Fights! Guts! Guns! More fights! With Guillermo Del Toro ("The Devil's Backbone") at the helm, "Blade II" delivers all you could wish for from the sequel to 1998's action vampire flick. And then some.
Wesley Snipes is the half-man, half-vampire who has all the strengths of the bloodsuckers but none of their weaknesses - except a thirst for blood, which he prohibits with a serum.
This time round, Blade has to join with his enemies to fight the Reapers, a mutant strand of vampires who, once they've wiped out all normal vampires, will start on the human race.
Where the first instalment offered some amazing combinations of action choreography and CGI effects, "Blade II" similarly goes all out to gratify its audience with spectacular action sequences.
The Reapers are a triumph of special effects, make-up and computer imagery - their lower jaw unfolds into a huge mouth which envelops and sucks the blood from their victims. Nice.
"Blade II" doesn't have designs on itself as being a revelatory narrative concept. Instead it concentrates on Blade's battle to protect the human race and how he has learnt to accept his dual nature.
He's more mature here and has a pensive capacity, along with the ability to kick ass. Action is punctuated with subtext, sinister imaginings, and sardonic humour throughout, largely due to some skilful direction.
Del Toro employs some of his trademark mood-making here. He infuses the scenes with atmospheric colour - icy blue, warm yellow, and red - and some artful direction, that makes the rest of the film as enjoyable to watch as the action sequences. Well, almost.