Blade II-attachment0

Blade II

Movie Information

In Brief: Guillermo del Toro's stylish Blade II (2002) looks better today than it did on its release. The plot is solid and the acting moreso. The story follows daywalking vampire and vampire hunter Blade (Wesley Snipes), who is recruited by the vampire nation to help fight a force that threatens both them and the human race. The hip-hop soundtrack gets old and the fights tend to go on too long, but it actually works more than it doesn't and is nice sanguinary fun.
Genre: Horror
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus
Rated: R

I groaned when Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II (2002) was programmed for the Thursday Horror Picture Show. I hadn’t much liked it on its original release, though I admit circumstances had some bearing on my response. (My viewing companion was — well, not quite sober and unhappy to be there. A disagreement ensued that ended up with me having to return to see the rest of the movie the next day. Far from ideal.) So a second look was probably called for. And I admit I liked it better this time, though I don’t really think my original review is that far off-base. All the wire-work fighting does tend to bore me. I don’t like the music. And once you see 40 or 50 vampires killed in a blaze of crumbling glory, the effect wears thin. I’ll throw in a new observation — Blade (Wesley Snipes) is basically one boring character. (I suspect this is why he is surrounded by more interesting supporting players.)

All that aside, Blade II is a gorgeous looking film (well, it’s del Toro, so it would be), and does effectively expand on the Blade character. Blade as a vampire and part human (he can walk in the daylight), who keeps his vampiric tendencies at bay through injections has dramatic limitations. The business of him going around hunting down vampires is only good for so much amusement. Combining it with a plot in which the vampires call on him to help eradicate a threat to both them and humankind offers a little more to work from. Add to this a plot that not only works on the inherent tension in such a relationship, but contains deeper, more complex aspects of duplicity, and there is more to the film than might be casually assumed. It remains little more than a footnote in del Toro’s career, but it’s a footnote that almost seems more significant than the staggering behemoth of his more personal Pacific Rim from earlier this year.

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen Blade II Thursday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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