main poster

The Dark Knight - main poster

Yes, me and three friends were among the millions who went to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight on Thursday night – yes, it took me that long to write this. At a running time of 152 minutes (2:32), this was one long movie, but it was absolutely worth it. Between all the amazing performances from the actors, their attention to detail from the comics, the great action scenes. According to Wikipedia’s The Dark Knight (film) article, the movie broke three records – it made $18.5 million from midnight showings, beating Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith‘s $16.9 million; it made $66.4 million on its opening day, beating Spider-Man 3‘s $58.9 million; and it made $158.4 million on its opening weekend, beating (again) Spider-Man 3 at $151.1 million – it also sold more opening weekend tickets than Spider-Man 3, 22.37 million at average $7.08 versus 21.96 million at average $6.88, so it wasn’t just inflation that got it that record. And, because this was in the same canon as Batman Begins, they used the same badass Batmobile (nicknamed the “Tumbler”) – which is awesome. I’d consider paying another $10 to see it a second time. Oh yeah, and they jammed two stories into it – but more on that later, no spoilers until the plot summary. First, however…

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Heath Ledger as The Joker

Before starting this review, I’d like to take a moment en memorium of Heath Ledger. Yeah, it’s painfully stereotypical – but the man was a great actor, and his portrayal of The Joker was incredible. I went into the movie with a great respect for Jack Nicholson‘s performance as the same character in the 1989 Batman, but Ledger just blew him away. According to Wikipedia’s Dark Knight article, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month before the filming to get in character properly, and it paid off. His performance, one of his final works, was amazing; I’ve heard he’s being nominated for an Oscar for this performance, and I hope he gets it. I’m sure I can speak for everybody who saw this movie when I say, we’re sad to see him go. Heath, my proverbial hat is off to you.

Now, on with the plot summary. Yes, it’s spoiler time. As the movie begins, we see a bank robbery in progress. A bunch of guys in clown masks – they take everybody hostage, then start breaking in. Each time somebody finished their job, the person with them shoots them – to take them out of the “cut”. All the while, the bank manager (nameless, played by William Fichtner) is watching from his office. Until he gets tired of watching – and comes out brandishing a nice little sawed-off shotgun. Turns out this is a mob bank. He brings down a couple of the guys, but there are two hiding behind the desk.

The Dark Knight - outro poster

The Dark Knight - outro poster

After five shots, one asks the other if he’s out – to which he replies that he is. The first one stands up and gets shot, then makes a sarcastic remark to the second about how he was wrong. The manager is, in fact, now out – so they shoot him in the abdomen, give him a little spiel, and then shoot him in the head. Then they back a school bus into the bank (through a wall) to load the money, and simply join the rest of the fleet of school buses.

Later that night, a bunch of mob bosses are meeting, including the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), with Lau (Chin Han). Lau is speaking with them via webcam broadcast, presumably, from his office in China. They talk about how Lau is basically screwing them, but as it turns out, he’s the only supplier left (of what we never actually find out, presumably drugs) – because Batman has taken down all the others. Enter the Joker (Heath Ledger), who says he can take care of Batman. His asking price, however, is outrageous (50% of their profit if I recall), and he only escapes with his life because he has a bunch of grenades in his jacket, with all the pins tied to his thumb by string.

This meeting is interrupted by a bunch of Batman impersonators – some brandishing guns, many very physically unfit, and all of them dressed up in cheap imitation Batman suits. However, right as they’re getting their asses beaten, the real Batman (Christian Bale) comes flying through a half-wall of the parking garage in the Batmobile. He ultimately beats down the criminals while telling the impostors to (in different words) fuck off because they can’t do the job. However, in the process, he sustains a nasty dog bite on his arm.

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 1

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 1

Next we see Bruce Wayne, outside of his Batman suit, sitting in the bat cave stitching up the bite. Alfred (Michael Caine) walks in and tells Bruce he needs to stop getting injured so badly. This leads Bruce to go to another board member of Wayne Enterprises, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) – basically, this is Bruce’s tech guy. He built the Batmobile, and all the other equipment – such as the suit. Bruce tells him he needs a new suit; one with more mobility, something more “functional”.

After figuring out that Lau is the one behind the whole mob thing, Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman meet up. They try to decide whether or not they want to bring the new district attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), into their operation – he’s been prying on Gordon to let him in. The next day, Lau retreats back to Hong Kong, so Batman and Gordon decide that they should let Dent in; the three of them come to the conclusion that, although China will not expedite one of their own for crimes in the US, Batman has no jurisdiction.

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 2

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 2

So, once Fox finishes Bruce’s new suit, he asks him about the possibility of jumping out of a plane, and getting back in…without having the plane land. Fox mentions an old idea that the military had, called “SkyHook” – Bruce tells him he likes the idea, and says to make it happen. So now, Batman goes to China – to retrieve Lau. He gets the job done pretty easily using his new flying suit, along with some remote charges and a sweet hand to hand battle. Then, with Lau in his hands, he grabs onto a hook (attached to a plane) which pulls him up into the air, and into the plane. Gordon arrives at the police department the next morning to find Lau, with a note pinned to him – “To: Lieutenant Gordon”.

