Directed by Guillermo del Toro ("The Devil's Backbone")
Written by David S. Goyer.
Starring Wesley Snipes, Ron Perlman and Kris Kristofferson.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 3/25/02
Whether you loved the first “Blade” film or
not, you have to admit one thing: That opening action scene, with
blood spraying down from the ceiling, swords, gunfire, the
works...was pretty bad-ass. In fact, you might only remember that
opening scene from the film, which starred Wesley Snipes as a
half-human, half-vampire assassin bent on ridding the world of
Based on the Marvel comic of the same name,
“Blade” was great simply by being what it was supposed to be—action,
action, action. There is a plot, featuring comic bad guy Deacon
Frost (Stephen Dorff, in his only decent film role even now), but
only enough to give us a reason to watch Blade kill off a bunch of
bloodsuckers using all manner of martial arts and gunplay. Snipes
was great, the look of the film was great, and because the film made
such a profit the first go-around, it was snapped up for a sequel.
This, friends, is one of the few examples
where a sequel that captured the essence of the first film doesn't
try to toy with it. (Recently,
“Rush Hour 2”, and not-so-recently,
“Lethal Weapon 2”, come to mind as movies that do the same thing.)
“Blade II” starts off just about where the first film left off, as
Blade (Snipes) is trying to track down his former mentor, Whistler
(crusty Kris Kristofferson), in Prague. After retrieving Whistler,
vampires led by the mysterious Nyssa (Leonor Varela) enlist Blade to
help them take down a new enemy—some kind of creature that is immune
to silver and possesses otherworldly strength...whatever. This new
faction is led by Nomak (Luke Goss), and he serves as “the bad guy”
for this sequel.
From beginning to end, from the extensive
fight scenes to the ridiculous number of cool weapons that Whistler
and Blade employ, from the special effects to the alt/metal
soundtrack, you get a carbon copy of the first “Blade” with a bit
more action, a bit more humor, and a larger array of bad guys for
Blade to have to kill. You also, as an added bonus, get an
incredibly slick-looking production, on-location shots of Prague
(which is helpful if you've been there, since I have), and more
profanity courtesy of smack-talking between Whistler and a vampire
named Rienhardt (Ron Perlman), which is colorful enough to not be
thrown around at the workplace.
Is all of this a good thing? I thought it
was...in fact, I was on the fence between $9.00 Show and Opening
Weekend all day today before settling on the rating below. Snipes
is clearly having a good time with this franchise, so expect a third
film when the box office is done being counted. If you liked the
first film and come in understanding this is not Oscar material, I
think you are going to have a great time at the movies.
Rating: $9.00 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard