Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Guillermo del Toro|
|Written 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 vampire Blade in his continuing effort to protect humans from vampires, finding himself in a fierce battle against an extremely savage, powerful mutant vampire who seeks to commit global genocide of both vampire and human races. Blade and his human allies are coerced into joining 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 grossing over $155 million. It also received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, praising Snipes and the other actors' acting, its dark atmosphere, Del Toro's directing, and the action sequences. It is the highest-grossing and best-reviewed film in the series.
Two years after the events of Blade, a pandemic known as the "Reaper virus" has spread through the vampire community. Infected vampires are turned into Reapers, mutants immune to all vampire weaknesses with the exception of bright light, who kill humans and turn any vampires they feed on into more Reapers. Unable to contain the Reapers, Vampire Lord Eli Damaskinos sends two emissaries, Asad and his daughter Nyssa, to seek the aid of vampire hunter Blade and his team, consisting of weaponsmith Abraham Whistler and Blade's new assistant Scud. Blade has since recovered Whistler, who has been tortured and held captive by the group of vampires. Whistler had been turned into a vampire by them and after returning to their headquarters, Blade gives Whistler an anti-virus vampire serum to turn him back to human. After meeting with Damaskinos and his human familiar, lawyer Karel Kounen, they cautiously agree to help due to the danger of the Reapers' uncontrollable hunger and rapid mutation. Asad then introduces them to The Bloodpack, a group of vampires trained for the sole purpose of killing Blade. In addition to Asad and Nyssa, The Bloodpack consists of Reinhardt, Chupa, Snowman, Verlaine, her lover Lighthammer, and Priest. To keep them in line and after Reinhardt's racially-charged remark, Blade humiliates Reinhardt and plants an explosive charge on the back of Reinhardt's head.
On Blade's advice, the team starts by investigating a local nightclub frequented by vampires. When they do encounter Reapers, they soon discover that their weapons and powers are completely ineffective. Blade is forced to kill Priest after he becomes infected, Lighthammer is wounded (and infected but he keeps this to himself), Whistler deserts his post, and Scud barely survives a Reaper attack by using UV lights to scare them off. Jared Nomak, 'Patient Zero' of the Reaper strain, attacks and nearly kills Blade before a burst of sunlight forces him to retreat. Whistler reappears and explains that he has been tracking the Reapers to a central nest in the sewers. Dissection of a Reaper corpse that was trapped by an electronic hatch reveals that most Reapers burn out within twelve hours if they do not feed, and their hearts are protected by an additional layer of bone. Having learned of their prime weakness, he and Scud create UV projectors for the team.
While searching for the nest, Lighthammer succumbs to the infection, killing Snowman and chasing Verlaine up a manhole ladder before both die of light exposure when Verlaine removes the manhole cover. Chupa turns on Whistler and attacks him, only to die when a group of Reapers attracted to his scent tear him apart. Whistler survives an encounter with Nomak only because he reveals the truth of his condition and situation to Whistler so he can inform Blade. Asad is ambushed, dragged underwater, and killed. Using a special UV emitter bomb pack, Blade kills all of the Reapers with the exception of Nomak and rescues Reinhardt and Nyssa, but is betrayed by Damaskinos and his people, who stun Blade unconscious.
After Damaskinos' betrayal, he reveals that he created The Reaper virus in order to create a new race of vampires based on Blade and that Nomak is in fact his son. Scud turns out to be a familiar loyal to Damaskinos, who also works with Reinhardt. Explaining that he always knew of Scud's true allegiance, Blade kills him with the bomb he placed on Reinhardt earlier. Damaskinos then orders his scientists to dissect Blade so that he can learn how to replicate his abilities. After escaping his captors, Whistler brings Blade to a blood pool, where he regains enough strength to kill Reinhardt and his men.
Seeking revenge, Nomak tracks Damaskinos to his private heliport and kills him. He then bites Nyssa, infecting her with the virus while drinking her blood. Blade confronts Nomak, and after a ferocious battle, defeats him. With his now-broken sword, Blade stabs it through the side of Nomak's chest and into his bone-protected heart, slipping it through the bone plates on the side. Nomak then commits suicide to end his suffering by shoving the sword all the way into his wounded heart. Fulfilling Nyssa's dying wish, Blade takes her outside, where she dies while watching the sun rise before she can fully change. The movie ends with Blade in London, where he kills Rush, a vampire he encountered earlier in the movie.
- 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, and mentions that his mother was killed by his father. 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. There is a hint of sexual tension between her and Blade, Nyssa recognizing Blade as an honorable warrior after he saves her life.
- Norman Reedus as Josh / Scud, a young, pot-smoking weaponsmith who aids Blade in Whistler's absence. He is revealed at the end of the film to be a double agent, truly working for Damaskinos, believing that the vampires will inevitably win and he would rather be a pet than cattle.
- 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, with the result that he retains his mind and tactical abilities where other Reapers are little more than mindless animals. 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, as well as the one most willing to work with Blade.
- 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 during the raid on the Reaper base.
- 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|
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. Allmusic gave it a positive review, praising some collaborations more than others.
|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)||Spider||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.
- O'Neal, Sean (August 24, 2016). "The Judgment Night soundtrack foretold the rap-rock apocalypse". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
- Min, Lilian (August 13, 2015). "The Hits and Misses of Marvel Comics Movie Soundtracks". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
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