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Whoever said that the original of a series is always the best, clearly had not seen Blade II!
Snipes is back, and oh my gosh is he incredible! I don't think the director could have casted an actor more suited for the role!
Blade II involves Blade fighting against the vampires again, however, he soon realises that the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is true when a new monster stalks the streets, known as Reapers. These creatures feed on vampires, and then humans, so Blade is forced to align with the vampires in order to fight against the Reapers.
From the start of the film, the adrenaline is pumping with Blade fighting multiple vampires, and coming to the rescue of an old friend whom is still alive!
Once again, the movie is excellently filmed with the different angles to capture the fight scenes and the music is amazing. Every fight scene is once again filmed perfectly, and this film contains one of my favourite ever action-movie fight scenes when Blade and the vampire council fight against the Reapers in a underground nightclub called 'The House of Pain', the name itself is epic!
Amazing. Only criticism I had of this film is that it ended. Being in a pensive mood as I was however, and this is not a critique, I was just curious as to whatever happened to the female from the prequel, and why she was not called upon to help Blade during this whole saga!
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The first Blade film was a relevation in many ways; it was the first Marvel film to be R-rated, and proved that comic book films don't have to be all sweetness and light, ala what the Spider-Man films would later become. Wesley Snipes was surely born to play Blade, and delivered a great film at his hand. When Gullermo Del Toro signed on to direct the sequel, that's all I needed to know to be on-board.
While this sequel isn't as good as the first film or very involved, it's still a whole lot of fun. Blade (Snipes) is the Daywalker still, hunting down the vampire horde, but a new breed of vampires, called Reapers, have begun to emerge, and they are more dangerous and sadistic than anything Blade has ever seen before. However, he has Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) helping him again, as well as a team called the Bloodpack, including Ron Perlman and Hero star Donnie Yen, who reluctantly fall in line and follow Blade for their mutual benefit.
This film has exhilarating action, and as is expected from Del Toro, great visuals mostly, but the film's effects are a bit hokey, and do look rather dated now. Whilst not quite as impressive as the original Blade, this is a decent follow up that, for all of its shock and gore, is a very entertaining film and delivers some exuberant visuals courtesy of Gullermo Del Toro. The antagonists are scary and the action thrilling. The effects are rather hokey at times, but this is a solid film overall and worth watching for those who enjoyed the first film; just don't bother with the atrocious third film.
When a new threat appears Blade (Wesley Snipes) has to do something he certainly isn't comfortable with. A new form of enemy that feasts on both Humans and Vampires has become a threat and Blade must join forces with the Vampires he has hunted for years to avoid the world being overrun by these Reaper Vampires. Blade isn't exactly comfortable with this alliance but if it avoids the Reapers taking over it will make his task of destroying the Vampire race a little easier. It also means he can keep an eye on the Vampires and learn a bit more about how they tick.
After the first Blade film made a name for the Series in 1997 it seemed inevitable that Wesley Snipes would be back as the half man/half Vampire for a sequel before too long. The return of Blade came about in 2002 when Snipes linked up with Guillermo Del Toro to carry on the series and bring to life another of Goyer's scripts after the success of the first Blade movie. While sequels throw up the inevitable worries after the first film in a series does particularly well, Blade 2 allays these worries within about 10 minutes of the opening credits
This time round they seem to have opted for a slightly different approach to the second film. The storyline has quite a few complex moments and rather than just be another story with Snipes character killing vampires they add a nice little twist with the addition of the Reapers. I felt that Goyer seemed to try and improve the plot side of the Blade movies. There are still the decent Martial Arts scenes and fast paced action sequences that made the first film such a success and the mixture of the extended plot and action worked particularly well.
With the addition of Del Toro as director it sees him bring a few of the traits he brought to both Mimic and Hell Boy. I do admire Del Toro's directing ability and he shows on this movie why he is one of the favourites with studio's for these comic book conversions. He makes an excellent job of the special effects and the Reapers look amazing. His direction seems quite smooth and he manages to portray the story very well. I was quite impressed with the cinematography and thought that the film shows what Del Toro can actually do.
Despite the improvements to the script this isn't quite as good as the first Blade movie.. The characterisation is much better and unlike the first film there are a lot more main characters, which adds a bit of depth to the plot. While the plot works rather well the film just doesn't quite have the same feel as the first movie and that is a little bit of a disappointment.
