It came as a surprise to me that this movie was the first thing to pop into my head after being asked to pick my favorite. Usually, my horrible indecisiveness makes it almost physically impossible for me to pick a favorite anything. Part of me wanted to question this choice, since it’s not the style of movie that most people would immediately think of when asked to pick a favorite horror film. But the more I tried to come up with a “better” answer, the righter this one felt. I’ve watched this movie countless times, and it’s one that I feel compelled to share with anyone who hasn’t seen it. So far, everyone that I’ve made watch Blade II agrees the movie is fun, sexy, and undeniably cool. To quote one friend who fell in love with the film upon first watch, Blade II “has absolutely no right being as good as it is.” Basically, Blade II absolutely fucks in all the best ways possible.
While I love the Blade trilogy as a whole (yes Trinity is . . . rough, but I have deep-seated nostalgia that makes up for many sins), Blade II is undeniably the best film out of the three. It’s not often that a sequel manages that, but not every sequel gets directed by Guillermo del Toro. Almost everything that makes this movie stand out from the rest of its trilogy can be attributed to del Toro’s influence. Even though he didn’t write the film, he still connected to the story enough to use it as inspiration to create his own horror novel series turned TV show, The Strain.
Anyone with even a passing familiarity with del Toro’s work can see some of his recurring themes (and actors!) in this film. Blade struggling to accept his own nature and hating part of himself, Nyssa realizing that the real monster was not who she was always taught to believe it was, and Nomack’s justified rage and violence at those who created him, all resonate with del Toro’s other works. No one else portrays monsters quite like him. The nuance and depth he gives monsters is unmatched by any other director currently doing it. Del Toro is a mastermind at making a movie cool and fun (*coughs* Pacific Rim), which I think has become a criminally underrated skill in modern cinema. Everything doesn’t have to be gritty and hyper-realistic. Sometimes it’s good to make things a bit ridiculous! The fight scenes in this movie blow the first movie’s action out of the water. The shot of Blade rising out of the puddle of blood and then kicking absolute fucking ass? That’s cinema baby!
Blade II is also undeniably sexy, as any self-respecting vampire movie should be. Wesley Snipes is fine as hell, and you can tell he enjoys the character. The charisma he exudes throughout the movie is captivating. You can’t take your eyes off of him the entire time he’s fucking up everyone’s shit while making it look absolutely effortless. The vampires also get to be sexy in this one, which is a definite upgrade from the unfortunate Y2K aesthetic of the main vampires in the first film. Nomack has a certain swagger that draws you in, and a great voice to boot. The introduction of the Bloodpack brings even more eye-candy to the screen with Donnie Yen in a black mesh tank top and eyeliner wielding a sword. It’s a great look. There’s also a club scene that manages to one-up the blood sprinklers of the first movie. There we see vampires making out with razor blades and a hot bald bitch getting her back flayed open with a smirk on her face. Good times.
I honestly cannot stress enough how much I love this movie. I’ve even been known to call it a perfect film. If you’ve never seen Blade II, do yourself a favor and go watch it now, especially if you’re a fan of Guillermo del Toro’s other works or just love vampire movies in general. I guarantee you’ll have a good time!
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