Should I Watch..? 'Blade II'

Updated on September 14, 2019
Benjamin Cox profile image

Benjamin has been reviewing films for fifteen years and has seen more action movies than he should probably admit to!

Film's poster
Film's poster | Source

What's the big deal?

Blade II is an action horror film released in 2002 and is based on the character of the same name by Marvel Comics. The film is a sequel to 1998's Blade but with a change of director in the shape of Mexican visionary Guillermo del Toro. The film stars Wesley Snipes as Blade, a human-vampire hybrid sworn to protect mankind against all vampires who must put aside his hatred for the bloodsuckers to combat a new and more powerful enemy. The film also stars Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Luke Goss, Leonor Varela and Norman Reedus. The film was a hit with audiences with global earnings just over $155 million while critics were largely divided. The film earned praise for its performances, action scenes and atmosphere but the film was criticized for a lack of character development as well as a muddled narrative. It would be followed by a third film Blade: Trinity in 2004.

Enjoyable

4 stars for Blade II

What's it about?

Rescuing his human mentor and weapon-smith Whistler from a pack of vampires, Blade - the vampire hybrid with all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses - returns to his base and reunites with new-found ally and weapon-smith Scud. To his amazement, Blade is contacted by representatives of the vampire lord Eli Damaskinos who wishes to discuss a truce. Against his better wishes, Blade and his allies accompany Asad and Nyssa to Damaskinos' lair where his true intentions are revealed.

Unbeknowst to Blade, the virus responsible for vampirism has evolved into a new strain known as Reaper which creates a powerful vampire mutant immune to all traditional vampire weaknesses (garlic, silver, etc) except sunlight. Damaskinos has assembled a team of his finest warriors - the Bloodpack - in order to fight the Reaper pandemic and wishes Blade to lead them into battle before the creatures begin targeting humans. Reluctantly, Blade agrees and soon leads the Bloodpack to Prague in pursuit of the carrier of the Reaper virus - the extremely hungry Jared Nomak.

Trailer

Main Cast

Actor
Role
Wesley Snipes
Eric Brooks / Blade
Kris Kristofferson
Abraham Whistler
Ron Perlman
Dieter Reinhardt
Leonor Valera
Nyssa Damaskinos
Norman Reedus
Scud
Danny John-Jules
Asad
Thomas Kretschmann
Eli Damaskinos
Luke Goss
Jared Nomak

Technical Info

Director
Guillermo del Toro
Screenplay
David S. Goyer*
Running Time
117 minutes
Release Date (UK)
29th March, 2002
Rating
18
Genre
Action, Horror, Superhero
*based on characters created by Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan
Raising the stakes - Snipes looks and feels like a legitimate action star, kicking and vaulting his way through hundreds of extras.
Raising the stakes - Snipes looks and feels like a legitimate action star, kicking and vaulting his way through hundreds of extras. | Source

What's to like?

An important but often over-looked part of superhero sequels is that there is no need to slow things down with the origins of character. Wisely, Blade II pitches us right into things with a blistering opening sequence and rarely lets things up afterwards. The film feels a lot more polished and imaginative than before, no doubt aided by del Toro's unique grasp on all things fantastical. The set design - from the faded opulence of the backrooms at the House Of Pain nightclub to Damaskinos' rejuvenating blood pool - is a marked improvement over the first film. The action is also improved with better CG effects that allow Snipes to vault and leap all over the scene and vampires to melt into a cloud of sparks and flame whenever struck by silver. It's a great film to watch.

Snipes simply is Blade, fitting into the role as well as he fits into his leather wardrobe and funky Oakley sunglasses. I never bought Snipes as an action star alongside his Expendables co-stars but here, he feels dangerous and deadly as he dispatches foes like a balletic grace. The fight scenes, choreographed by co-star Donnie Yen, are also an improvement over the first film and at this point, I wasn't that surprised that this middle film is widely considered to be the best of the lot so far.