The acting like the first film was possibly the best aspect of the movie. Of course there is Snipes back in the lead role as Blade and again he really makes the part his own and his sheer screen presence makes for compelling viewing on its own. I thought the biggest surprise was the performance of former Bros member Luke Goss. He stars as the main carrier of the Reaper strain and his performance is certainly impressive. On paper the role of Nomak seemed to quite complex and you would expect an experienced actor but Luke Goss looks like a natural as he goes around eating everything in sight.
I was actually impressed by everyone in this film. For instance the performance of Ron Perlman, who goes on to star as Hell Boy, is fantastic and as the muscles of the operation really adds another dimension to the plot. I was also again impressed by Kris Kristofferson who follows up his role as Whistler with ease, picking up exactly where he left off in the first one. The whole cast is quite impressive and I think that's the reason why the Blade trilogy stands out against the more mediocre comic book conversions like The Hulk.
Overall this film carries on the Blade trilogy's claim to be one of the best Comic book conversion series. There are only a few that come close and the real plus point of these films is that they don't spend an hour and a bit of the film giving a detailed back story, instead they blend it into the plot making for a much more interesting film. If you enjoyed the first Blade you're bound to like this. It is quite a gory film and that probably justifies its 18 rating but it is very well done and doesn't seem to be gore for gores sake. It's a film I would not hesitate to recommend, although would suggest watching Blade before moving on to this second instalment.
Blade 2 is the second film in the Blade series and was released in 2002, also a vampire action film. Unlike the first film, Blade 2 was directed by the amazing Guillermo del Toro although it had the same writers. Blade 2 is 117 minutes long, and again rated 18 because of moderate sexual references, lots of violence and gore and many jumpy scenes involving the vampires.
Blade 2 had a budget of $54 million and went on to triple this at the box office. It was also the film in the trilogy that took the most money even though it was released in March, when sequels have been known to do badly. The film debuted at #1 in the UK, making $3.6 million in only 355 cinemas, it stayed at the top spot for 2 weeks.
The film starts 2 years after the end of the first film and we meet Nomak. Nomak is dressed in rags and we see him entering a blood bank in Prague. He learns that the bank is being run by vampires who intend on draining every drop of blood from him. Nomak starts to cry, but that soon turns into laughter and ends up showing his superhuman strength and shocking the vampires.
At the same time, Blade is searching all over Prague for Whistler who has been kidnapped by vampires and is being kept alive in suspended animation. Whistler has been turned into a vampire though so when Blade finds him, he has to give him a new version of the cure that was developed in the first film.
When they return home, Blade's hideout is found by two masked messengers, Nyssa and Asad and they offer him a truce. Blade visits an ancient vampire who tells him about Nomak, and the new breed of vamps that threaten to wipe out human kind. Blade agrees to the truce and to help, with some assistance from the Bloodpact, the gang that was formed to kill Blade in the first place.
Blade - Wesley Snipes
Whistler - Kris Kristofferson
Reinhardt - Ron Perlman
Nyssa - Leonor Varela
Scud - Norman Reedus
Damaskinos - Thomas Kretschmann
Nomak - Luke Goss
Chupa - Matt Schulze
Asad - Danny John-Jules
Snowman - Donnie Yen
Kounen - Karel Roden
Verlaine - Narit Velle Kile
Although this isn't my favourite film in the trilogy, I did like it more than the first film. I really liked the addition of new characters and a completely different storyline. Sometimes sequels can turn into the original film but slightly different but I don't think Blade 2 was like this at all.
If you haven't seen the first film though, don't worry. I think Blade 2 is fantastic as part of the trilogy but it also works really well as a film on it's own. The story in this film only slightly carries on from Blade but all is explained in a voiced over video.
As I loved all the action and fighting in the first film, I think Blade 2 even managed to step up the game a bit. Blade gets some new amazing weapons and new ways to kill the vamps. The Bloodpack all have unique abilities and it was great to see many different fighting styles and the way that everyone did something different.
What I really liked about the story was the fact that Blade, the vampire good guy, had to join forces with the Bloodpack, the bad guys, to eliminate some even bigger bad guys. The script is quite funny at times when it comes to this merger as neither side really want to work together.