At this point, the mobsters are pretty intimidated, and they are driven to agree to pay the Joker half their money to kill Batman. The Joker is pretty happy about this; and he tells all of Gotham, using a video recording which he sends to the news channels, that if Batman does not turn himself in (to the police), he will kill people every day. The Joker keeps his word, and goes as far as to kill off public officials, such as Police Commissioner Loeb (Colin McFarlane) and an attempt at the Mayor (Nestor Campbell). Bruce is preparing to turn himself in as Batman, when Dent himself takes the fall after speaking with reporters at a press conference.

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 3

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 3

While Dent is being transported to a holding cell, the Joker tries to take him down. Between Batman and Gordon, however, they manage to arrest the Joker. With him in custody, Gordon tries, unsuccessfully, to interrogate him – so he sends in Batman. The Joker tries to get Batman worked up, then he mentions Rachel, and that her and Dent are in separate buildings in different parts of town, each with bombs set to explode in five minutes. He gives him the addresses, and tells him that he must make a choice on which to save. Batman goes after Rachel, and sends Gordon and the rest of the police force after Dent.

However, upon his arrival, Batman realizes that the Joker gave them the wrong addresses – in trying to save Rachel, he actually went to save Dent. Gordon and the cops don’t make it in time to save Rachel. In the explosion, the left side of Dent’s face is incinerated. Meanwhile, back at the Joker’s holding cell, he uses his phone call to detonate a phone bomb planted in the chest of another inmate, and he escapes with Lau.

Next, we see Gordon visiting Dent in the hospital – asking why he’s refusing skin grafts. Then Dent turns his head, and we see the extent of the damage – his face is laid open in several places. He tells Gordon to recite the nickname that they used to have for him, screaming when Gordon refuses until he finally gives in – and calls him Harvey Two-Face.

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 4

The Dark Knight - alternate poster 4

The Joker chimes in again at this point and tells Gotham City that, if the man who is about to come forward and reveal Batman’s true identity (another Wayne Enterprises board member) is not killed within sixty minutes, he will blow up a city hospital. Naturally, the hospitals start evacuating – but as it turns out, this is just intended to be misdirection so that the Joker can pay a little visit to Dent. Naturally, Dent blames Rachel’s death on the Joker (along with Batman and Gordon). The Joker hands him a gun and points it at his own head; Dent flips his coin, which has had one of its head sides burned off, then there’s a smash cut out of the scene.

After a bit of speaking between Batman, Gordon, and other movie characters, we see that the Joker is still alive and well as he walks out of the exploding hospital – along with a bit of humor as his detonator malfunctions. Then we see Harvey confronting all the corrupt cops and mob bosses – flipping his coin with each one to determine their fate; heads and they live, tails and they die.

Meanwhile, we cut over to the Joker – and in a warehouse, we see a large mountain of money with Lau strapped to a chair on top, with the Joker pouring accelerant all over the pile. Another of the mobsters walks in, appalled, and the Joker tells him that he can do whatever he wants with his half; about how it isn’t about the money with the Joker, because all his tastes (gunpowder, Diesel fuel, bullets, etc) are very cheap. Gotham deserves a better kind of criminal, and he’s going to give it to them.

The Joker puts out another public message; at nightfall, the streets are going to be his, and anybody left in the city will be subject to his “game”. That evening, two ferries are boating away from Gotham, attempting to evacuate citizens – one carries inmates from the prison, and the other simply carries a bunch of people. As it turns out, though, the Joker already rigged the ferries with bombs; he wants to have a “social experiment” – each ferry has the detonator to blow up the other. They have fifteen minutes (until midnight) for one to be blown up, before he will blow them both.

After hearing this news, Bruce takes Lucius Fox to a mainframe room that he built – that rigs up all cell phones in the city to paint pictures of their surroundings on the screen matrix in that room, using sonar signaling. Fox voices his disapproval, saying how he’ll do Bruce this favor, but as long as that machine is at Wayne Enterprises, he will not be. Bruce tells him that that’s fine, but he needs to find the Joker, and to simply type his name in when he’s finished.

While Bruce goes out and gets ready to confront the Joker, we see the conflict between the citizens on the boats. The free citizens put it up for a vote, and end up with roughly a 3:1 ratio in favor of blowing the other boat. Meanwhile, on the inmates’ boat, a very large, black inmate convinces the captain to give him the detonator – saying that he’s going to do what the captain should’ve done ten minutes ago – and he throws it out the window. Back on the free citizens’ boat, one man makes a remark about how nobody wants to get their hands dirty – so he goes up and picks up the detonator, but can’t do it.

