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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Best Laid Plans

I'm a big fan of style over substance. Huge fan.

Though my love of Girls Aloud actually comes from the love of the substance over the style. Particularly as that substance is pure, unrefined Croydon. Which is on the Periodic Table as 'Cr', with an Atomic weight of 'Kitten', and is positioned between Ratners ('Ra') and Cider ('Cn').

Anyhow. I saw Hellboy movie a hugely long time ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it, right up to the climax where it is suddenly held in an ancient castle full of booby-traps. What put me off is this: the film is actually quite good (substance over style) but then you get an ending which is a perfect example of style over substance. Why this castle is never really explained, other than it being The End Of The Movie and thus must have A Spectacular Place for The Climax to play out. The bad guys actually needed Hellboy alive for some nefarious purpose, so pitting him against several death-traps seems a little at odds. Now, had the whole film been an exercise of style over substance, this would have fitted perfectly (c.f. The Awful Chronicles of Riddick). But it wasn't - it was a good and thoughtful movie up until that point, and that's why it jarred.

Maybe I can explain it better. Picture a lost scene: we have the two baddies, Rasputin and, er, some Nazi girl who's name I forget. They are preparing The Big Finale to their plans...

RASPUTIN: Right then. They'll come down here, and we'll just swing a big, fuck-off hammer at them!


RASPUTIN: And that'll destroy the bridge! Yes! And that will trap two people! Four left!

NAZI GIRL: Why don't we just put guards on the door?

RASPUTIN: ...and lets not forget the room that splits people up having walls shoot up through the floor! I! Am! Brilliant!

NAZI GIRL: You're not listening, are you? You've spent twenty years of your life booby-trapping this castle when you can just grab Hellboy when he comes to the door.

RASPUTIN: ...and then they'll get to the room with the robot Nazi assassin! Oh, it's all too much!

NAZI GIRL: Just grab him, take him down here, and do whatever you're going to do. Simple.

RASPUTIN: And then the devil dogs!

NAZI GIRL: You've never been one for yer simple plans, have you?

RASPUTIN: No. I'm evil.

NAZI GIRL: Fuck it. I'm going to stand over the door with a big net. Lets see who gets him first, eh?

(exeunt NAZI GIRL)

RASPUTIN (calls off-stage): Is it a big, evil net? Powered by the Twelve Ancients and winched up by a three-story pulley?

NAZI GIRL (off stage): Fuck. Off.

This is why you never see Nazi Girl speak in the film, you know. She had all the sane ideas, and they just edited them out.

But, other than that one niggle, it's a good film. Go see.

Oh, and as a side point, the impossibly hard substance Diamond White is commonly mistaken for an element, but is actually an alloy, formed when you mix Croydon with Cider. There. Just so you know.

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