Wesley Snipes was amazing in Blade and I was wondering how he could grow as a character in this second film. He is the usual good guy with a bad background and kicks ass a lot like normal but we get to see more of his feelings this time. I think as there was so much action and killing in the first film, making it appeal more towards the guys, the writers wanted to appeal more towards the girls. It was nice to see Blade when he realised he likes Nyssa and doesn't know what to do about it.
Some trivia about the film:
- In the scene where Blade and the blood pack are walking towards the house of pain, you see briefly through Whistler's thermal scope that Blade is hot blooded, unlike the other vampires
- The guy who played Snowman, also choreographed the film's fight scenes
- Reinhardt's sunglasses aren't taken off the whole way through the film
- All of the sunglasses worn in this film are Oakley's
- Anamorphic widescreen
- Animated Menus
- Different sound options
- Optional commentaries by Director, Producer, Writer and Wesley Snipes
- English subtitles
- Deleted/ Alternative scenes with optional commentaries
- Blood pact behind the scenes
- Blood pact branching clips & sequence
- Video game survival guide
- Visual effects
- Music Video
- Theatrical press kit
- Animated menus
- Art gallery
- English subtitles
Overall, Blade 2 is a lot better than the first film and when I learned about Blade Trinity I was so excited. This film is a lot more appealing to both sexes but also manages to have the right amount of action at the same time. Two thumbs up!!
- You can also read my review on Blade when it gets unlocked. I used some bad language in that one...oops.
This is the second film in the Blade Trilogy, as with the first this is 18 rated and Wesley Snipes plays the title role of the half human, half vampire "Daywalker" who hunts vampires (see my review of the first Blade for full details).
As with the first film this starts with a bang: a man is led into a vampire feeding room but rather than being the prey he turns the table and becomes the predator killing and feeding on the vampires. This "man" is Nomak (played by Luke Goss) he is the first in a new evolution of vampires: the Reapers. These Reapers are super tough and hunt both humans and vampires alike.
I must put a note here that, yes, this is THE Luke Goss: "When will I, will I be famous?" Do not be put off by his previous career in the super cheesy boy band as he plays this sinister role very well. Were it not for the credits I would have not known this was him.
For the first time the vampires are not top of the food chain and so they create an elite unit called the Bloodpack to eliminate the Reapers but further than this the Bloodpack enlist the help of Blade.
This is on a par with the first Blade for the action, I might even say they've cranked up the arse-kicking and given Blade some new toys to boot. The Bloodpack also have their own unique skills and a variety of weapons from guns to swords to a massive hammer.
One of the great things about this is the interaction between Blade and the Bloodpack - they mutually despise each other but know it's in each others best interests to work together - there is some good banter between them. Among the Bloodpack is a female vampire, Nyssa (played by Leonor Varela), she is charming and attractive and Blade finds himself in some internal conflict when he realises he is quite drawn to her. Acting this Snipes shows he is capable of being more than just the action hero.
As well as Snipes and Goss there are a number of other familiar faces playing members of the Bloodpack:
Reinhardt - Ron Perlman (Alien Resurrection, The Magnificent Seven TV series, Hellboy, Sons Of Anarchy TV series)
Asad - Danny John Jules (Red Dwarf)
Priest - Tony Curran (The League Of Extraordinary Gentlmen, Ultimate Force TV series)
Particular mention has to be given to Perlman as his loudmouth, bad attidue and cockiness adds a little humour when bantering with Blade.
This film is as good as the first it has still got all the action combined with a good story - I would say the story is better than the first as I like the new edge they've come up with in the Reapers - there's a bit of a twist at the end as well. It's also good to see a new side of Blade with his affection for Nyssa.
Blade 2 is the 2002 sequel to the 1998's Blade and sees the return of Wesley Snipes as the title character, this time around its directed by the noted director Guillermo Del Toro ( Hellboy 1 & 2, Pans Labyrinth, and the upcoming Hobbit movie )
Set two years after the events of the previous movie, drifter Jared Nomak ( Luke Goss ) enters a Blood bank in Prague looking to donate his blood, A doctor leads him to a secluded chamber where he discovers the blood bank is run by Vampires and they intend to drain him, at first Nomak appears fearful but quickly begins to laugh maniacally before fighting back with supernatural strength and feeding on them with a different variation on the Vampire feeding technique.