By now, Fox has found the Joker and he tells Bruce where he is – so Bruce, as Batman of course, goes and finds him, at the top of an unfinished skyscraper. He gets Gordon (newly appointed police commissioner) to hold off the SWAT team for a few minutes – and then figures out that the people in clown masks are, in fact, the hostages – but his suit was damaged so he can’t tell Gordon this. So he fights his way through a bunch of thugs and keeps the SWAT team at bay, until he finally reaches the Joker at the top. An epic battle ensues; ultimately, the Joker hangs upside-down from an elevator cable and admits that, although Batman was incorruptible, Dent was not, and that Dent’s madness has been unleashed.

Batman leaves him there, and finds Gordon and his family with Dent in the same building where the Joker blew up Rachel. Dent proceeds to use his coin to judge Batman, Gordon’s son, and himself; he sees random chance as the only fairness left in the world. He shoots Batman in the stomach, but before he can execute Gordon’s son’s fate, Batman tackles him over the side of the building, saving the boy.

Gordon and Batman descend to the ground where Dent lies; his head lying to the side, the scarred half showing. They decide that, if anybody finds out about Dent’s corruption and murders, the Joker would win. Batman insists that Gordon blame the murders on him, rather than allowing the city’s ray of hope, Dent, to be corrupted in the eyes of the public.

As the movie ends, we see Gordon destroying the Bat Signal, and issuing a manhunt for Batman. They try to chase him through some sort of a dark train yard, but he’s on the Bat Cycle, and simply outruns them. Then we cut to the credits.

Go see it. That’s all I’m going to say. I intend to see it again; nobody should go without seeing this movie ;)

Hellboy II: The Golden Army, main posterFinally, I write a movie review on its opening weekend instead of two weeks late – I know, right? Anyway, I – along with a handful of friends – went and saw Hellboy II: The Golden Army Friday night (July 11). Keep in mind that I haven’t seen the first one – it was on FX Thursday night (the 10th), but I missed it. However, the friends I went with said that there really weren’t any confusing tie-ins with the first movie.

Now, to start – this movie was pretty good. The characters and relationships were strong well-defined; the plot was creative and immersive; and the visual effects were all good – although that really wasn’t unexpected. And finally, to get into the plot summary – yes, as with all my movie reviews, this contains spoilers. Don’t read them if you won’t want to spoil the movie.

When the movie starts, we see a little back story – how Hellboy came to be a member of the human world, things like that. Most notably, a scene from his childhood, where his father figure, Professor Trevor ‘Broom’ Bruttenholm (John Hurt) tells the young Hellboy (Montse RibĂ©) the story of the Golden Army.

This story says that, when the world was still young, all creatures lived together, in harmony – demons, elves, goblins, and humans. The problem was, man was created with a hole in his heart that no manner of possession or power could fill – greed. As a result, the humans initiated a long, painful war between themselves and the other races. Countless lives were taken – until finally, the goblins came to the king of the elves with a proposal. They could create an unstoppable army – seventy times seventy (4900 for my less math-inclined readers) indestructible metal soldiers, forged of gold.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army, poster 2The elf king accepted their offer; and so they created the army, and along with it a crown. A crown which gave the wearer the power to command the army with complete obedience, with one exception; if anybody were to challenge the wearer’s authority, the challenge must be met, and the winner would gain the right to bear the crown.

So the king puts on the crown and, unchallenged, commands the Golden Army to destroy the human combatants. He watches in horror as the remorseless soldiers slaughter their challengers; and, once the war was over, he split the crown into three parts; two stayed with the elves, while one went with the humans.

Fast forward to today. We come into the elven Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) practicing his technique with his weapon, a short bladed pole that extends to a full spear at his will, in a dry sewer chamber. He is obviously incredibly skilled. Then his friend Wink (operated by Brian Steele) – a troll, I believe – walks in. Nuada, indicating two large boxes, tells Wink about how he “just bought them” and he “hasn’t fed them yet”. Then he tells Wink that “he’ll go up first, and to follow him quietly” – and the camera pans upward through a vertical sewer tunnel and a manhole.

Now, we cut over to an auction of precious art – a couple items are sold for obscene amounts of money, then the piece of the crown (whose origin is unknown, according to the auctioneer) goes up for sale. The lights flicker out and the computer screens all turn to static; the auctioneer says to remain calm, as the power outage is most likely only temporary. But then the Prince walks in, along with Wink, who is carrying those two boxes from before.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army, poster 3Nuada informs everybody that he will be taking the crown piece; and so he does. Then he tells them all that they are about to be reminded why they once feared the dark – and he opens the boxes, freeing whatever is inside – all we can tell is that there are a large number of small creatures in there. Then, the screen goes dark and we simply hear screaming.

