Blade II 2002
Another couple days and it’s not looking good for me seeing Ghost Rider in theaters. I’m not interested at all in seeing it in 3D, and it’s not too easy with my schedule to catch one of the few 2D showings. So I’ll keep an eye out for it and watch it when I can. Instead I’m pushing forward with the Blade Trilogy and I’m now on the second movie. This one is known for being directed by Guillermo Del Toro right before he went on to direct Hellboy. It also has a lot of typical changes that good sequels tend to have.
First off, it has a bit of a genre change. It’s still more like a vampire action movie than a superhero movie, but it throws in a large amount of spy thriller pieces into it. Early on in the movie, Blade is forced to work with his enemy to take out a new species of vampire that threatens them both. And as it tends to happen, there ends up being a lot of suspicion and betrayals. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this movie, and I didn’t remember all of the betrayals though I did remember a few of them, and I won’t spoil any of them here. It can get kind of tedious with the occasional hint slash misdirect that’s supposed to make the audience not know who to trust. It also doesn’t make quite as much sense when two members of the team get attacked at the same time, yet one changes very quickly while the other takes ten times as long to change, just to draw out the whole “will he or won’t he” question for as long as possible.
As I mentioned, Blade is now working with a team instead of being solo. And his team are all vampires, though none of them vamp out at any point in the movie, other than the fact that they share one of the weaknesses of the new breed of vampires called reapers, they’re pretty much aren’t treated any differently than just a rival faction. There’s a couple possibly recognizable faces in the gang, like Cat from Red Dwarf, Ron Perlman who would soon be Hellboy, and the vampire leader of the gang Nessa, who my wife recognized from the 00’s miniseries Cleopatra. Most of them had just enough character to make them interesting and different enough for the amount of time they stayed alive.
The main villain in this movie is the original reaper Novak. I really liked him as an antagonist, he had an agenda that made sense and he wasn’t going to stop at anything to get what he ultimately wanted. In the end, he was fairly sympathetic and tragic, in a way which makes him much more interesting than a villain who is just evil for evil’s sake. There are several hints and clues throughout the movie to help figure out what’s really going on before the big reveal, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been handheld throughout or dumped at the end either. The look in general of the reapers is pretty creepy too, with the bifurcated jaw and alien-esque tonguelike apparatus.
Of course, there has to be a love story thrown in whenever there’s a man and a woman working together and in this movie it’s no different. Nyssa is a pureblood vampire princess and leader of the vampire gang even though they consider Blade to be their leader once he’s joined on. She has the “discussion” with Blade about the thirst and claims that she’s made piece with what she is, and yet not once does her fangs ever come out or is she seen drinking a single drop of blood outside of one time near the end of the movie. Even though she says she’s ok with being a vampire, she is presented to the audience as being the most human of all the vampires. I’m not entirely sure why, but it felt like the chemistry was forced and I just didn’t believe that he cared as much for her as the movie would have the audience believe.
The special effect and fight scenes in this movie were much improved upon the original movie except in a few cases. There were a few moments where they used the early CGI actor replacement that gave them the shiny videogame look that I also noticed in Catwoman, but it was thankfully used sparingly. The martial arts scenes felt a lot flashier and more over the top and I enjoyed the heck out of them. I liked the fact that they brought back Whistler, he’s a great character but I wish they had explained his return better. Karen developed a cure for bitten vampires in the first movie, but he recovers overnight with no ill effects. They also have those full body suits that were used in the beginning that protected them from sunlight, and yet when they hunt the reapers during the daylight they walk around bare headed. The only other thing that bothered me is once they find out that pretty much nothing besides sunlight hurts the vampires, why none of them ever tried cutting some heads off. They sliced the one guy’s head in half, but they didn’t cut it all the way off. But in the grand scheme of things, that one’s a pretty minor complaint.
All in all, I think I enjoyed the first movie a little bit better than this one. There’s a lot of great stuff in this movie but there was just something about the first one that clicked better with me. I think this movie just tried to do one too many things and ended up making everything slightly weaker in the process. From the love story, to setting up suspicions and betrayals, to the fight scenes. It’s all handled very great, but not quite as great as it could have been. But it’s still a really great movie and worth a watch. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on February 23, 2012, in 00's movies, Marvel and tagged blade, guillermo del toro, Marvel, movies, review, Superhero, vampire, vampire hunter, wesley snipes. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.