Meanwhile Blade ( Wesley Snipes ) makes his way through the Vampire population of Prague to find his old mentor Abraham Whistler ( Kris Kristofferson ) who is being kept in suspended animation by the Vampires and has been turned into a Vampire, he rescues whistler and administers a variation of the cure that was developed in the first movie.
Soon some Vampires enter Blade's homebase and deliver a truce offering, it seems the Vampire race is in need of Blade's help to aid them in defeating Nomak, it turns out he has been feeding on Vampires and infecting them with a new strain of Vampirism called the Reaper strain, which threatens to wipe out not only all Vampires but all human life on the planet if not stopped, so reluctantly Blade offers his help and along with Whistler and Blade's new assistant Scud ( Norman Reedus ) they set about working with the Vampires to elimate the reapers.
Strangely enough, for me Blade 2 does something thats not too common in the movie industry, it surpasses its original, I personally think the direction of Del Toro helps give Blade 2 the edge over its predecessor, we see Blade have more of a human side to him in this movie, also we see some improved special effects and more impressive fight sequences, I also like the addition of the Reaper strain storyline as an alternative to the traditional Vampire stereotype and also something that gives credence to the long running theory within the Blade movies that Vampirism is a disease, much like Aids and Cancer, and can possibly be treated in certain circumstances.
I've always had a soft spot for Vampire Movies, and the Blade series in particular, I like the alternative take on the Vampire mythology and this installment in particular is the cream of the crop, for fans of the Genre then this is a must see, and for people just looking for an entertaining action romp then this will also certainly fit the bill.
Blade 2 is the sequal to the fantastic blade film about a vampire that kills his own kind and also has extra resistances.In this movie Blade must team up with his age old enimies the vampires to eradicate a new foe ,a super vampire that feeds on humans and vampires before it spreads throughout the city,not sure who is on his side and who is not he also has the complicated situation of caring for one of the female vampires,his side kick whistler also makes a come back from the dead which is a excellent course of action as well.
Im a big fan of the blade series as they offer something different,in this movie i love the fact you see into the vampire world and what they get up to,the special effects are excellent in this movie with the creation of the uber vampires that have a 3 way jaw and also the dusting of vampires is also as impressive,this film isnt quite as good as blade 3 but its definatley worth watching.There are a few errors though it doesnt quite link with the first film,the female doctor who helped blade has vanished and whistler was killed in the first film but i guess these can be reasoned away
i found this film on the internet for £0.79 bargain! its rated 18 and is 117 minutes long a great deal for a great movie
The follow up to Blade is aptly titled Blade 2! This time it is directed by Guillermo del Toro. This movie is based in Prague and is set a number of years after the original. This time Blade is faced with a new terror, one that threatens both humans and vampires! The vampires so worried about this new threat they send the Bloodpack (a group that has been training to kill Blade for two years) to team up with Blade and form an unlikely allegiance to kill the new enemy with neither party being that happy about it!
The chase is on for them to find the leader who carries the strand of blood which creatures these new 'reapers' before its too late...
Overall a great fun movie, not as much story or characterisation compared to the first, just action all the way!
Actors: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus
Directors: Guillermo del Toro
Format: Anamorphic, PAL, Widescreen
Language Czech, English, Romanian
Region: Region 2 ( DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Boulevard Entertaiment
Run Time: 117 minutes
Main Language: English
Available Audio Tracks: DTS ES 6.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Sub Titles: English
Original Theatrical Press Kit
Child Of The Wild West
After the slightly surprising success of 1998's Blade, a sequel was inevitable. The only question was: would it fall into the usual sequel trap of "bigger and louder" not necessarily equalling better?
The sequel certainly has a bigger budget - this can clearly be seen in every aspect of the on-screen action. From the costumes, to the sets and through to the fight sequences, everything is more polished.
It's definitely louder too. The fight sequences are spectacular and fast. The ones in the original Blade were pretty good, but the action has really been ramped up here. Blade 2 was released in a post-Matrix world and the public expected more from their own screen scraps. Although, I have to confess, for all their greater polish, I preferred Blade's fight sequences. They were far dirtier and more realistic - more like a street brawl than a carefully choreographed routine. Blade 2's fights are more balletic, using a lot of wire work and special effects (some of which look a little dodgy at times), but somehow, they are less satisfying.