And now, cut over to our introduction with the main character – Hellboy, referred to by other characters mainly as Red (and played by Ron Perlman). Red is an agent in a top-secret government bureau devoted to keeping the paranormal under control, and a secret from the general public. However, he doesn’t like being kept a secret – and his supervisor, Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor), does not like it – but he’s not a very strong-willed guy.

So one of the other agents, and Red’s buddy, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), leads Tom down to the apartment that Red shares with his girlfriend, Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) – and they find Red being thrown out (literally) by Liz. Red tells Abe and Tom to be careful, that Liz is “on fire” – and when Red goes back inside, that turns out to be quite true. Apparently, Liz is a pyromancer.

And apparently, what they were arguing about was, basically, Red – his ridiculous number of cats; his cleaning habits, or lack thereof; his attitude towards, well, everything. Then, when Tom starts trying to talk to Red about how he needs to stop getting “on-camera” time in the general public, Red basically ignores him; this works for Red because Tom is afraid of him.

However, as it turns out, Tom also came to brief them on a situation they have to go clean up – the auction. He informs them of what the bureau does know, which isn’t very much, and they move out to go take care of it. Tom even bribes Red with Cuban cigars to remain incognito. When the scene transitions over to the city street, we see Tom stating to the press that there was a “gas bubble”, and that FBI agents under his command are inside taking care of the situation.

While inside, we learn that the little creatures are known as tooth fairies – they feed primarily on calcium, and all they really do is eat, then eat some more. Eventually, they find a couple of the creatures, and one of the human agents mentions how it’s cute, as it sits there eating a tooth that it got from one of the people at the auction – that it killed.

Then all Hell breaks loose. The little fuckers start swarming out of the walls; they kill the two or three human agents that are on the mission. Liz starts doing her pyromancy thing, and Red moves toward a window – which she specifically says to stay away from, but he doesn’t. Then she causes an explosion – literally – which kills all the little demons and blows Red out the window.

Naturally, the press starts freaking out – asking all sorts of questions, etc. Long story short, they get back to the bureau compound…thing, and Tom starts giving him a lecture. Naturally, Red really isn’t listening, so Tom tells him he brought in a new superior for Red – a German specialist named Johann Krauss (played by James Dodd and John Alexander, with voice by Seth MacFarlane – yes, the guy who makes Family Guy and American Dad, check out his IMDB page). Meanwhile, Abe and Liz are talking about Red – and, when Abe touches Liz’s stomach, he finds out that she’s pregnant – which is also news to her. This is a recurring issue throughout the movie, but Red doesn’t find out until much, much later.

Krauss is a highly skilled, highly regimented agent, who “really understands the chain of command”, according to Tom. And, as we find Krauss is actually a ghost – contained in a mechanical suit. Naturally, Krauss and Red butt heads quite a bit – Krauss does everything very by-the-book, while Red is basically the epitome of unorthodox – they’re polar opposites. Anyway, they have a meeting, and Krauss informs them all that they need to find the troll market, something that they all say has never been done, and Krauss responds that that is because they haven’t been teamed with him. They also mention that the symbol on the box is the elven royal seal – but it’s only used in times of war.

At some point during all this (I can’t recall exactly when) the scene cuts over to the elven royal chamber, where Prince Nuada is (against his will) stripped of his weapon by the Chamberlain (also played by Doug Jones) – it is not until his sister, Princess Nuala (Anna Walton) insists that he gives it up that he finally does. Then, he enters the chamber – and goes before King Balor (Roy Dotrice) and their council, stating that they should wage war on the humans, to reclaim the world that is rightfully theirs. The king is surprised, stating that this would be breaking an ancient treaty between all the races; but the prince says that, in keeping the outside world to themselves, the humans themselves are breaking the treaty.

King Balor asks Nuada if this is truly how he feels, to which he responds that it is. Both the king and Princess Nuala are saddened, as the king is forced to sentence Nuada to death for this. Nuada asks his sister if he agrees with her king’s decision, and she says that she does. So the guards attempt to subdue Nuada, but fail – he takes a sword from one and uses it to fight until he steals another sword, then he brings them all down in a very impressive display of dual-wielding. Until, finally, he reaches the king’s throne – he assassinates the king, and takes his piece of the Golden Crown. Now he has two of them – he turns around to tell Nuala to give him hers, but she’s not in the chamber – she is fleeing.

And now, back to our heroes – Krauss brings om three sets of goggles that can pierce the illusion that trolls and other magical creatures and objects project around themselves. They use these to reveal a troll underneath the Brooklyn (I think, anyway) bridge in New York City, who (quite unwillingly) leads them to the entrance to the market. When they get there, the door is sealed by a very cryptic puzzle. Red’s answer is to pound the shit out of the troll until she lets them in; Krauss, however, being a ghost, can permeate the mechanism of the puzzle, and he quickly solves it to open the door.

