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Blade 2 Film Review
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Released in 2002
2 years after defeating Deacon Frost, Blade is still looking for his partner Whistler. His search leads him to an encounter with The Vampire Ruling Nation who offer a truce in return for his help to eradicate a new species, The Reaper, who preys on both Humans and Vampires. Whilst being suspicious, Blade accepts, ad uses this opportunity to go deeper in to the Vampire world than he has previously been able to go.
Blade 2 opens up where the original film left of, in a brutal show of Vampire power! We are introduced to Jared Nomak, a Vampire with a twist. On visiting a blood bank, it is discovered that Nomak has a rare blood abnormality that the operatives of the bank find very interesting. When he is strapped in to a chair we realise that something is wrong, the owners of the Blood Bank are Vampires and want his blood! Unbeknown to them, Jared is a Reaper, a mutation on the Vampire species and he is not particular about who he feeds on. The Vampires are viciously slaughtered by Nomak and he nonchalantly leaves a message on the CCTV, "Vampires, I hate Vampires".
2 years after losing Whistler to Deacon Frost, Blade's quest to find his old partner is coming to an end. He finds Whistler in a form of blood stasis. The Vampires have turned him and have been systematically draining him, then letting him recover to endure a living hell of immortal death. Rescuing Whistler he returns to his workshop, where his new partner, Scud, a young technical expert is hesitant and fearful about the return of the old man. After being injected with a serum to help Whistler go cold turkey from the thirst, Whistler returns to the quest.
With The Reaper strain threatening to wipe out both Vampires and Humans, The Vampire Ruling Nation sends two of it's leading members to meet and recruit Blade to hunt the Reapers. After a decent dust off, Blade agrees to join up with the Vampires and go on the hunt for new some new game. Blade is introduced to the Vampire Overlord Damiskinos and The Bloodpack. The Bloodpack consists of 8 members who have been training for 2 years with the sole intention of eliminating Blade and the tension that would have existed before is now intensified as Blade becomes their captain.
The first encounter between The Pack and The Reapers ends with The Pack losing one of its members but they also capture a Reaper and are able to learn more about it's anatomy when they dissect it. The Reapers are as different from Vampires, as Vampires are from humans and their blood lust is far greater. During the encounter Blade faces off against Nomak for the first time and he fights an opponent that seems to have skills comparable to his own. Only the sunlight ends the battle as Nomak, invulnerable to silver and Garlic, isn't immune to sunlight.
Their second encounter leads to the destruction of many of the Reapers and more of The Pack but reveals the twist in the appearance of The Reaper. The Vampires double cross Blade and intend to use his DNA to manipulate for themselves and create a new species of Day Walker. Suffice to say that Blade has other ideas!
Blade 2 really does follow on the first film in the franchise and holds true to many of the values that made the first film such a great one. Although the first film seemed to create more of a darker and hardcore anti hero, this sequel still has elements of that. We have scenes of the muscled Mustang and it's ridiculous engine tone! Scenes of Blade's deep contemplation and oneness, that seem to keep him away from emotions that may deter him from continuing on this mission.
But this second film does introduce some other qualities that the first film did not. We have hints of love from Blade for the Vampire Nyssa and Blade enters in to satirical humour on a few occassions to rile his Bloodpack associates.
I think the triumph in this film is the choice of Luke Goss as The Reaper Nomak, like Stephen Dorff in the first film he creates an intelligent and formidable opponent for Blade. Guillermo Del Toro is a master at the fantastical and he uses his directorial skills and appreciation of the character and it's fans to deliver a worthy sequel.