The tone is a lot darker too. Much of the action takes place in dark tunnels/houses - as befits a film starring characters that die in sunlight. It makes for a far more atmospheric film. The influence of director Guillermo Del Toro is very obvious here. He does a great job of building an atmosphere which ensures the film will appeal to quite a wide range of people. Menace seems to lurk in every corner and shadow, creating a tense atmosphere, although there are never any truly shocking/scary moments. Any threats or danger to the characters are made clearly visible to the viewer, so people who don't like to be scared will not be put off the film.
Of course, given its subject matter, the film is quite gory, so one group that might not enjoy it is the squeamish. As with the original Blade, people may also find the casual violence off-putting. The body count is very high and, whilst the violence is distinctly comic book in style (vampires simply disintegrate when killed), people may still find such a casual attitude to death uncomfortable.
As with the original Blade, the plot is fairly basic, but serviceable. It sees a new, deadlier vampire evolve, forcing Blade to team up with his deadly enemies - the original vampires. This, of course, opens up all sorts of opportunities for crosses, double-crosses and treacherous actions, adding an extra dimension to the already tense atmosphere.
The plot is not hugely original - it's essentially a rip-off of the first two Alien films. A couple of the sub-plots, in particular, are hugely predictable and you just know where they are going to end before they've even properly started. In a way, it's a shame to see a fairly original character reduced to a derivative plot. In another sense, though, this doesn't matter. The plot is just there to hang the action on, so if it's a bit predictable, who cares? Above all, this is an action film and the pumped up action sequences and stylish look and feel of the film more than make up for the unoriginal plot.
The cast, similarly, is OK, but nothing special. The returning characters definitely have the best of it. Wesley Snipes - already very good in the first outing - seems to have grown into his role, looking cooler and more convincing than ever. Kris Kristofferson also returns as the grumpy Whistler. The father-son element between these two characters is given more mileage this time around, with Whistler becoming a much more interesting character, there to do more than just explain parts of the plot, which was his prime role in the first one. Newcomer Norman Reedus is also good as Scud - Blade's new assistant and there's quite a bit of fun to be had from the rivalry between him and Whistler. For the rest, the characters are little more than vampire fodder. The Blood Pack (the team of vampires Blade teams up with) are there simply to be hunted down and killed in a variety of ways and are probably of note purely because one of them is future Hellboy Ron Perlman and another is Red Dwarf's The Cat (Danny John Jules). They are given very little in the way of character, which makes it difficult to care too much when they die. Moreover, they're vampires and, in case you didn't already know, vampires are bad, so who cares if they die. To address this, the film attempts to make one vampire vaguely sympathetic but it never really pays off due to shallow character arcs.
The big surprise, though, is ex-Bros member Luke Goss as "super-vampire" Nomak. Who would ever have thought that the former pop squeaker would show such acting versatility - from scary, deadly vampire to sympathetic, tragic and scared. It may not exactly be an Oscar winning performance, but it's probably the best acting in the whole film.
So, to return to the question I started with: is this yet another dud sequel or does the second Blade's bigger budget better Blade I? It's a difficult one to call. Blade I just edges it because it was more original whereas Blade II's advantage lies in its darker tone. I'm going to chicken out and call it a score draw: both are great.
Who cares if the plot is derivative, the characters underwritten and the fights slightly over-choreographed? In the action stakes - where it matters - Blade 2 cuts the mustard.
Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Running time: approx. 117 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2008
Distributed By: Newline Cinema
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Released: 29 March 2002
Blade - Wesley Snipes
Whistler - Kris Kristofferson
Reinhardt - Ron Perlman
Nyssa - Leonor Varela
Scud - Norman Reedus
Damaskinos - Thomas Kretschmann
Nomak - Luke Goss
Chupa - Matt Schulze
Asad - Danny John-Jules
Snowman - Donnie Yen
Kounen - Karel Roden
Verlaine - Marit Velle Kile
Priest - Tony Curran
Lighthammer - Daz Crawford
Rush - Santiago Segura
Blade 2 sees Wesley Snipes make his return as daywalker Blade half man half vampire he has all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses. In this sequel Blade hears of rumours that old friend Whistler who was thought to have been brutally murdered in the last film is being kept alive by the vampires so he goes on a rescue mission but shortly after saving Whistler and returning home Blades hideout is infiltrated by two masked messengers who bring news from the vampire council of a truce with Blade and tell of a new breed of vampire that has recently emerged which they have named the reaper strain, A new species that not only feeds on humans but also on vampires and whose numbers are increasing such at an alarming rate that they could threaten to wipeout both races completely.
