Blade II (2002)

Blade II (2002)
  • Time: 117 min
  • Genre: Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Luke Goss


A rare mutation has occurred within the vampire community. The Reaper. A vampire so consumed with an insatiable bloodlust that they prey on vampires as well as humans, transforming victims who are unlucky enough to survive into Reapers themselves. Now their quickly expanding population threatens the existence of vampires, and soon there won’t be enough humans in the world to satisfy their bloodlust. Blade, Whistler (Yes, he’s back) and an armory expert named Scud are curiously summoned by the Shadow Council. The council reluctantly admits that they are in a dire situation and they require Blade’s assistance. Blade then tenuously enters into an alliance with The Bloodpack, an elite team of vampires trained in all modes of combat to defeat the Reaper threat. Blade’s team and the Bloodpack are the only line of defense which can prevent the Reaper population from wiping out the vampire and human populations.

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  • Although Marvel in the late 1990s was just beginning to produce and widely release live-action versions of their comic book properties, not many probably saw what would be the upcoming popularity of Wesley Snipes starring in Blade (1998). It might have been an obscure character at the time but that particular movie is what ignited the fuse for what would be Marvel today. With its stylized hard R action/horror and storytelling elements, it was definitely not the type of movie Marvel would release until more than half a decade later. It’s weird too because with this powerhouse releasing up to roughly 3-4 properties a year (some of which are sequels) nowadays, it’s surprising to see that the popular vampire hunter got his well deserved sequel after 4 years. Talk about neglect. With this entry there’s a lot that was kept right but it did have more noticeable problems than the first.

    Like most sequels should start, the time Blade II (2002) takes place is a little after the first movie. After recovering the coordinates to where a group of vampires are holding his old friend Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) captive, Blade (Wesley Snipes) and tag-along techie Scud (Norman Reedus) are approached by Nyssa (Leonor Varela) a leader of pure blood vampires for assistance against a new type of vampire. The new vampire is named Nomak (Luke Gross) who not only feeds on humans but also other vampires (pure blood or not) and the after effects are still the same except they turn into what Nomak is. As the saying goes “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” or as Blade puts it “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” – well put. As for putting Blade in a new situation, it’s different and new. As for how the story is executed is another thing to be debated on. It’s not that it doesn’t work as entertainment because it is fun. The problem is that once viewers begin to see how things start unraveling, it becomes fairly predictable.

    A big question left unanswered is the return of Kris Kristofferson’s character. It’s not that nobody wanted him back but how it is quickly brushed over that doesn’t look or feel legitimate. Apparently Whistler was held captive for years, but that’s not the biggest question. The big one is how’d he recover from a headshot wound? So apparently he was bitten and turned – okay. Blade finds him and injects a remedy and was quickly cured. But if it was years since Blade recovered Whistler how’d he heal so easily? It doesn’t make sense, plus the subplot of thinking that Whistler isn’t fully recovered keeps being brought up but is never confirmed. What’s the point? Comic book aficionado David S. Goyer again wrote the screenplay. It’s appreciated that Goyer attempts at keeping everything straightforward but it’s all in the wrong places. It’s too straightforward in execution and not enough in subplot information.

    This is about it though in flaws. All the old and new characters are interesting to get to know or revisit. Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson still have great chemistry along with Leonor Varela (who is quite attractive). Co-starring Varela’s character is Ron Perlman, Matt Schulze, Donnie Yen and a few others who play the pure blood vampire group. It also makes sense as to how Ron Perlman got cast to star in Hellboy (2004) since Guillermo del Toro is directing this feature. Another nice little addition that usually comes with the “del Toro package” is at least one creative creature design. If there’s one thing del Toro works best with, it’s creature effects/design. Here is no different – the new vampire that Nomak represents is much more threatening than Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) ever could have been. They have a special feature to their bite that is just jaw dropping. And for this alone, you know there’ll be a good dose of horrific gore and action. This again no doubt is stylized action; full of sword play and fist fights. Always entertaining stuff.

    The cinematography by Gabriel Beristain in his first megahit movie was nicely shot. Beristain has had experience before but this would be his first work for a much bigger film that had a much larger release. All of Beristain’s angles are steady, well lit and capture all the unique set designs. The music composed by Marco Beltrami had an interesting take and provides a different listening experience. With Beltrami’s experience in the horror and action genre, it only feels appropriate that he could make the music his own. The only thing that Beltrami does not do the film right is creating a continuous main theme for Blade. The main title that cleverly mixes electronic synth and jazz like tunes is catchy but it’s never revisited again. If Beltrami could make a memorable theme for Hellboy (2004) two years later, why not Blade II (2002)? The action cues are well constructed however, with loud percussion and horns. It’s basically taking a horror score and injecting it with adrenaline. Bring it on.

    If paid attention to closely enough, the execution becomes fairly predictable and an explanation for a returning character goes unfinished. However, those errors do not sink this sequel below good quality. The hard action/horror elements, main characters’ chemistry, music and cinematography help keep the vampire hunter vehicle running on all cylinders.

    Points Earned –> 7:10

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