Fun Facts

  • The T-shirt worn by Scud shows the logo for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence, a reference to the comic Hellboy. By sheer coincidentally, Hellboy was the very next film del Toro directed which also featured his frequent collaborator Perlman in the lead role.
  • The idea for the stinger emerging from the mouths of Reapers was inspired by Polish folklore which features vampires having a stinger instead of fangs compared to Bram Stoker's vision for Dracula, the greatest influence on movie vampires.
  • Unbelievably, Michael Jackson was due to make a cameo as a vampire pimp at the House Of Pain nightclub but had to drop out for scheduling reasons. The part was instead played by a Czech actor.

What's not to like?

It was only after the film had ended that I could actually ponder this because, frankly, I was enjoying the action scenes too much. And it was only while the end credits were scrolling that I realised that I felt slightly underwhelmed despite my enjoyment of the film overall. The plot never seemed to flow as smoothly as the kung fu with characters seemingly operating a few pages of the script ahead of me - Blade especially seems to have an extraordinary level of precognition. No real surprise as characters never seem to develop as much as you want them to. I understand that a love scene between Blade and Nyssa was dropped but it would have made their relationship more apparent and relevant.

As much as I loved the film's visual appeal, it soon becomes clear that Blade II is about as deep and meaningful as a chat with your hairdresser. I never fully understood any of the character's motivations - why was Nomak targeting only vampires when he could eat anyone and why was Blade so invested in stopping him? Throw in a plot twist or two and I suddenly stopped caring so much. I also wanted to see more of the Bloodpack, especially given how bad-ass they were supposed to be. They looked like interesting characters - the softly spoken Asad, the hulking form of Lighthammer and the underused Snowman (played by Donnie Yen who really should have had more screen time) were far more interesting than the Nosferatu-style Damaskinos or the Predator rip-off of the Reapers.

Goss is unrecognisable beneath the makeup but his mega-mandible bad guy lacks motivation.
Goss is unrecognisable beneath the makeup but his mega-mandible bad guy lacks motivation. | Source

Should I watch it?

More energetic and imaginative than its predecessor, Blade II does a good job of satisfying fans of the character as well as action fans in general. Like the first film, it's a bloody contrast to the squeaky-clean world of today's Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and I have a hard time thinking where the character would fit in. Regardless, this is a decent action film but one that doesn't demand too much in the way of thought.

Great For: fans of the first film, del Toro's Hollywood reputation, Snipes' bankability as an action star

Not So Great For: younger viewers, the squeamish, expectations for the wretched third film

What else should I watch?

The bloated and confusing end to the trilogy, Blade:Trinity, is not just a sorry way for the series to conclude but is also widely considered to be one of the worst comic adaptations of all time. Featuring appearances from the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel and the hulking form of WWE grappler Triple H, it should have been something but the film was plagued with production issues and Snipes' alleged behaviour on and off-set. It's a shame that a series that promised much ended up a muddled and water-down mess, as well as sending Snipes squarely into straight-to-DVD purgatory.

Fortunately, the MCU came along and helped revive the superhero movie with the classy Iron Man - a proper, big-budget escapist flick that didn't just rely on the passion of fanboys and slick CG to work its magic. In the years since, the MCU has expanded in many different and sometimes unexpected directions like the space-faring misadventures of the Guardians Of The Galaxy and the ground-breaking Black Panther as well as the pay-off, the epic Avengers Assemble. Whether such dominance at the box office is a good thing or not is a matter for debate - certainly, it's buried the efforts of DC trying to play catch-up with its own characters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Benjamin Cox

    Soap Box

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Benjamin Cox profile imageAUTHOR

        Benjamin Cox 

        9 months ago from Norfolk, UK

        Feels weird watching a Marvel character slice people apart and get drenched in blood - no way would Disney allow anything like that these days!

      • Guckenberger profile image

        Alexander James Guckenberger 

        9 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

        I remember this series growing up. ^_^ I'm glad that people remember. :)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)