Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Guillermo del Toro|
|Screenplay by||David S. Goyer|
by Marv Wolfman
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Edited by||Peter Amundson|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$155 million|
Blade II is a 2002 American superhero horror film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Blade. It is the sequel of the first film and the second part of the Blade film series, followed by Blade: Trinity. It was written by David S. Goyer, who also wrote the previous film, directed by Guillermo del Toro, and had Wesley Snipes returning as the lead character and producer.
The film follows the dhampir Blade in his continuing effort to protect humans from vampires, while dealing in a fierce battle against an extremly savage, monstrous powerful vampire who seeks to committ global genocide of both vampire and both the human race as he also needs to join forces with a special elite group of vampires. It takes place two years after the events of the first film.
Blade II was released on March 22, 2002, and was a box office success with grossing over $155 million, but not as the first film, it also received mixed to positive reviews from critics, praising Snipes and the other actors' acting, its dark atmosphere, direction by del Toro as well as the action sequences. It is considered to be the highest-grossing film in Blade film series and to be the best-reviewed film in the series.
A crisis has arisen in the vampire community: a mutated strain of vampirism, the "Reaper virus," originated from Jared Nomak is sweeping through them. The Reapers are stronger and harder to kill than common vampires, being almost invulnerable to any weapon with the exception of sunlight. They have a ravenous hunger, requiring more feeding than vampires, and anyone they bite, Human or Vampire, becomes a Reaper. In order to combat the mutants, the vampire overlord Eli Damaskinos sends his minion, Asad, and daughter Nyssa to find and strike a truce with Blade, who reluctantly allies with the vampires. He teams up with the Bloodpack, an elite group of vampires originally assembled to kill him. The group consists of Asad, Nyssa, Reinhardt, Chupa, Snowman, Verlaine, her lover Lighthammer and Priest. Blade plants an explosive on the back of Reinhardt's head to keep him under control.
The group starts at a vampire nightclub while Whistler acts as a sniper to guard Scud in the team's transport. The group finds out the Reapers are immune to silver, stronger than normal vampires, and resistant to normal crippling injuries. Priest is bitten, transformed and mercy-killed, and Lighthammer is bitten but conceals the bite. Whistler disappears and Scud is attacked by several Reapers, which he drives off with UV lights. Blade fights Nomak, who is immune to Blade's anti-coagulant spikes. After a stalemate battle, Nomak retreats because of the sunlight. Whistler returns and reveals his finding of the Reaper Nest down in the sewer. Nyssa dissects a dead Reaper to learn more about them. Scud and Whistler make ultraviolet weapons for the team.
Upon entering the Reaper nest, the group spreads out. Lighthammer transforms into a Reaper and kills Snowman. He then chases down Verlaine who sacrifices herself to kill him by exposing themselves to sunlight. Chupa and Reindhart appears to taunt Whistler, in which Chupa begins to physically assaulting Whistler, who sprays Chupa with a Reaper pheromone. This attracts a horde which kills Chupa, while Whistler runs off. Asad and Nyssa walk into a nest, but they are ambushed, with Asad being pulled underwater and killed. Blade saves Nyssa and uses a UV-emitting bomb which destroys all of the Reapers except for Nomak. Nyssa and Reinhardt manage to evade the blast, though they are seriously injured.
Damaskinos' forces betray and capture Blade, Whistler, and Scud. It is revealed that the Reapers' exist as a result of Damaskinos' efforts to create a stronger breed of vampires. Nomak, the first Reaper, is his own son. Scud reveals himself to be one of Damaskinos' familiars after admitting that the explosive he made to be placed on Reinhardt's head was a dud. In turn, Blade reveals that not only has he known since Scud was turned but that Reinhardt's bomb wasn't a dud. He then presses the detonator, killing him. Believing the Reapers are gone, Damaskinos plans to dissect Blade to learn the secret behind Daywalkers. He has Blade placed to drain his blood. Whistler escapes Reindhart and frees Blade, killing Damaskinos' human lawyer Karel Kounen. Whistler takes Blade to the blood pool where Damaskinos drinks blood. Blade falls into the pool, restoring his strength and fights his way through Damaskinos' henchmen and kills Reinhardt.
Nomak enters Damaskinos' stronghold seeking revenge on his father. Nyssa betrays Damaskinos by sealing off their escape route to the heliport. Damaskinos is killed by Nomak after failing to negotiate with him. Nomak then bites Nyssa, infecting her with the Reaper virus while drinking her blood. Blade confronts Nomak in a brutal fight. Blade stabs Nomak in his only weak spot. With his revenge complete, and wanting to end the suffering, Nomak pushes the blade further in, killing himself. Blade carries Nyssa outside, fulfilling her wish to see sunshine with her own eyes, and she dies peacefully. Blade goes to London where he tracks Rush down and kills him.
