Blade II. 2002. US. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Screenplay by David S. Goyer, based on characters created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. With Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristoffersson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela. In English. 35mm. 117 min.
Believe it or not, there was a time when Blade, the gun-toting, sword-swinging, karate-kicking vampire hunter embodied by Wesley Snipes, was the most—in fact, the only—successful Marvel superhero in cinema. Guillermo del Toro may have seemed an odd choice for Blade II, especially after the critical success of his allegorical horror masterpiece The Devil’s Backbone, but screenwriter David S. Goyer was a fan of Del Toro’s Cronos, and the director was thrilled by the opportunity to make vampires scary again. This time, Blade teams up with a crack squad of vampire commandos—who, as it happens, were initially assembled to kill him—to loiter in dank Easter European nightclubs and hunt a vicious, highly virulent new strain of bloodsucker. The film may be thin on plot, but it’s heavy on blood, leather, and outstanding creature designs.