Blade II

Blade II - Know the MarkStarring:
Wesley Snipes as Blade
Kris Kristofferson as Whistler
Ron Perlman as Rienhardt
Luke Goss as Nomak
Leonor Varela as Nyssa
Matt Schulze as Chupa
Norman Reedus as Scud
Donnie Yen as Snowman
Danny John-Jules as Asad
Daz Crawford as Lighthammer
Rey-Phillip Santos as Red Eye
Thomas Kretschmann as Pox
Marit Velle Kile as Verlaine
Marla Welsh as Venus
Bridge Markland

Summary:
If you liked the first Blade movie then you’ll really enjoy Blade 2.

Story:
Blade returns in this sequel set a couple of years after the first film. It turns out Whistler was not killed by the vampires in the earlier film. He was turned into a vampire himself and kept as a pet of the creatures. After a long and bloody hunt, Blade finally rescues him and turns him human again.

Shortly thereafter a new species of vampire emerges called the Reaper. In a new twist the Reaper actually hunts and kills vampires. When it is done killing vampires, it will turn on the humans. Out of desperation, the vampires turn to Blade and ask to team up to kill the Reapers. Seeing an opportunity to not only kill this new threat but to learn more about the vampires, he agrees to join them. He leads a group of specially trained vampires called the Bloodpack to hunt down the Reapers. Of course it is only a matter of time before the vampires turn on him, too.

Blade 2 is rated R for strong pervasive violence, language, some drug use and sexual content.

What Worked:
If you liked the first Blade film, then you’ll love Blade 2. It has more action, more vampire killing, and more gore. In some parts they actually improve on the first film. The action is pretty thrilling. Several new vampire killing gadgets are introduced that provide spectacular deaths for the bloodsuckers. Some of the battles are enhanced with CGI vampires (and Blade) doing amazing jumps and spins that would be impossible for real actors. Sometimes it looks good, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s all cool. The vampire death effects where they burn and turn to ashes are all really well done this time around. They looked great and were a nice touch for the fight scenes.

Wesley Snipes looks great as usual. He handles the action like a pro and occasionally throws in a funny line between menacing looks and striking cool poses. Leonor Varela is great as the vampire Nyssa. She could probably give Trinity from The Matrix a run for her money. Varela also handles the action well. Her first battle with Blade is a pretty spectacular swordfight that is memorable. Ron Pearlman, Kris Kristofferson, and the rest round out a colorful cast.

It’s good to see the string of good comic book movies continue. After seeing the Batman films run nose first into the ground, it’s great to see them made correctly and be faithful to their source material. Blade 2 is about as close as you can get to throwing a comic book on the screen. But besides being a comic book movie, this is the classic example of a “guy movie” with excessive doses of action, gore, violence, and testosterone.

What Didn’t Work:
All of the fighting in the film is first rate. They don’t really rely on too many Matrix-type gags for their stunts. (Believe it or not, there are even a couple of wrestling moves in the film.) However, the very first fight in the film is the best of all of them. It involved lots of shooting, burning vampires, a cool battle with motorcycles, and Blade fighting in top form. The rest of the fights in the film, while entertaining, didn’t match the first fight in my mind. That made the rest of the movie not seem as good.

Early on in the film the vampires are shown doing fantastic jumps, amazing gymnastics, and other superhuman feats. However, when they face the Reapers later on, they don’t seem any more formidable than a human with a machine gun. It’s like they are powered down when the real fighting begins. It was a bit of a letdown.

And if there was minimal characterization and plot in the first film, there is even less in this one. Almost the entire movie is action. There’s hardly a break in the fight sequences and the heavy metal music. That may be good in some people’s minds, but it would have been better to me to have seen Blade explored a little more deeply and been introduced to more of the vampire culture.

Overall though this is a good popcorn flick that is worth checking out on the big screen.

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