Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blade II (2002)

Blade 2, CGI
Though Blade II isn't as good as the first one, it still is rather enjoyable. It contains less character development and is just an action/vampire slaying flick. Wesley Snipes returns as the titular character, and somehow manages to bring his mentor Kris Kristoffersen back from the dead. We also have the introduction of Ron Pearlman playing a jerk,1 and Leonor Varela playing a character that is almost exactly Kate Beckinsale's character in the 2003 Underworld.2

This movie continues the scientific analysis of vampire culture. In order to create a more perfect vampire, a very old vampire messes with the genetic code. Rather than creating a day walker, he creates a vampire that feeds on both people and vampires and is nearly immortal, immune to silver and garlic, but not daylight. As the vampires are unable to take care of this threat on their own, they enlist the services of Blade.

Throughout the movie we see a question about the enemy of my enemy being my friend, and yet the question of who truly is Blade's enemy is never really resolved. However we seem to get the impression that Blade is a master tactician and is able to defeat his enemies through clever planning, playing each against the other while they think they're using him.

Thomas Kretschmann, Blade 2
In some places this movie is a bit gross for me. The ├╝ber-vamps have a lower mandible that splits open when they feed. There are also a few scenes of autopsying the new vamps. And with the use of swords as a weapon of choice there is a lot of dismemberment, disemboweling and generally gross cutting. This movie also has a few places where they used CGI characters for the special effects, and it's a bit jarring.3

Finally, this movie modifies our vampire lore a little bit:
  1. When vampires get really old, they start to change to look more like demons.
  2. Vampires have cloning technology.
  3. Vampires don't know that throwing a vampire into a vat of blood will make him stronger.
  4. Vampires have vats of blood.
  5. Some vampires are very wealthy and have cool castles with very advanced technology in the dungeon.
  6. Vampire slayers are a little psychotic in their persecution of vampires, who, admittedly aren't very nice either.
  7. Though vampires aren't really "dead" they do have a body temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
I'm still not certain how vampires reproduce because we never seen any child vampires. There is a Brave New World-esque assembly line in this movie, but I have to assume that it's for those vampires that are being genetically modified and not the usual way that vampires reproduce.

Wesley Snipes, Leonor Varela, Blade 2
Notes:
1. Basically the same character he played in Alien: Resurrection... amongst other roles.
2. Look for a review of both Underworld and Underworld: Evolution in about a year.
3. The first screen cap on this post is an example of a scene that was largely done with CGI.

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