Once inside, Krauss tells them to keep radio communications to a minimum in order to avoid being conspicuous. They wander around, trying to find the elf who released the tooth fairies – naturally, we know that it was Prince Nuada, but they do not, gogo dramatic irony – until Abe spots a heavily-cloaked elf with the same seal on a wristband. He follows her, until she slips into a small shop at the end of an alley – where we find out that it’s Princess Nuala. When the store owner realizes this, he gives her a map left by her father. Then, Abe walks in – and she asks why he’s been following her.

He says that he hasn’t, but she knows otherwise. She asks his name, and he tells her – Abraham Sapien – but she says that there is no such name. So she asks for his hand, and he touches hers with his – and then, both being telepathic, she understands that he isn’t lying, and what his intentions are. Then, Nuada drops in – and Abe tells her to run, while he handles Nuada. So she does, but Nuada’s pet troll, Wink, drops in.

Very shortly, Red makes it to the fight – and engages Wink. They throw each other around and cause a lot of destruction in the market, but eventually, Red ends up killing Wink. This infuriates Nuada, who throws some sort of a glowing green seed in front of him, while Nuala pleads for him not to. The seed eventually seeks out water, and grows to giant proportions – as it turns out, that little seed was an Elemental; a Forest God. Red saves an endangered baby from a minivan, fights, and eventually defeats the Elemental by shooting its weak point, the head (critical hit~), but not before Nuada manages to make him question his place in the human world. Nuada is aided by the way the public reacts to Red saving their lives – not very favorably. After the Elemental is killed, plants begin sprouting all over the city streets and buildings – it’s really rather remarkable. After the area is cleaned up, they all make their way back to the compound, with Nuala.

While at the compound, Nuala reads some poetry, and her and Abe spark a bit of a romance – it seems a bit fake though, so it’s not really worth mentioning beyond this one sentence. Nuala also reveals that, in her belt, she carries the final piece of the crown – the only thing left stopping Nuada from activating the Golden Army and waging an apocalyptic war on mankind. When Abe tells her that she is safe in the compound, due to its location being top secret, she tells him that, because they are twins, her and her brother share a bond – a connection – and, because she knows its location, he does as well.

Later on, in what appears to be a locker room, we see Abe drinking some beer that he keeps in his locker. Krauss walks in, and they start going at it – Krauss telling him that his downfall is his temper, and that he can’t take criticism. So Red punches him, destroying the glass dome that keeps Krauss’s ectoplasm inside his suit. He slowly leaks out and appears to dissipate, and Red starts to get nervous, thinking he killed him. However, Krauss did not dissipate – he possessed the lockers, much like he did with the puzzle to get into the troll market earlier, so he starts opening them, hitting Red repeatedly until satisfied, when he leaves the lockers and walks away in his (apparently) natural ethereal form. The whole scene is pretty funny.

Naturally, having just had his pride and ego hurt, Red continues drinking, and he brings some over to Abe’s chamber. Red tells him to drink, and he tries to decline, to no avail – but Red won’t hear it. Scene change to Nuala, still in the library – she says to herself “he’s here” – so she rushes to place the crown piece in the poetry book she had been reading earlier, and throw the map she got from that shopkeeper in the fire. Then she turns around, and there he is – so she pushes the emergency button and everybody rushes to the library, including Abe and Red, both still drunk.

They walk in and find that Nuada has the princess captive, at knifepoint – he presses it into her cheek, cutting her, and starts to bleed himself, exemplifying the bond between them. So, Abe and Red engage him in combat. Naturally, Abe gets his ass handed to him. Red, however, does pretty well – but ultimately loses when Nuada stabs him in the chest with his spear, which apparently has an enchantment where it can leave the blade in a victim and grow another. So he leaves a blade in Red’s chest, right over his heart, and tells everybody that if they want to save Red, and if Abe wants to see Nuala again, to bring him the crown piece.

Next, we see Abe and Liz in an infirmary room with Red on the table – but every time Abe tries to get close enough to the blade to pull it out, it moves closer to his heart. Another scene change; Abe is in the library with a team of people, searching the books for the crown piece, when he recalls the poem book Nuala was reading from – he looks in it, and lo and behold, it’s in there. But rather than reporting it to the other agents, he steals it. Then he goes to find Liz, and the two of them decide to steal a bureau plane and go confront Nuada – but he doesn’t tell her he has the crown piece.

So they go to take a plane, and Krauss catches them. He asks them if they have clearance to take that plane, which they do not. So Liz goes off on him – saying how even if he was once human, he certainly is not anymore if he doesn’t understand their plight and let them take the plane. He thinks about this for a moment, and then ends up going along with it, even flying for them. When Liz asks him if he got clearance, he responds “SCREW THE CLEARANCE!” – and off they fly.

The next scene, we see them wandering through a hilly grassland in northern Ireland, in an outcropping of large boulders. They’re wondering how to get to where Nuada is hiding out, when a goblin with a cart (he has no legs; the cart is attached to his lower body) walks up to them – Liz asks for safe passage, but the goblin needs something in return. She offers him her “shiny belt buckle”, but he doesn’t have pants; she offers him “magical eyes”, but he says he already has binoculars. Then he spies the spear blade still in Red’s chest, and says he wants it – but Liz cries out, saying that they cannot remove it.

