Hey folks, Harry here... The thing that is great about being Harry, is you can indulge every self-absorbed writing concept that you could ever even think of... and then expose a bunch of heterophobes to it, and watch them squirm. The pleasuring of the 'gyno-americans', as Lloyd Kaufman calls them, as a metaphor for Del Toro's amazing pacing and pleasure outlaying in BLADE 2... well... You'll see soon enough. Here's Quint...
Ahoy there, squirts... 'Tis I, the former raunchy ol' seaman, Quint, here... I say former because I thought I knew what raunchy was and could safely identify myself as one who would frequently inhabit that state, but then I read Harry's Blade 2 review. Whew. I have to say, though... It was very educational... almost a textbook on muff diving. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't taking notes during the review.
At any rate, I found myself in an odd place. As is almost always the case when following up Sir Harry of the Round Pizza, who is far fairer in the... ahem... inventive imagination department, I wasn't sure how to write my own views of the film up for you folks. Harry covered the wildly geeky and graphic areas and let's face it... There's no earthly way I can top his review without instantly exploding and being placed in front of the 5 Items or Less line to Hell.So... I'll not be drab and boring, but don't expect fellatio tips in this review.
Blade 2, Blade 2... What can I say? It's the kick-ass, balls to the wall, no holds barred action flick we fanboys have been screaming for since the heyday of Aliens and Terminator 2. As you've undoubtedly read, it's nearly impossible to avoid comparing this film to Aliens. The two films both share the same type of frantic energy, the same sense of danger for our lead characters as they fight for their lives completely outnumbered, the same feeling of loss when one of the group gets hurt or dies and not to mention the same dark style of cinematography.
The real thing Blade 2 shares with Aliens are the likeable characters. Who could forget Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez, Ripley, Newt, Bishop or Burke? Good luck forgetting Ron Perlman's Rienhardt, Snipes' Blade (who is much more stoic and less robotic in this film), Luke Goss's head Reaper, Nomak, Kris Kristofferson's Whistler or Daz Crawford's tattoed Lighthammer. You care about these guys, even if they are vile, unlikable people (like Rienhardt) because they are so badass that you don't want to see 'em go.
The awe and wonder is top notch in Blade 2. Guillermo's made the first real computer enhanced superhero movie. What I mean is it doesn't look like wire-fu or a bad Yuen Woo Ping style rip-off. By using CG stuntmen, del Toro was able to shoot over the top leaps, hits, impacts and fights without making the audience feel they're watching The Matrix or Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon again. Blade fights dirty, hits hard, inflicts superhuman damage, absorbs hits that'll make you cringe...
Some people have been bitching about the CG in this movie. Sure, sometimes the CG is quite noticeable, like the first appearance of the Ninja Vampires or during some of the more elaborate fight sequences, but I think these people forgot to ask themselves one question. Is it the CG that pulls the eye towards the effect or the fact that it would be impossible for someone to do in real life? I do see their point, though. You can see the CG, but you can also see the stop motion animation in King Kong, does that make it any less badass?
CG is used in this movie very, very well. I dare you to watch some of these fights and pinpoint the entrance and exit of CG stuntmen/enhancements. You'll find it tougher to do than you think. Having said all that, the absolute worst CG in this film is 200 times better than the best CG in the first Blade. Those blood effects at the end of the original Blade will go down as some of the worst theatrical CG work in the history of film.
I hope you fools know what the film is about by now, but if you don't I'll tell you in Guillermo's words to me a few weeks ago. "So, Qweent! Do you have any fucking idea what dis moobie's about? There are dees emaciated, crack-addict looking mutherfuckers called Reapers who are killing everybody and Blade has to team up with dis Bampire team called the Blood Pack, who were trained to kill him, to stop de Reapers, dose bastards!" I can't wait for his DVD commentary. hehehe
The Blood Pack is awesome, a beautiful blend of different badass styles ranging from Donnie "Iron Monkey" Yen's calm, calculated and deadly martial arts skills to Lighthammer's hulking, slow, but deadly spiked sledgehammer blows to Ron Perlman's Rienhardt who just oozes cruelty and a "You don't want to fuck with me," attitude. You add the other members with their firepower and Vampire know-how and you have a group that can take out just about anything... or so you think.
That brings us to the Reapers. Sure, they look cool in the trailers... but are they as creepy as everybody has been saying? Hells yes. With the utmost sincerity I can assure you that your shit will be freaked out when you see them in action. The make-up is creepy, the movement (a sort of bent over shuffling that can turn into an all fours run when needed) is eerie and their attacks are just plain scary. The Reapers are definitely the coolest villains in both design and execution that I have seen in ages.
So, is Blade 2 as cool as Aliens? Well, Aliens has survived well over 50 beginning to end viewings by me since childhood and has proved a life of over 15 years so far. Blade 2 has to wait a while and hold up to many repeat viewings, but no one would be happier than me if it proves itself worthy to be pulled out at parties in 15 years time and heralded as one of the greats in this action/horror mini-genre.
Well, that's it for me, squirts. Look out for the last bit of SXSW coverage from me as well as an interview with one of America's leading independent filmmakers and a cool set report or two. Before I go, I just want to thank all the kind readers who I met earlier this week in LA at Knowles' booksigning. It was a helluva fun time. Well, time for me to shove off. I'll be back soon with all that above coolness. 'Til that day, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.