Blade II

With the phenomenal success of “Blade” it was only a matter of time before a sequel hot the screen. For those readers unfamiliar with the original, the story revolved around the title character, Blade (Wesley Snipes), a human vampire mix that gets all of the strength of the vampires but none of their weaknesses. For years Blade has been waging all out war on the vampires of the world as he sees them as a disease he must eradicate.

The new film picks up where the last one left off, with Blade taking his vampire hunting to Eastern Europe. The new film is set mainly in Prague and revolves around a new breed of vampires known as Reapers who have been feeding on the vampires Blade has been hunting. The Reapers are doing gigantic amounts of damage to the vampire populace and with their increased need to feed and the fact that each time they feed they create more of their ranks; the vampires are faced with being exterminated in no time. Unable to deal with the combined threat of the Reapers and Blade, the vampire elders seek a truce with Blade in order to combat the new enemy, as they explain to Blade that humans are at risk as well.

Intrigued at the chance to get a good look at the inner workings of the vampire orders, Blade joins forces with seven vampire soldiers, who incidentally have been in training for two years for battling Blade. Assisting Blade on his mission is his mentor Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), and Scud (Norman Reedus), who are both very adept at creating deadly weapons for Blade’s use.

The uneasy alliance between Blade and the Vampires is a fragile situation, as many of the vampires want nothing more than to kill Blade despite the alliance. One such vampire is Reinhardt (Ron Perlman), who is constantly a menace to Blade and the mission. Compounding matters further for Blade is the lovely Nyssa, (Leonor Varela), who is a born vampire and daughter of the vampire leader. Blade has feelings for her, and is torn between the feelings and the fact that she is his sworn enemy. Furthermore, she challenges Blade to accept what he is and give up his hatred of the vampires. As if this was not enough for Blade to deal with, the Reapers seem to only have a weakness for sunlight, and his weapons of silver and garlic are not very effective against the Reaper Horde.

What follows is non-stop action as the two armies collide in a fury of blood and mayhem. The film was directed by Guillermo del Toro and he has concentrated on the look and pacing of the film, wisely letting Snipes handle the load of the work. The film is a mix of dark colors with a blend of yellow and brown giving “Blade II” a look that was reminiscent of David Fincher’s “Alien 3”.

The plot is not as good as the first films, as we do not get many new insights in the world of vampires as we did in the first film. Instead, the emphasis is on action and some very gory special effects that drive the films scenes.

This is a difficult film to review as on one hand the story, and acting was nothing to write home about, while the action scenes were well staged and enjoyable. I think the best way to describe the film would be as a comic book come to life as the film is based on the Blade comics. The emphasis is on the action and look of Blade’s world and rather than concentrate on an over complicated plot, the filmmakers decided to get right to the action and not let up. Some people walked out of the screener I attended, but the majority stayed in their seats and cheered Blade on. Fans of “Red Dwarf” will be happy to see Danny John-Jules in a supporting roll, and fans of the original “Blade” should be happy with the sequel.

3.5 stars out of 5