The goblin, however, wants the blade – and is willing to accept it as payment – so he blows a whistle, and the outcropping of rocks turns out to be a giant rock golem (or elemental, or something), and it stands up when the whistle blows, revealing a sort of doorway to an ancient city in its chest. As we find out, this was an ancient goblin city that is very clearly no longer populated – and the goblin they’re encountering is the one who designed and built the Golden Army, and that’s how he lost his legs.

Eventually, he leads them to a room with a demon-like being attached to the floor in the center of a circle – she has no eyes on her face, but has several on the underside of each wing. As we find out, this is the Angel of Death (yet another character played by Doug Jones), and she has been waiting for them – for she has come to claim Hellboy’s life. Liz pleads with her to save him; Death says that his destiny is to destroy the world, and makes Liz choose – the world, or Red. She chooses Red, and continues to plead for her to remove the blade – which she holds up, stating that it is already done, and she has done all she can – now Liz has to give him a reason to live.

She fades away, while the goblin yells so she doesn’t forget to give him the blade, which she leaves behind. Liz leans close to Red, and tells him that he’s going to be a father. He wakes up, surprised, and she confirms that she is pregnant. After a bit of romance, they remember that they need to take care of Nuada, so they walk to go meet him in what appears to be some sort of throne room. Along the way, the camera pans out and we can see the entire deactivated Golden Army – 4900 massive golden soldiers is a lot.

When they confront Nuada, Abe walks forward and, much to his companions’ dismay, throws the crown piece to him upon being promised Nuala’s release and their safe passage back home. Nuada puts them together and puts it on – thus activating his army, which he orders to kill Red and his companions. What a surprise, the villain went back on his word. So Red and Liz start going to town, and Krauss releases his ectoplasm from his suit so he can possess one of the soldiers, which turns blue while possessed.

They’re doing pretty well – they destroy several of them, and during the fight, Red says “industrible, my ass” – referring to the story that the Professor Bruttenholm told him at the beginning of the movie; he called them indestructible, and Red asked him what “industrible” meant. However, once they slow down and stop for a minute, the destroyed soldiers all put themselves back together. So, again remembering his childhood story, Red yells that he challenges Prince Nuala for his right to command the Golden Army. Nuala cries out that, being the son of “the Fallen One”, Red’s challenge must be answered.

Abe tells him that anything that happens to Nuada also happens to Nuala, and Red responds that he’s not going to kill him – although he is going to beat the shit out of him. So an epic battle between Nuada and Red ensues. Red uses all the humongous cogs in the throne room to his advantage, frequently disappearing behind one and reappearing from behind another. Nuada is still incredibly skilled, but Red isn’t drunk this time – and eventually, he gets the upper hand. Nuada pleads for Red to kill him, saying that if he isn’t killed, he will not stop – but Red refuses.

He takes the crown and, while his back is turned, Nuada pulls out a dagger and starts moving toward Red. He stops very suddenly, however, and starts bleeding from the chest – then the truth dawns on everybody, and we see the Princess, who stabbed herself through with her own dagger. Abe rushes to her side, but ultimately can only hold her hand and tell her how he feels until she passes – and turns to stone, just as her father did.

Nuada gives a typical end-of-the-villain speech, then suffers the same fate. Liz takes the crown from Red, and turns up the heat until it melts, falling to the ground as a harmless mass of gold. The army is all deactivated. It’s very fortunate that that’s how it turned out, if you ask me – they could have also simply been freed of all control and gone to wreak havoc on all living things.

They make their way outside, where some other bureau agents, including Tom, are trying to find their way inside. Tom begins to reprimand them for their behavior, but, much to his surprise, Red, Liz, and Abe all hand him their belts and inform him that they are resigning. He asks Krauss if they can do that, but Krauss simply insults him and walks off with the other three. While walking away, Hellboy talks about his future fatherhood and starts making plans for the baby – but Liz corrects him, holding up two fingers, indicating that she is having twins.

And that’s the movie. I started this review Friday night after I got home; that’s how long it took to write. I hope you enjoyed the plot summary as much as I enjoyed the movie – and if you haven’t seen it, I’d advise watching it if you were interested enough to read through this whole thing.

Hancock

Posted by Floppie on 2008-07-08
Posted in MoviesReviews  | Tagged With: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hancock movie posterWell, me and Tristan finally got a chance to go see Hancock yesterday, and let me just say, it was awesome. Let me start you out with a little perspective, in case you haven’t seen it. We have Will Smith playing John Hancock, a superhero whose powers are basically the same as Superman’s. Except he’s an alcoholic. And he’s black. So we have a drunk black Superman – sounds like a recipe for lulz. Also, it’s set in Los Angeles – it took me a while to figure this one out. Anyway, spoiler time – don’t read if you don’t want em.

