When people say that comic books are as close as our secular late-capitalist culture gets to having its own mythology, it's not generally meant as a compliment. But over the course of two Hellboy movies (based on the comic by Mike Mignola), Mexican director Guillermo del Toro has started to look like a legitimate successor to Ovid. Del Toro is not so much a creator of myths as a collector of them, a transhistorical myth nerd whose pantheon of influences ranges from Hesiod to Harryhausen (with liberal helpings of steam punk and Catholic iconography). In Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal), del Toro continues to develop his own private eschatology, a vision of the end of the world dominated by motifs of meshing gear wheels, dangling rosaries, and the looming visage of a devil with sawed-off horns. The joke is that this crimson-faced demon is also a beer-swilling regular guy, not to mention the universe's only hope for salvation.
The first review for the first one that I saw was from Evening Magazine, a local television show up in Seattle that doesn't have the most intellectual analysis of pop culture. The Slate review is far more encouraging. The second comic book movie in a series seems to often be the best (take Batman Returns, X2 and Spider-Man 2 as examples) so my hopes are up. Using Rammstein's "Mein Hertz Brennt" in the trailer wasn't bad either.