Thursday, June 2, 2016

Blade II: A Visual Appreciation

            Can you blush?

            Guillermo Del Toro is without question one of our finest visual directors. Few other filmmakers can compare in terms of just sheer information packed into each and every frame. Del Toro combines the details of Terry Gilliam with the colors of Mario Bava, and carefully composes his shots to convey story, character and theme purely on a visual level. It should come as no surprise, then, that the director is a massive comic book fan.

            When offered the chance to craft the sequel to the genre-redefining Blade, Del Toro seemed to leap at the chance to do a comic book movie, packing the film with as much action, horror and violence as is possible in less than two hours. Now, don't get me wrong: when it comes to his own filmography, Blade II is more or less an outlier, and doesn't begin to compare with his finest work. It is essentially a bit of fluff. But GDT's fluff is far more substantive than what you find in most mainstream cinema, especially if you yourself are as much a comic buff as Del Toro is.

            Case in point: the various homages to comics art legends peppered throughout the film, which may just make it the ultimate comic book movie. Let's take a look, shall we?

            (Note that none of the following should be taken as a direct, 1:1 comparison, but rather how Del Toro's frames are evocative of the artist's style they are interpreting.)





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  1. I've never grokked those similarities, but you tap into something quite real I think. The Blade movies don't get nearly enough love in my estimation, being among the best and most coherent comic book adaptations on the market. I like them all, but two is my favorite.

    Rip Off

    1. Thank you, although I can't take all the credit for noticing them in the first place -- Del Toro mentions some of the homages in his commentary track, which I wholeheartedly recommend listing to, as well as the tracks he's done for his other movies.

      I also agree that the Blade series doesn't get the love it deserves nowadays, although I really only like the first two. Trinity and the TV series left me a bit cold.


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