When the movie starts, we see an SUV full of guys, flying down the highway shooting at people. Then it cuts over to Hancock, who’s sleeping on a bench on some sidewalk, dressed basically like a hobo, with a bottle of whiskey, until a kid wakes him up (with some difficulty) and tells him to go save the city. Finally, Hancock gets up and flies away – destroying the bench and part of the sidewalk in the process – toward the high-speed chase, while Ludacris‘s Move Bitch plays.

On his way to the chase, he flies into a flock of geese, almost hits a plane, and does in fact hit one of those overhead highway signs that advise drivers on which exits to take – the sign then falls on a cop car (or several), destroying everything involved. He gets to the SUV, tears off the roof, and sits in the back seat – not without his bottle of whiskey. He tries to talk to the guys, but they refuse to speak English – I forget what they were speaking. Finally, they decide to pump him full of lead, but naturally, it all just bounces off.

He gets pissed off because they destroyed his bottle of whiskey and his brand new sunglasses, so he jams his feet through the floorboard to stop the vehicle (destroying a good amount of roadway in the process), picks them up, and flies them around for a while. When they beg to be let down, he impales the front of the vehicle on the giant spike on top of some LA building. Obviously enough, the public doesn’t like him, and he sees a newscast to that effect while he sits in some bar later that day – turns out, the damage cost the city roughly $9 million to repair, a personal record for Hancock.

The next day, we meet Ray Embrey (played by Jason Bateman), a real nice guy who does public relations work. The first scene we see him in, he’s pitching a new “have a heart” brand or something like that to a drug company. The idea behind the brand is that it’s a philanthropic seal – the companies bearing it are very select, and the right to bear it requires that the company do something big. What he asks if this particular company is that they give away their newest drug, the one advertised on TV, 100% free to people whose lives it will save. Naturally, they laugh at him.

On his way home, he gets stuck in traffic, and – like a dumbass – stops on a set of railroad tracks. Predictably, a freight train comes along, and he can’t pull forward or back because of the traffic; can’t open his door on the first try because the inside handle is busted, so he has to reach out the window to open it that way; and then he can’t get his seatbelt unbuckled. Then Hancock lands in front of his car, gives him a “what the fuck?” look, flips the car over on top of a couple other vehicles, and stops the train…with his body. Naturally, the whole train jackknifes and derails, causing all sorts of damage.

Ray is very grateful. Everyone else around starts yelling at Hancock, saying what an asshole he is and how he should have handled it. One woman even yells that she can smell the alcohol on his breath, to which he response “‘Cause I been drinkin, bitch!” Ray, however, argues in his favor. He figures, yeah, he should have handled it differently, but the man still saved his life. Because of Hancock, he’ll be able to go home to his family that night. Then he asks if Hancock can fly him home – so he does, along with the car.

When they land, Ray’s wife, Mary (Charlize Theron), and son, Aaron (Jae Head), come running outside asking what happened, since Hancock just dropped their father, in his car, right in the middle of the cul de sac, then dragged the car into the driveway. Ray tells the story and invites Hancock in for dinner, insisting that he stay. His son, naturally, is like Hancock’s biggest fan – and as we also find out, he’s being bullied by a neighborhood boy named Michel (Daeg Faerch, the same kid who played in Rob Zombie’s Halloween).

Over dinner, Ray keeps trying to get Hancock to let him do his PR work. Totally free, he just wants to make a name for himself. The problem is, Hancock won’t admit that he wants the public to like him. At one point, he goes to the bathroom (with his bottle of whiskey), and Mary won’t stop talking about how she feels that Hancock is just bad news. Hancock leaves, and Ray sends his business card with him.

He flies back to his home, which is really just a small cluster of trailers atop a mesa of some sort in the desert. While there, he opens a small tin (like an Altoids thing or similar), which contains a few dollar bills and two movie tickets to Frankenstein. The next day, he goes back to Ray’s house, landing in the cul de sac and leaving a crater. Now we meet that Michel kid, who calls Hancock an asshole a couple times – which is a problem, because Hancock doesn’t like being called an asshole. He throws the kid way up in the air, and that’s when Ray walks out and greets him, saying that he needs to work on his landings – the crater thing is a problem. Then Michel comes down and Hancock catches him – Ray says that that’s also a no-no.

So they go inside, Ray gives him the pitch, shows him a couple Youtube videos, and eventually he agrees. Ray mentions that, apparently, Hancock has failed to show for some obscene number of subpoenas – 860 comes to mind, but I don’t remember the exact number. He has spoken with the district attorney, however, and he’s willing to just send him to jail for a few (eight, as it turns out) years. Hancock, naturally, doesn’t react very favorably to this – but Ray explains it to him, that he just has to go in for a little while, to make the public miss him. Crime will go up, and the public will want him back.