Reluctantly Blade agrees to work with the vampires to eliminate the reaper threat and is introduced to his team a group called the Bloodpack lead by vampire Reinhardt who have been training to take Blade out for the last 2 years now forced to fight side by side its not long before betrayal is in the air and soon Blade realises that the truce was nothing more that a front and the only person he can trust is himself. As Blade digs deeper into the mystery surrounding the sudden appearance of reaper strain he discovers that there is a lot of information that everyone has been neglecting to inform him and suspects the vampire council may know alot more than they are letting on but hey you know the saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Blade 2 is action packed throughout and its story has enough intricate twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout and with excellent performances from the whole cast it makes a worthy sequel to the original film. Newcomers to this film series need not worry though as all references to the original are coupled with a voiced over video explaing them so you wont be left wondering whats going on throughout the whole film!
The special effects in Blade2 are really good throughout especially the flame effects as the bodies of his vampire victims spontaneously combust and the transformation effects of the reapers mouths as they feed splitting down the middle and opening horizontally and i thought that this did look quite realistic. However there were also a few scenes where the CGI went too far and it became blaitantly obvious what was and wasn't real which did let it down a bit but thankfully Blade 2 has enough action and a good enough story to recover effortlessly from these minor flaws.
The Soundtrack for Blade 2 much like the first mainly consists of hard house and techno and does help set the pace for the action scenes and together with really good use of sound effects add alot of tension and depth to the film. All of the fight scenes look well made and look quite reallistic with exception to one near the start of the film where the CGI took over a little too much.
Overall Blade 2 not only makes a good sequel but is really good as a stand alone film as well so is really good for fans of the original and newbies alike.
Price & Availabilty:
You can buy Blade 2 on DVD from Amazon for around £7 on its own but it is also available as a box set with the other 2 instalments for £14 so is pretty good value for money
**** This Review Can Also Be Found At www.ciao.co.uk ****
The Movie When I first saw Blade at the cinema I wasn't impressed. I'm not too keen on the idea of modernising the old vampire myths and you don't get much more modernising than a half-human/half-vampire 'daywalker' kicking Vampire butt in modern day America with martial arts skills and a variety of high-tech weaponry! Subsequent watches drew me in to what is basically a comic book action movie with loads of action, some supremely camp moments and of course Wesley Snipes on top form which you just have to like. Of course when I heard they were making a sequel I was first in the queue to see it - especially when I heard horror maestro Guillermo Del Toro was going to be the man behind the camera this time. I wasn't too keen on the idea of Whistler(who died supposedly) making a return, nor with the idea of Luke Goss(from 80's pop icons BROS) starring as Blade's most evil enemy yet, but none of that was going to put me off. I suppose I'm the wrong person to be reading a review from - fans aren't often the most reliable sources of information! Well, a number of years after the original came out the 'Daywalker' is back and this time faced with a new menace, one which threatens vampire and humans alike, indeed one which threatens to upset the whole world order! Something new is stalking the night, something which feeds on vampires as its main source of food, something tougher, faster, stronger and more relentlessly evil than a vampire could ever be and they're worried. Worried enough to approach their sworn enemy and vampire killer extraordinaire Blade and offer a bizarre union anyway. The vampires have a deal, join with a specially trained team of vampires known as the Bloodpack to kill these creatures before its is too late, or watch the world be overrun by them. Tough choice, made tougher by the fact that the Bloodpack have been in training for two years with for one purpose alone - t
o kill Blade and they aren't too happy about working with him either! Still, together they are and the chase is on to find the ring-leader, the one who carries the new strain of vampirism which creates 'Reapers' before things really get out of hand... Well that's about as much of the plot as you are going to get from me, part of the fun was watching it all pan out so I'm not about to spoil it. One of the really impressive things about this movie was that it has been so overwritten, most unlike your usual slice of chop-socky action flick anyway. Under the direction of Del Toro Blade has returned more action-packed, bloodier, more violent and with a darker more horrific element to it. Whilst the original may have been action packed and a little campy, this one has a darker much more horrific edge to it and for me that adds more flavour to the proceedings. Blade 2 takes the horror aspect of the original and quite literally turns up the gas to an eye-bubbling level which makes up for the