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Blade II

Blade II

From zombies to vampires, the Resident Evil fanatics are treated to more of "The Living Dead" in Blade II, the Wesley Snipes vampire actioner, in a sequel to the surprise 1998 hit Blade.

Snipes, as the titular half-human, half-vampire Marvel Comics-based character, is again teamed up with the avuncular, aging Kris Kristofferson as the weapon expert, Whistler, but this new picture is too infected insatiably with overkill that would make it ideal for computer game players hooked on killing.

As directed with uneven hyperactivity by the visually creative Guillermo del Toro, he apes his Mimic with strong production values.  But if he improves on Stephen Norrington's sanguinely freakish vision in the original, it's all un-fulfilling just for the sake of maximizing anatomical glimpses with unrelenting mayhem.

The beginning sequences segue from a vicious viral predator reversing torture to some well-staged martial artistry with Blade against his half brother foes.

In bleached flashback shots, those unfamiliar with Blade are brought up to speed with the origins and milieu of the "Daywalker" fighting a secretly powerful vampire society.  Blade has the ability to withstand sunlight and the laconic Batman-like protector of humans is diverted from turning the fanged creatures into glittering magma.  That opening maniacal outburst unleashes an outbreak that morphs human and vampire victims into grim wide-mouthed reapers.

And the focus of the increasingly absurd Blade II is on these large-jawed albino monsters whose oral cavities compare with the creature make-up-seen in Predator or the masterfully frightening Alien.  The Reapers seem to multiply more than other similar movie antagonists like Morlocks or Apes which gives Blade and his allies the opportunity to slice or riddle with silver bullets, even if it turns out they're immune to silver nitrate and garlic.

The uninspired tale thrives on its terminating, automatic over bite as Blade unites with his longtime Vampire Nation enemies, the Bloodpack, against the growing Reaper madness, guided by Nomak (Luke Goss).  Del Toro shows some humor with the early implanting scenes with Blade and the imposing, mean Reinhardt, played with extreme haughtiness by Ron Perlman.

For all of the explosive, pervasive exchanges and the luminous special effects, del Toro and Goyer manufacture brief instances of imagination, only to fade away like a glittering queen.  Snipes is more assuredly suave as the super hero.  But, like Blade II he barely withstands all of the violent Grand Guignol activity that never lets uncover more nuance into the Daywalker whose passion for life comes from Whistler's serum that he must inject.

If the film making gives audiences a dismembering thrill ride as Blade becomes more wary of the Bloodpack, the firepower and martial arts of this exhausting decomposition of the undead decimates any purpose to the heartless, bloody instincts of a vampire nation in a state of primal fear.

Blade II

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