- Wesley Snipes as Eric Brooks / Blade: a half-vampire "daywalker" who hunts vampires. Wesley Snipes stated that while such a character is not going to have much emotional depth, he then stated: "there's some acting involved in creating the character and making him believable and palatable."
- Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler, Blade's human mentor and weaponsmith.
- Ron Perlman as Reinhardt, leader of the Bloodpack, who bears a particular grudge against Blade. He also seems to be a racist, cracking a joke about Blade's skin color. Guillermo del Toro also referred to him as a "Nazi" in the movie's commentary.
- Leonor Varela as Nyssa Damaskinos, an unapologetic, natural-born vampire and daughter to Damaskinos. She is unaware of his darker activities, and does not realize that he values his experiments more than her.
- Norman Reedus as Josh / Scud, a young, pot-smoking weaponsmith who aids Blade in Whistler's absence.
- Thomas Kretschmann as Eli Damaskinos, an ancient vampire who is obsessed with creating a superior race of vampires as his legacy.
- Luke Goss as Jared Nomak, Patient zero and carrier of the Reaper virus. He bears a grudge against his father, Eli Damaskinos for creating him.
- Matt Schulze as Chupa, a pugnacious member of the Bloodpack who bears a particular grudge against Whistler.
- Danny John-Jules as Asad, a "well-mannered" member of the Bloodpack. He seems to be the least volatile and most intelligent member.
- Donnie Yen as Snowman, a mute swordsman and member of the Bloodpack. Yen also served as the fight choreographer for the film.
- Karel Roden as Karel Kounen, a "familiar", Damaskinos's human agent and lawyer.
- Marit Velle Kile as Verlaine, a red-haired member of the Bloodpack and the lover of Lighthammer.
- Darren "Daz" Crawford as Lighthammer, a hulking, hammer-wielding member of the Bloodpack with Māori facial tattoos. He and Verlaine seem to be romantically involved. However, he is infected during the attack on the House of Pain, and subsequently turns.
- Tony Curran as Priest, an Irish-accented member of the Bloodpack. He is the first Bloodpack member to be infected by the Reaper Virus, and begins to turn. Blade exposes him to sunlight to finally kill him in an act of mercy, as his transformation into a Reaper is agonizing.
- Santiago Segura as Rush, a vampire flunky in Prague. He seems to be much more timid and cowardly than most vampires.
Following the success of the original film, New Line and Marvel made plans for a sequel in 1999. It is said that the film was going to introduce Hannibal King and Frank Drake in the series as well as a time travel storyline where Blade goes years in the future. Guillermo del Toro was hired to direct Blade II by New Line production president Michael De Luca after Stephen Norrington turned down the offer to direct the sequel. Goyer and Frankfurt both admired director Guillermo del Toro and believed his dark sensibilities to be ideal for Blade II. Frankfurt first met del Toro when Frankfurt's design company, Imaginary Forces, did the title sequences for Mimic. "I admired Mimic and got to know Guillermo through that film," says Frankfurt. "Both David Goyer and I have been fans of his since Cronos and were enthusiastic about him coming on board. Guillermo is such a visual director and has a very strong sense of how he wants a movie to look. When you sign on with someone like Guillermo you're not going to tell him what the movie should look like, you're going to let him run with it." Like Goyer, del Toro has a passion for comic books. "Guillermo was weaned on comic books, as was I," says Goyer. "I was a huge comic book collector... my brother and I had about twelve thousand comic books that we assembled when we were kids, so I know my background." Tippett Studio provided computer-generated visual effects, including digital doubles of some of the characters.
Del Toro chose not to alter the script too much from the ideas created by Goyer and Snipes. "I wanted the movie to have a feeling of both a comic book and Japanese animation," said the director. "I resurrected those sources and viewed them again. I dissected most of the dailies from the first movie; I literally grabbed about four boxes of tapes and one by one saw every single tape from beginning to end until I perfectly understood where the language of the first film came from. I studied the style of the first one and I think Norrington used a tremendous narrative style. His work is very elegant."
Stepping back into Blade's shoes was a challenge Wesley Snipes relished. "I love playing this role. It's fun as an actor to test your skills at doing a sequel, to see if you can recreate something that you did," Snipes says. Peter Frankfurt adds, "Wesley is Blade; so much of the character was invented by Wesley and his instincts are so spot on. He takes his fighting, his weapons and attitude very seriously. He's incredibly focused, but he's also very cool and fun."