lack of it in the original. The Reapers are severely nasty creatures, Novak's look reminding me(undoubtedly on purpose) of the clothing worn by lepers and plague carriers of bygone years - his being the worst plague a being could ever carry. Reapers have the look of Max Shrek's Nosferatu, but a hideously diseased Nosferatu, with scuttling spiderlike movements to strike true horror into the hearts of the viewer. It'll probably be the first time you'll feel sorry for a vampire anyway when one of these beasties gets hold of them...the first time you see a reaper 'put the bite on' is a real feast for the eyes! In terms of acting you already know what to expect. If you've seen the original Blade then you'll know its Wesley Snipes show, this one being no different in some respects although its also very much Del Toro's too. As the ultra cool Blade he doesn't get to say much, but every word is measured to purvey too
things - he the coolest dude on the block, and if you mess with him, you're going to end up regretting it. Aside from Snipes, ultra cool, ultra kinetic performance is the surprise inclusion of Luke Goss as Novak, the carrier of the Reaper virus. Surprisingly he does a good job as well, I wouldn't be the first to admit to being a little worried about seeing him here, but yes, he does do a good job. I wouldn't say it was Oscar winning but it is a good performance where his could easily have gone way over the top like others who have tried and failed to make the transition into action - especially in this genre. The Bloodpack themselves are mostly macho charicatures, highly under-developed other than those you know are going to survive a little longer than the others which is the only area where the movie falls down, but then its a common failing in action movies and I suppose the movie was long enough at 2 hours without spending more time developing the characters of vampires who were only there to look nasty and become Reaper fodder very quickly. Biggest disappointment was Kris Kristofferson returning from the dead as Whistler, because other than delivering a few cheesy one liners so that Snipes had even less to say and getting beaten up a lot his inclusion is more than a little pointless! He just seemed superfluous to the whole thing, but then perhaps he has a more important role to play in Blade 3 which is apparently already being written. There's good and bad in most movies and this one has more good than bad although of course its not going to be to everybody's taste. The action is not stop, fast kinetic and well choreographed and with Del Torro behind the camera not only is the horror aspect ramped up but so too the action and suspense. It does get a little cheesy at times and at one point near the end one of the battle sequences looked like something which the WWF would have been proud of! Apparently, they wanted to make
each fight sequence different and I guess this one was to show Blade doing a little showboating so erm I guess it's forgivable. You're meant to be having fun anyway, not taking it seriously! If you forgive its shortcomings there is a damn good movie in here. In some ways you could liken it to Alien and Aliens in terms of ramping up the action and adding the 'bigger, better, faster, more' which all good sequels should have, in others you might find yourself put off by the step up in horror movie stylistics. If you liked the original, or want to see a movie which is certainly unique in its handling of subject matter then check this one out - Blade vs Blade 2...no contest! DVD Features Entertainment in Video have given us a stonkingly good DVD, or rather two DVDs, which are both superbly produced and jam packed full of excellent extras. Visuals are excellent, a superb 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer with crisp, clear, grainless images throughout and thankfully, considering the whole thing is filmed at night or in shady night-clubs, sewers etc., huge attention to detail has been paid to graduating the black palette to give the shadows a real depth. Sound too is excellent as we are given the choice of Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound and DTS ES 6.1 Surround Sound which makes full use of your speakers...of course you'll need the right hardware to fully appreciate it but if you have, then this is an excellent disc. Everyone else will appreciate the crispness and clarity of the sound if nothing else. What else? Well, the menu system is uncluttered and easily navigable. It gets straight into the menu rather than playing through a selection of cut scenes, or almost video game footage, as some others opt for which I personally find annoying. Subtitles are available as you'd expect, although they seem to be English only...not that that is going to matter to most reading this but it's worth noting...I guess. Umm, wel
