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Blade 2: Not too sharp and not too blunt

Movie Review of Blade 2
by Smiling Bandit

Opening Night. I figured it would be safe to attend the 10:30 evening showing, imagining that all the kiddies would be in bed by then (The film was rated 13 and over here in Quebec, and I didn't want to be surrounded by high-school students). I figured this would be more of a buddy-flick than a date-flick, and so, armed with my judgment/drinking partner, we headed out to the mega-ultra-super multiplex, which I have affectionately named "The Airport," with all 97 screens and 3 Imax screens and arcade and a multitude of eateries, bars and assorted other nonsense. I figured that showing up an hour before show time to pick up the tickets would be a safe bet on opening night. Arriving only half an hour after we had planned to (damn guitarists), we got in line, relatively close to the front, and spent the next minutes sitting (well, standing, really) in judgment of our fellow film-goers. First, we were astounded at how many black trench coats surrounded us, and boy was I glad to stand out from the crowd in a black duster. The second main group of people we noticed was the... Um... How to put this eloquently... Hip-Hop crowd? All of who were very vocal in their enthusiasm for seeing the film, although I really couldn't understand a word of what was being said.

Finally, we were allowed into the theatre, whereupon everyone made a dash for "the good seats." For my partner and I the "good seats" meant front-row center with the screen stretching off almost beyond our line of sight and our necks cranked back over our seats. In all honesty, the next moments were, in my not so humble opinion, the best part of the movie. Yes, I mean the trailers (or the little commercials for other movies for those of you not versed in the parlance of the film industry). First up, Vin Diesel in xXx. Looks like fun, and gave me a line that I MUST use, "Have you ever been punched in the head for talking too much?" Next up, Spiderman. Another movie I will see just on principle. And finally, one that brought howls of laughter from the audience and groans of pain from my friend and I, Jason X, the latest Friday the 13th film, set in the future where Jason becomes all cybered up. "Evil gets an Upgrade" is the tag line.

Now onto our reason for being here: the film itself. I won't give you a play by play of what happened or you'd have no reason to see it and New Line Cinema would sue me for lost revenues. My opinion on the film is this: it's a fun film. It's not a great film. It's not a horrible film. It in no way tries to take itself seriously. But at the same time, it's not a mindless comedy film (q.v. American Pie 2). It's a solid two-hours of testosterone and bullets (as I had guessed earlier, not really the best movie for a date).

One of the best things about the film I thought, was the cast. Familiar faces were popping up all over the place. Aside from Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson (the ultimate redneck from hell) we have Blade's techie buddy, "Scud." His face looked really familiar and it wasn't until about halfway through the film that I finally had that Eureka moment. Norman Reedus, who was in one of my favorite films, Boondock Saints. Next Up, Ron Pearlman, from various movies all over the place, but most notably in my mind, City of the Lost Children, Enemy At The Gates, and Alien Resurrection (He's the guy with the ape-jaw and bad attitude), who played a member of the Wolfpack, and surprisingly, had an ape-jaw and a bad attitude (this guy's range is fantastic). We also had Danny John Jules, who played the unforgettable Cat in Red Dwarf, or more recently, had a bit part playing a bartender in Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels. The final familiar face, the character Priest (played by Tony Curran), also played Weath the Musician in The 13th Warrior.

My only real problems with the film were the following. First, it was entirely too geared towards pop-culture, trying to please the masses. Perhaps that makes me elitist, as was suggested by my guitarist over post-movie pitchers of beer, but all the same, I think the movie could have done with less. I didn't really need to see Blade performing wrestling manoeuvres during the fight sequences. Suplexes and "The People's Elbow" have their place and that place is on the TV Set in a trailer home. (I know y'all rednecks ain't got no movie theatres in the trailer park). My only other real beef has to do with the flashback sequences. It seems that the filmmakers thought that everything that happened in the first Blade movie needed to be summarized for the viewers of the sequel. Whether valid or not, my beef is with how they did it. Flashback scenes alone would have been ok, but they were also narrated, explaining what was easily understandable on the screen. It felt like an insult to one's intellect, and would have been much better simply letting the images tell the tale. Or is this perhaps more of me being elitist, believing that just anyone is able to decipher the images on a screen into meaning, while the masses need it explained to them? Hmmmm…Something to consider, at any rate.

Oh, yeah... One more thing. The love interest. I don't see what the big deal was. Personally, the other chick with the pink hair was much cooler.

All in all, a good film for a boy's night out. Lots of bullets, blood, and people in tight black leather. It gets a 7 out of 10 in my book (Which is really a 7 out of 9 cuz nothing's ever gotten a 10)

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