Blade II is not a vampire movie, although it is full of vampires.
Blade II is not a horror movie, although it is quite horrific throughout.
No, Blade II is a comic book movie, the best comic book movie since The Crow.
(Yes, it's better than the original Blade.)
Wesley Snipes reprises his role as Marvel Comic's daywalker, a half human, half vampire hybrid, who like is said in both movies, has all of the vampires' strengths, and none of their weaknesses. Snipes brings a certain energy and attitude to the role. It would appear that he enjoys the character, but that's pure speculation on my part.
Hey, I never claimed to be a professional!
Kris Kristofferson is also back.
Yes, he dies in the original…what, didn't you see above where I mentioned that this is a comic book movie?
Leonor Varela plays the vampire (Vampiress? Is vampiress a word? Does "vampire" have a gender? Why must I ask these stupid questions?) Nyssa, and I think she did a nice job. While she doesn't look particularly vampiric, I couldn't help but think maybe she could have played Akasha in QUEEN OF THE DAMNED. After all Varela has experience playing Cleopatra, right? Cleopatra, regal. Akasha, regal…see where I'm going with this? Anyway, she definitely has an exotic look…
Also in this movie is Ron Perlman. Let me tell you something about Ron Perlman…the dude kicks ass! He might be best known for the sweet and imaginative 80's TV series, Beauty And The Beast, but he's starting to make a name for himself among film-geeks everywhere for his performances outside the mainstream. He has appeared in films like City of Lost Children and in Cronos, not too coincidentally directed by Blade II's director.
Much more on that later.
Playing the creepy Nomak is Luke Goss. I don't know where I've seen him before, or even if he's recognizable under all that make up, but I think he did a great job as the first and strongest of the new breed of creature known as "reapers".
Blade II was written by David Goyer, who did a decent job with what could have been an unintentionally funny concept. However the reason that Blade II kicks ass is that it's directed by Guillermo Del Toro.
Wow, this is a man who knows what he wants and doesn't stop til he gets it.
When I first went full tilt into my vampire craze, I kept reading about Cronos a Spanish-language film that was about a sort of vampire artifact / bug thing. So I sought out the film on video, and to be honest was kind of disappointed because I was just hoping for more of the same: tormented bloodsuckers and hot pale chics in black dresses. But Cronos was nothing like that, and it was a very interesting movie, and what the hell was Ron Perlman doing there among an all Spanish cast?
Then Del Toro did an American movie, a sci-fi/horror hybrid called Mimic. Once again bugs were prominently featured and I just couldn't bring myself to care to see it. Then last year Del Toro returned to his Spanish roots and directed a critically acclaimed film known here as The Devil's Backbone. I wanted to see that, but it had a very limited release, so I'll have to wait for DVD.
Still, Del Toro had quietly been building a following among the film-geeks and the sci-fi / horror crowd, all of which rejoiced when it was announced that he would be helming Blade II.
And there was good reason. Blade II has an awesome look, stylish, yet gloomy, dark and gothic, yet futuristic. And very, very moody and creepy.
And bloody. My God, this is a bloody movie. I'm not sure if I've seen a more graphic film on the big screen, but then again I usually run away and hide from gore. For a horror fan, I am quite the chicken-shit.
Now the sci-fi / horror, and yes comic book crowd holds it's collective breath in hopes that the rumors are true…that Del Toro will next helm the big screen adaptation of Hellboy, one of the coolest characters to ever grace a comic book.
And as added fodder, he wants none other than Ron Perlman (and a whole lot of make-up) as the title character! This could be huge!
OK, so yeah, Blade II is a great movie.
It won't win an Oscar, it won't be on any Best of the Year lists, but it's good, solid entertainment, if you're not afraid of the dark.
Lots and lots of blood.