l that's about as informative as I get with the techie kinda stuff...lol. Extras As I said, Entertainment in Video have really excelled themselves in terms of extras...and they're not just junk thrown in to pad things out but they are really excellent and entertaining extras too! Commentaries Disc One carries the movie itself and two commentaries, one from director and producer, the other from the writer and the star himself Wesley Snipes. Both are incredibly informative and hugely entertaining as well. One of the things I particularly liked about both commentaries is that those involved with the movie are 100% enthusiastic about their creation but at the same time recognise the limitations and aren't afraid to share them, and explain what they meant to show but to have a giggle about it when it didn't really work out. One section looks very much like a video game and on the DVD, with it's enhanced picture, it actually looks worse than at the cinema when I first saw this and they fully admit this part really didn't work and explain why. A little later they laugh about some of the cheesy lines in the script...it's refreshing to see those involved in the creation of a movie not being so umm, tight-arsed about their creation! You'll also find an awful lot of things revealed which you'll have not have considered when watching the movie and it's amusing to hear how Del Toro et. al. basically lied through their butt half the time to the studio so they could inject the horror elements they wanted to and got away with it because most of it was shot unchecked in Czechoslovakia... Isolated Score Also on the first disc you'll find you can watch the entire movie with just the score running through it. Umm, why you'd want this is anyone's guess of course and they've cut out all the pumping techno during the fight sequences so even less reason to c
are. Still, someone might and it's nice to have it on here for that one person...lol. Deleted/Alternate Scenes + Commentary Onto the second disc now. Introduced by Del Toro as being "mostly crap", but actually very entertaining, you'll find the deleted/alternate scenes and as they've included even the most minor of cuts in here you'll find it all pretty comprehensive stuff once more. You can choose to watch them with commentary or without commentary, by selection or all played through at once...the only thing you can't do is add them into the movie and watch it with them added. Umm, not really a problem because they're often quite dire - some very cheesy scripting, an incredibly lame flashback to Blade as a weedy teenager, a vampire lord baring a terrifying resemblance to Michael Bolton...and a cum splattered peepshow window which, umm 'surprisingly' was picked up upon by viewers at a test screening and replaced by a plain window in the movie...all of that and much more here. I love this kind of thing and there's around 20-something minutes of it here. Production Workshop A whole heap of documentary footage, interviews with cast and crew, loads of special effects and animatronics info.(very cool indeed!), behind the scenes footage, outtakes, B-footage and so on split up between several documentaries and sub-documentaries("The Blood Pact", "Sequence Breakdowns", "Visual Effects"). Far too much to talk about without boring your butt off(even more than already) just consider that if there is anything at all you wanted to know about this movie or how it was made then you'll probably find it in here! There's at least 3 hours of supplementary footage here, probably more... Video Game Survival Guide Erm, a trailer for the console game...which incidentally, isn't very good. Music Video C
ypress Hill/Roni Size music video "Child Of The Wild West" - basically the usual rap video kinda thing cut with scenes from the movie. Was this on the movie soundtrack? I didn't notice... lol. Theatrical Press Kit The usual kind of thing, reasonably comprehensive actor and crew bios alongside some production notes. Great if you like reading through them, which I generally do...but only on rainy days when I've nothing else to do. I've had a skim through and they're relatively informative, if not exactly earth shatteringly exciting...are they ever? Trailer The theatrical trailer and a teaser trailer. As I've said before, I don't really see the point of these on DVDs but they're here for completeness. Art Galleries & Notebooks Two separate features but I've lumped them together because I've not really taken the time to look through them closely yet...they're what I call ''rainy day'' extras, but if you're interested in filmmaking and set design then you'll probably find them enormously informative. Umm, basically there are comic book style storyboards, set designs, character designs, weaponry designs and all that kind of thing in the galleries and then the Notebooks extra gives you a step-through gallery of pages from the notebooks of Del Toro and the script supervisor which are full of doodles and ideas which were never used...sort of interesting, mainly unreadable...although if you can zoom and scroll around then you can pick up bits and pieces. Like I said, a rainy day feature for me. There are also three unfilmed script sections here as well to read through. Verdict An absolutely stonkingly good DVD, a hugely entertaining movie from Del Toro with an excellent transfer to DVD in all respects and with masses of additional information and bits and pieces on the extras side of things and all pr
esented in a very professional and entertaining way. I think I gave the film a 5 star rating at the time of its cinematic relea se (for sheer comic book entertainment value) and the DVD release easily achieves more of the same. Loved it, if only all DVD releases were this good... (and just a quick note to 'Easter egg' lovers who own the Disc already...if you navigate through to "Visual Effects", scroll down to "Progress Reports" and then select Left and Up on your remote(revealing a vampire glyph) followed by Enter then you'll find a little extra footage...all be it bizarre lol)