"Wesley knows Blade better than David Goyer, better than me, better than anyone else involved in the franchise," adds del Toro. "He instinctively knows what the character would and wouldn't do, and every time he twists something around, something better would come out."
Blade II was released on March 22, 2002. This was during a period of the year (months March and April) considered to be a bad time for sequels to be released. Despite this, the film became the most successful film of the Blade series, making $80 million in the United States and $150 million worldwide. In its opening weekend, the film earned $32,528,016 from 2,707 theaters but dropped 59% of its earnings in its second week, which brought in $13.2 million. The intake is believed to be affected (in part) by the pull of NCAA basketball Final Four games. The film debuted in the United Kingdom at number one, making $3.6 million from 355 theatres and held the spot for the following week, where it had earned $7.9 million, despite a 47% decline. The film was also number one in Singapore, making $214,000 from 30 theatres.
Reaction to Blade II among critics has been mixed to positive. The film earned a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4, stating: "Blade II is a really rather brilliant vomitorium of viscera, a comic book with dreams of becoming a textbook for mad surgeons." Conversely, James Berardinelli gave the film 2½ stars out of 4, stating: "Blade II is for those undiscriminating movie-goers who want nothing more from a trip to the multiplex than loud, raucous, mindless entertainment."
The New Line Platinum Series DVD contains several deleted scenes, including a flashback sequence showing Blade's first meeting with Whistler.
A Blu-ray version was released in 2012.
|Blade II: The Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||March 19, 2002|
|Genre||Electronic, hip hop|
|Blade soundtracks chronology|
|Marvel Comics film series soundtrack chronology chronology|
Blade II: The Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the film, Blade II. It was released on March 19, 2002 through Immortal Records and Virgin Records, and featured collaborations between hip hop artists and electronic artists. This was similar to other releases from Immortal Records such as the soundtracks for the films Judgment Night (1993) which featured collaborations between rock and hip hop performers, and on the soundtrack for the film adaptation for Spawn (1997) which featured collaborations between rock and electronic artists. This soundtrack appeared on four different Billboard charts.
|1.||"Blade" (Theme from Blade)||Danny Saber & Marco Beltrami||3:04|
|2.||"Cowboy"||Eve & Fatboy Slim||5:31|
|3.||"I Against I"||Mos Def & Massive Attack||5:40|
|4.||"Right Here, Right Now"||Ice Cube & Paul Oakenfold||4:10|
|5.||"Tao of the Machine"||The Roots & BT||3:16|
|6.||"Child of the Wild West"||Cypress Hill & Roni Size||4:14|
|7.||"The One"||Busta Rhymes / Silkk the Shocker & Dub Pistols||3:44|
|8.||"We Be Like This"||Fabolous / Jadakiss & Danny Saber||5:45|
|9.||"Gorillaz on My Mind"||Redman & Gorillaz||4:29|
|10.||"Gangsta Queens"||Trina / Rah Digga & Groove Armada||3:54|
|11.||"PHDream"||Bubba Sparxxx & The Crystal Method / Tom Morello||3:52|
|12.||"Raised in the Hood"||Volume 10 & Roni Size||3:26|
|13.||"Gettin' Aggressive" (Mowo! Mix)||Mystikal & Moby||3:38|
|14.||"Mind What You Say" (Bonus Track)||Buppy||3:59|
|15.||"Tonight The Stars Revolt!" (Electronic Rock & Nu Metal)||Powerman 5000||2:45|
|16.||"The Name Of The Game" (Electronica)||The Crystal Method featuring. Tom Morello||4:21|
- "BLADE II (18)". British Board of Film Classification. March 19, 2002. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
- "Blade II". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Bill Higgins (April 1, 2002). "A party with a bite". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Michael Fleming (March 25, 2002). "Helmer scales mountains". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Ellen Wolff (July 21, 2002). "Artists flaunt character development at confab". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- Variety staff (March 22, 2002). "Weekend Box Office Preview (March 22, 2002)". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Dave McNary (March 31, 2002). "Col's "Room" at the top". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Don Groves (April 1, 2002). ""Ice" the rage o'seas". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- Don Groves (April 8, 2002). ""Ice" ages well overseas". Variety. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- "Blade 2 Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Blade II :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. March 22, 2002. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Blade II - Reelviews Movie Reviews - James Berardinelli". Reelviews.net. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
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