ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Blade 2 (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Guillermo del Toro

Starring:
Wesley Snipes/Blade
Kris Kristofferson/Whistler
Ron Perlman/Reinhardt
Leonor Varela/Nyssa
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Half man / half vampire and all around badass Blade (Snipes) teams up with a rag tag group of combat trained bloodsuckers to hunt down a new menace: The Reapers. What’s a Reaper? It’s a vampire that not only feeds on humans, but also on vampires. Slap in that clip, sharpen that sword, it's trigger-happy time.
THE LOWDOWN
I never felt that the original "Blade" milked its groovy premise and ideas for all that they were worth. It should’ve been edgier, more action-packed and just all around kooler. When I heard that Guillermo del Toro, a director that usually doesn’t pull any punches, was going to helm Blade 2, I felt high hopes for this sequel. I‘m happy to say that my expectations were met.

"Blade 2" improves on Blade in every aspect. Where the first flick was a little too colorful for my liking, this sequel proudly displays a lean, mean, morbid Gothic setting. Now this is what a horror flick should look like! Character-wise, our boy Blade (Snipes) gets to act kooler than ever. Snipes is given less dialogue than in the first movie, but gets more opportunities to not only showcase his impressive fighting skills, but his humorous side and macho posturing as well. I am now convinced that nobody can do the macho bullcrap thang as good as Mr. Snipes. He owns the part: think a vampire version of Shaft. Fun times! Villain-wise, I really enjoyed Blade’s interaction with his temporary vampire partners (especially Ron Perlman...hilarious) and The Reapers are thankfully way more menacing than pretty boy Stephen Dorff (Frost) was in the original. Think Nosferatu’s unwanted stepchildren and sewer rats on speed. They’re rabid monsters, not Gucci model wannabes. Wait until you see what happens when they open their mouths…brrrr. Head jobs, anyone?

Now the primary “raison d’etre” of Blade 2 is to shovel relentless, enthralling action down our hungry throats. Where the original was too busy exploring that dumbarse “Blood God” subplot to come through gangbusters, this sequel goes full throttle ahead, rarely stopping to take a pee break. I'm talking crazy, whacked-out shootouts, jaw dropping martial arts fisticuffs, a body count that defies reason (that’s a good thing) and gory offerings up the freaking wazoo! We also get gnarlier guns, slicker gadgets and a more insane mano-a-mano finale brawl than in the first. Batman only wished he had it this damn good. Wrap all of it in del Toro’s in-your-face, overly aesthetic style and you get a visual assault that you will not soon forget. I felt like a kid at a strip joint. My eyes were glued to the goodies. Now that’s what I want to see in a Blade flick!

My qualms with the movie are minor. I felt some of the sewer sequences took too long to get to the point and that the pace lagged a few times (I said a few times). Another complaint would have to be the Norman Reedus (Scud) character that feels compelled to smoke cigarettes (or was that weed?) ALL THE TIME. He lost me at the third smoke and irritated me the rest of the way. The film also has some seldom obvious CGI (very seldom) and a few plot holes that lightly bugged me but I won’t describe them here in fear of giving something away. And even though I mucho appreciated the love angle between Blade and Nyssa (Varela), I wish they‘d taken just a little more time to explore it. It could’ve been more poignant than it was. I will admit that the last scene with the two together was incredibly gripping and beautiful though. Wow! You go del Toro!

But overall, I was very pleased with Blade 2. It gives us exactly what we want from a film of this type: lip-smacking action, a strong, tough and charismatic lead, a dread-filled setting, some circumstantial humor, some slick weapons/costumes and gore like your momma warned you about. You want some fries with that? Didn’t think so. This fucking meal is full, yo! Let's kick it!
GORE
This one really pushes the envelope. Not only is it filled to the brim with gun play and decomposing vampires, it also has enough cracking limbs, bloodsucking, disgusting Reaper sequences, one putrid autopsy sequence and dismemberment to fully please. The special effects are very well done and go extra on the gooey/red stuff. NOTE: Is it me or did the Reaper mouths look like vaginas? Is it me or do we see an anus in the Reaper’s body during the autopsy scene? Is it me or should I stop watching porn?
ACTING
Wesley Snipes (Blade) has a strong presence, knows how to fight and delivers those one-liners like a champ. He is Blade. Kris Kristofferson (Whistler) does his gruffy old-timer shtick well. Ron Perlman (Reinhardt) plays the same part he played in "Alien Resurrection" but he does it right this time around. Luke Gross (Nomak) manages to beat the makeup and communicate emotion through it, nice work! Leonor Varela (Nyssa) is ok acting-wise, but it’s really her good looks that kept me engaged in regards to her part. Norman Reedus (Scud) plays the same part he plays in all of his movies: a chain smoking smart ass. I think it's time to stretch, duder. Donnie Yen (Snowman) doesn’t really act, he kicks ass. Unfortunately he doesn’t get that much screen time. Come on! The dude is an awesome fighter! HAVE HIM FIGHT!
T & A
The ladies will dig that Snipes goes shirtless to show us that yes, he still hits the gym fervently. Us dudes get squat.
DIRECTING
Guillermo del Toro is on top of this one and delivers a dark, atmospheric, slickly shot Gothic visual party. The mood reminded me of "Mimic" on more than one occasion and if you want wild shots, tight action sequences and brilliant cinematography, then you will be well served here. Solid.
SOUNDTRACK
Massive Attack, Crystal Method, Cypress Hill, Moby…need I say more? I also really dug the Blade 2 theme by Marco Beltrami and Danny Saber.
BOTTOM LINE
Blade 2 is the real “adrenaline filled” deal. A sequel that tops its predecessor in every way. It’s an action movie that’s excessive in its violence, and a horror flick that goes "coo-coo" on the gross out factor. Sure, the script has its flaws but I appreciated its simplicity. Blade is back, you crazy bastards and this time he means business like nobody’s freaking business! Once more: Thank you Guillermo del Toro for giving me a Blade flick the way l thought it should’ve been in the first place. This one’s a genre crowd pleaser.
BULL'S EYE
Luke Goss was part of that way tacky twin brother pop duo “Bros”. Nice to see that he is doing better things with his time than putting out lousy music.

During development, the film was titled Blade: Bloodlust and then changed to Blade 2: Bloodhunt…now it's just Blade 2.
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