Sunday, 29 July 2018

Blade 2 (4½ Stars)

I'm happy to say that "Blade 2" (or "Blade II", if you prefer) is much better than the first film. I accredit the improvement to the new director, Guillermo Del Toro. Whatever he touches turns to gold.

Damaskinos, the lord of the vampires, sends a delegation to Blade to ask him for a truce. He needs Blade's help to eliminate the Reapers, a new type of vampire that is spreading through Prague and could soon cover the whole world. Due to a new virus the Reapers are a type of vampire mach two. They feed on both humans and vampires, but if they feed on a vampire they turn the vampire into another Reaper. The Reapers are immune to garlic and silver, and it's impossible to stake them because of their hard chest. They heal within seconds from any wounds. Their only weakness is sunlight, to which they seem to be more sensitive than normal vampires.

Over the last two years Damaskinos has been training an elite group of vampires, the Blood Pack, which was supposed to be used to kill Blade. Damaskinos says that Blade should lead the Blood Pack in his battle against the Reapers, which creates a lot of tension.

The biggest problems come from Dieter Reinhardt, the former leader of the Blood Pack, who immediately challenges Blade's authority. I've always liked Ron Perlman as an actor, but in this role he's breathtaking. He's mean and he's evil, but he has such a cool attitude that it's impossible not to like him.

Guillermo Del Toro said in an interview that it was important for him to distance himself from the sensitive type of vampires created by Anne Rice. He wanted his vampires to be monsters. That's not a new idea, the vampires in the first film were already cold-hearted and cruel.

This thinking was behind the design of the vampire lord Damaskino. He's not supposed to look attractive. But don't you think he looks like the Master from the first season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? On the other hand, Damaskino's daughter Nyssa doesn't look ugly at all, and her evil tendencies are under control. She looks like she's stepped out of the pages of the Vampire Chronicles.

Not even Blade can keep his hands off her.

The Reapers look totally disgusting. Look at that mouth! I'd never let one of those things bite me, not even if it were a woman. If there are any female Reapers, that is. Nothing is said about their gender, but all the Reapers shown in the film are male.

I criticised Wesley Snipes' acting in the first film, but I can't fault him this time. Maybe it's the presence of a superior director that's drawn more out of him. It could also be that Wesley has grown into the role. Blade is a difficult character to play. He's someone who doesn't reveal his emotions, even though the emotions are there bubbling beneath the surface. In "Blade 2" Wesley Snipes portrays this trait perfectly. He doesn't show full emotions, he just gives a hint of emotion when he's dealing with his partner and best friend Whistler. That's something I didn't think he could do after watching the first film, but he's proved me wrong.

I regret waiting so long, 14 years, before watching this film for the first time. If any of my readers haven't seen it yet you need to, after watching the first film, of course.

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