by Miguel E. Rodriguez
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Norman Reedus, Donnie Yen
My Rating: 9/10
Rotten Tomatometer: 57%
PLOT: Blade, half human/half vampire, forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire nation in order to combat a new breed of monster, the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires and humans alike.
Why don’t more people like this movie? It’s like someone took the best fight scenes from The Matrix, removed the pretentious plotting, added a crapload of gore, and created one of the best villains in the history of vampire movies: the Reaper, an evil-looking creature whose lower jaw splits wide down the middle to reveal a blood-sucking appendage that might even give the Xenomorph nightmares.
Blade II is lean and mean. Director Guillermo del Toro has gone on record as saying this was not exactly the movie he intended to make, as it doesn’t keep precisely to the Blade “canon” (in case you didn’t know, Blade is a lesser-known Marvel comics character who is scheduled to eventually make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). However, despite his misgivings about this film, del Toro nevertheless created an action-horror masterpiece.
If you’re a fan of action films, what do you like? Because it’s all here. There are five great fight scenes, including a doozy in Blade’s own lair between Blade and two vampire ninjas wearing elaborate headgear that makes them look like humanoid bugs. You like a great villain? Here’s Jared Nomak, the vampire who carries the Reaper virus, whose wounds heal by themselves almost instantly, and who carries a dark secret. His fighting skills are equal to those of Blade himself, who must learn to use more than brute force if he’s going to defeat Nomak. (And let’s not overlook the cameo by Asian superstar Donnie Yen.)
You like a good story? We got that, too. Blade’s sworn enemies, the vampire nation, are forced to approach Blade for help when it becomes apparent they are no match for the Reapers. Blade HAS to help, because who will the Reapers go after once they dispatch all the vampires? Humans. So you have the whole “uneasy alliance” going on, with no one more uneasy than Reinhardt, a vampire played by a deliciously malevolent Ron Perlman. Reinhardt goes along with the plan, but can’t resist poking the tiger by asking Blade, “…can you blush?” Blade’s response gives a whole new meaning to the term “kill switch.” Game, set, match.
This is also a horror film, let’s not forget. You like scares? How about the part where a Reaper gets pinned to a wall with a ninja sword through its stomach…but escapes by crawling backwards up the wall, forcing the sword to slice through his body as he skitters away, unfazed by the damage? YIKES. We got gore, too. Blade and company perform an autopsy on a dead Reaper. I haven’t seen that much detailed gore since the autopsy in John Carpenter’s The Thing.
I mean, seriously. This movie has everything I want in an action movie that’s also a horror film. It covers ALL the bases. (I could’ve done without the quasi-love-story, but it’s not dwelt on too much, so I can live with it.) What more could anyone ask for?
(Also, it’s great to listen to on a bad-ass audio system…BOOMING bass and sound effects. Great stuff.)