Blade II

09/21/2015 21:30

Film: Blade II

Year: 2002

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: David S. Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson and Ron Perlman



This one I might have seen before watching the original all the way through. I was fuzzy at the time. What I will say is that I liked this more than the original, only because I love the concept of the new vampires that get introduced here. I’ve probably seen this a few times now, with the most recent being in the theater. I can say that I’m getting closer to seeing all of Guillermo del Toro’s films in the theater as well.

Synopsis: Blade (Wesley Snipes) forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires.

We start outside of a blood bank in the Czech Republic. We are following what looks like a homeless man. He sits down next to Nomak (Luke Goss). He is coughing and doesn’t look well. A woman leads him back to give blood and he is quizzed about things on his application. He has a rare blood condition. We then see that those running the place are vampires. It turns out that Goss is not a normal human being, but a more monstrous vampire himself. He feeds on them.

There is then a voice-over narration to get us up to speed. This is done by our titular character, Blade. He tells us about himself, his abilities and that the only side effect he has would be the thirst for blood. We also learn that we are two years after the earlier film and he is looking for Whistler (Kris Kristofferson). We thought he killed himself, but that isn’t the case.

It then jumps right into action as Blade is after a group of vampires. He kills them all except for Rush (Santiago Segura). He gives information about a warehouse. Blade kills the vampires there and allows Rush to escape, for now. He finds Whistler inside a large vat of blood. He opens it and saves him.

They go back to the hideout. We see that Blade now has a new assistant nicknamed Scud (Norman Reedus). Whistler is put into a room and given a detoxing serum to cure him of being a vampire. It is a larger dose than normal since he has until the morning to recover. The shades in the room open at daybreak.

He survives and Blade welcomes him back. That night they are attacked by two vampires. They are siblings, Nyssa (Leonor Varela) and Asad (Danny John-Jules). They aren’t there to attack. They tell Blade that his presence is required by the vampire nation. It is there that he meets with their leader, Damaskinos (Thomas Kretschmann). He is also the father to Nyssa and Asad. Blade is thanked for taking care of Deacon Frost. Blade then gets introduced to a human lawyer working for the vampires, Kounen (Karel Roden). They inform Blade of the mutated vampires and they need his help to end them. Blade doesn’t see why he should until it is pointed out that after they have killed all the vampires, they will come after his humans.

Blade will collaborate with an elite squad of vampires that have been trained to kill him. They’re called the Bloodpack. Nyssa is their leader with the rest of the squad is made up of Asad, Reinhardt (Ron Perlman), Chupa (Matt Schulze), Snowman (Donnie Yen), Verlaine (Marit Velle Kile), Priest (Tony Curran) and Lighthammer (Daz Crawford). It is an uneasy alliance. There are secrets that are revealed and the sides are blurry as to who Blade can trust.

That is where I’ll leave my recap and introduction to the characters. Where I want to start is that before this viewing, I liked this one better than the original. It has been a while since I’ve seen it, but I think that is where I still sit. This is great with the concept of these mutant vampires. I know that del Toro worked on the television show, The Strain, which I haven’t seen yet. It is on my list. It feels like this was setting the stage for that.

Where I want to start then by delving deeper is that vampires have been around since the beginning of cinema. I give credit when you do something different which we get here. I like that they have immunities to normal vampire weaknesses and that they are threat to normal ones. They decided to make these creatures more feral, which I love. I did read that they took inspiration from Nosferatu. It is great as well at the infection these ones have can make humans or vampires like them. That ramps up the tension for both sides.

Something I do have to be honest about is that I didn’t care for the story as much this time around. We have Blade not trusting the vampire nation and the Bloodpack. For good reason, since he’s been hunting them and they’re going to go back to trying to kill him after this gets figured out. There are reveals here with Damaskinos that were fine. This should lean more into the action sequences since reveals didn’t shock me. I know I’ve seen this a few times, but I don’t think there was much shock the first time around either.

Since I brought up action sequences, let’s go over to filmmaking. I do think that this is shot well. That is something I expect that by seeing del Toro attached. I know this was probably him doing one for the studio, but it also feels like he was excited. The fight scenes are good. I love what they do with the Reapers and how scary they are by attacking in large numbers. They also must feed daily to survive since their metabolism runs higher. That would cause them to overrun the world. The practical effects are good. There is quite a bit of CGI here. It works part of the time. Where things can’t be done practically. Other times it looks like a video game. That took me out of it. Other than that, the soundtrack fit what was needed.

All that is left then is acting. Snipes is great as Blade. He brings physicality to the role that is needed. He also is snarky with one-liners. He’s all cool about it. I like Kristofferson more in this one than the original, because we don’t know if we can trust him or not. I love Perlman in his role. Varela is good along with the others in her crew. What I love about her is that she starts to see that maybe she’s on the wrong side here and that Blade isn’t as bad as she through. It is fun to see Reedus here, earlier in his career. Goss is good as this leader of the mutant vampires. He brings physicality as well. I also love the cameo by Segura as well. The acting here is solid across the board.

In conclusion, this is a fun action vampire popcorn horror movie. It doesn’t hold up as well as it did the last viewing. I didn’t hate my time though. What I love is the team-up aspect with Blade collaborating with the vampires. I appreciate that this showed Marvel earlier on that you can do R-rated comic book properties along with the original. The acting here is solid, Snipes leading the way there. This is made well enough. I love the fight scenes and how things are framed. The look of the mutant vampires is great. My only issue comes with the overuse of CGI. Trimming that would help. This still is a shut off your brain and go for the ride movie.


My Rating: 7 out of 10