A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Blade II has intense gore, which falls just on this side of a slasher film. All kinds of decapitations, bloodletting, tracheotomies, etc., are inflicted on various human-like beings. Although the vampires combust in a cloud of sparks when killed, it comes too late to avoid seeing brains, hearts and tendons, and oceans of blood. Blade, at one point, gets strapped to an impalement table, which shoots spikes through various limbs and organs. There is also a scene of horrible vampire self-mutilation. Even by action-movie standards, it is very graphic. Characters use strong language and there are sexual situations. Interestingly, in the original Blade, the vampires were a rainbow nation of evil with many different ethnic groups represented, but in Blade II, there are two ethnic vampires on Blade's hit-squad, but none in the crowd scenes, or as antagonists.
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What's the story?
Half-vampire Blade (Wesley Snipes) is back in this sequel about the Marvel Comics superhero. When last we left our hero, his mentor and gunsmith Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) has been vampirized, abducted by the undead, and held suspended in a blood-support tank to endure eternal torture. With the help of his new idea-man, Blade breaks Whistler out, and cures him of the vampire virus with an injection and a 24 hour dry-out program. Meanwhile, a mutant super-vampire sneaks into a corrupt Czech blood bank, and eats the vampire-phlebotomists with his daringly different super-vampire bloodsucking anatomy. The waxy emperor is forced to offer a truce to Blade, in order to fight their mutual enemy. But it is immediately clear that the truce can only be temporary.
Is it any good?
An ordinary sequel to the first Wesley Snipes vehicle, this bloody punch-fest lacks the charming antagonists that livened the original movie. Snipes is occasionally funny, though not as often as he should be. Most of the rest of the cast is not funny, except Ron Perlman, re-doing his lovable thug routine (Cronos, Alien Resurrection) as an evil vampire hitman.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Blade II's themes of betrayal and loyalty. For what it's worth, Blade is a black superhero. He calls the shots, is never condescended to, and shows loyalty, courage and integrity. Parents may want to discuss the nature of wish-fulfillment, and the way violence and problem-solving are conflated in the movies versus the way they interact in real life.
- In theaters: March 2, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: August 30, 2002
- Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Wesley Snipes
- Director: Guillermo Del Toro
- Studio: New Line
- Genre: Fantasy
- Run time: 117 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, sex, drug use, and language
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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