The second Blade movie, though not as memorable as the first, has a couple of good things the first didn't have--Ron Perlman in a major role, and Guillermo del Toro as director. It has all the blood and gothic horror and ninja fighting, but its style is less Samurai and more Street--though everything comes down to dynastic struggles in the end.

Blade (Wesley Snipes) or as the vampires call him, Daywalker, introduces his story in about two sentences: born from a mother dying of a vampire bite, possessed of all the vampiric powers without the weaknesses. In the beginning, he has been searching for his mentor Whistler, played by Kris Kristofferson. Did you think he was dead just because he shot himself in the first movie to stop his transformation into a vampire? Nobody dies in comic books. He has in fact been kept, tortured, and resurrected for years by the Vampire Nation, but Blade finds him and brings him home, where he meets Blade's new young tech wizard Scud, played by Norman Reedus.

Their headquarters is attacked by Vampire Ninjas, including love-interest Nyssa played by Leonora Varela, who give Blade a run for his money, but they are only delivering a message from Damaskinos, the Overlord of the Vampire Nation Shadow Council, offering a truce for Blade's help with a mutual enemy. It seems that some vampires are mutating into a more powerful, more primal, and basically more disgusting species called the Reapers, who are led by Nomak, played by Luke Goss.

Blade takes over their squad of elite reaper-hunters called the Bloodpack, an eclectic group of hard-assed vampires including Nyssa--the Overlord's daughter--and Reinhardt, played with the usual bravado by Ron Perlman. Naturally, he and Blade hate each other on sight. The rest of the movie is lies, fights, secrets, fights, double-crosses and fights. Blade emerges victorious and alive for Blade Trinity.

Let's face it: comic books and a great many science-fiction movies are fairy tales. There are Kings and Courtiers, aged Wizards and clever young Schemers, monsters from Hell, and the swordsman falls for the Princess.

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