Eventually, he agrees. Ray writes him a speech, which he gives publicly to the press, saying how he’s the only one of his kind, and that he hasn’t been the man he should be – that they deserve better, and he will be better. So he goes behind bars. The inmates don’t exactly like him, and try to pick a fight – but he’s still a fucking superhero, so he hands their asses to them. Specifically, he jams one guy’s head up another guy’s ass.

He’s behind bars for a couple weeks, he even misses a shot with a basketball and it flies out of the fence, where he goes to get it, and just comes back in. Eventually, he gets a call from the chief of police, saying they need his help. There’s a heavily-armed bank robbery in progress, with hostages (lots of hostages), and they just can’t handle it. So he flies through the bank, like a bullet, several times – taking one of the robbers with him every time. Then he stops inside and starts speaking to Red (Eddie Marsan) – the guy running the show.

Turns out, every hostage has eight pounds of C4 strapped to them, and he’s holding the detonator. However, it’s got a spring trigger – if his finger leaves the button, the bombs go off. So Hancock grabs a metal lampshade, uses his fingernail to sharpen the edge, and cuts off the guy’s hand – he takes the whole thing and gives it to the police chief. From then on, he’s a free man, and good in the eyes of the public. But no, it’s not over yet.

Ray, Mary, and Hancock all go out for a free dinner at some very high-class restaurant in the city. Here, we learn about how Hancock came to have his powers – he just woke up in a Miami hospital with them one day. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up there; where he came from, who he is, or how he got there – and all he had in his pocket were those tickets and a couple dollar bills, no ID or anything. When he woke up, though, they tried giving him a needle and it simple broke off at his skin; his skull healed in an hour. As it turns out, the hospital staff told him, he tried to stop a mugging and suffered a nasty blow to the back of the head. Oh yeah, and this was 80 years ago – he doesn’t age.

They get back to Ray and Mary’s house later that night, and Ray’s drunk – Hancock carries him up the stairs and helps him get to bed. Then he goes back downstairs and starts talking to Mary. They kiss, and then she throws him through the front wall of the house. Through it. And tells him not to say a word about it to Ray.

The next morning, Ray basically goes “WTF?” in regard to the front of the house, and Mary says Hancock sneezed and blew the refrigerator out of the house. When Hancock arrives, he keeps screwing with Mary – stabbing her and watching the fork bend, things like that – when Ray has his head turned. He continues this until she finally agrees to speak with him, at his place later that day.

When she arrives, she explains that what they are depends on the culture; they’ve been called many things over the years – gods, angels, and finally, superheroes. Then he asks what their relationship was. She responds saying that they’re siblings – but he calls bullshit on that because of the way she kissed him. So they end up flying around destroying things as they fight, and ultimately, they break the windows out of the floor of the office building that Ray is on, and land in the street right outside.

Naturally, Ray (yet again) reacts like…”WTF?” – but he comes to grips with it pretty quickly after they go back to his house. That’s when we find out that Mary and Hancock were actually married, and that there used to be lots of their kind – but they all paired off and died except these two. They were built in pairs, sort of like magnets – no matter how much distance gets between them, they’re always attracted inexplicably to each other, which is why he made his way to LA after waking up in Miami. The problem is, when they’re together, they’re basically human – they lose all their powers, their immortality, etc.

So, once she’s done explaining this, Hancock flies off, and the next scene we see is Hancock in a liquor store – about to buy a soda. Instead, he picks up a couple bottles of whiskey and takes them up to the counter. The clerk tells him, “$91.10″ – and naturally, the reaction is a “WTF?” – so the clerk covers the 0 and looks to his left a bit; turns out, he’s being robbed at gunpoint. Hancock reaches through the wall hiding them and pulls them out – while he’s punching one, he gets shot a couple times.

Well, apparently he’s been spending too much time around Mary – because he’s bleeding from the abdomen; the clerk is the first one to notice it, and apparently he calls an ambulance, because Hancock gets rushed to the hospital – where Mary meets him. The robber from the bank and the two guys from the prison end up breaking out, with the sole intention of getting back at Hancock. While they’re at the hospital, the trio comes in with the intention of killing Hancock – and Mary jumps in the way of the shots.

Both Hancock and Mary are pronounced dead. Due to a bit of distance between them, though, Hancock wakes up, and slowly makes his way to a window, where he jumps out. As he gets further away from the hospital (mostly on foot, with some long half-flight jumps punctuating it), Mary’s heart slowly beats back to life. Finally, he gets his full power of flight back, and shoots like a bullet straight in the direction of the moon – and Mary’s heart reaches a full rhythm.

And now, the ending scene. Mary, Ray, and Aaron are all out for ice cream, when Hancock calls Ray using a Bluetooth from atop some skyscraper – with an eagle next to him. He tells Ray to look up in the sky – and he painted Ray’s philanthropic logo on the moon.

And that’s the movie. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest it ;)