The film follows the vampire Blade in his continuing effort to protect humans from vampires, finding himself in a fierce battle against an extremely savage, powerful mutant vampire who seeks to commit global genocide of both vampire and human races. Blade and his human allies are coerced into joining forces with a special elite group of vampires. It takes place two years after the events of the first film.
Two years after the events of Blade, a pandemic known as the "Reaper virus" has spread through the vampire community. Infected vampires are turned into what are referred to as 'Reapers', by the vampire nation. Reapers are a mutation of vampires - immune to all vampire weaknesses with the exception of bright light, who kill humans and turn any vampires they feed on into more Reapers. Unable to contain the Reapers, Vampire Lord Eli Damaskinos sends two emissaries, Asad and his daughter Nyssa, to seek the aid of vampire hunter Blade and his team, consisting of weaponsmith Abraham Whistler and Blade's new assistant Scud. Blade has since recovered Whistler, who had been held captive and tortured by the group of vampires, for 2 years (since the end of the previous film). Whistler had been turned into a vampire by them, and after returning to their headquarters, Blade gives Whistler an anti-virus vampire serum to revert him back to human. After meeting with Damaskinos and his human familiar, lawyer Karel Kounen, they cautiously agree to help due to the danger of the Reapers' uncontrollable hunger and rapid mutation. Asad then introduces Blade and his group to The Bloodpack; a group of vampires trained for the sole purpose of killing Blade. In addition to Asad and Nyssa, The Bloodpack consists of Reinhardt, Chupa, Snowman, Verlaine, her lover Lighthammer, and Priest. To keep them in line and after Reinhardt's racially-charged remark, Blade humiliates Reinhardt and plants an explosive charge on the back of Reinhardt's head.
On Blade's advice, the team starts by investigating a local nightclub frequented by vampires. When they do encounter Reapers, they soon discover their weapons and powers are completely ineffective. Blade is forced to kill Priest after he becomes infected, Lighthammer is wounded (and infected but he keeps this to himself), Whistler deserts his post, and Scud barely survives a Reaper attack by using UV lights to scare them off. Jared Nomak, 'Patient Zero' of the Reaper strain, attacks and nearly kills Blade before a burst of sunlight forces him to retreat. Whistler appears, and says he has been tracking the Reapers to a central nest in the sewers.
The dissection of a Reaper corpse which was trapped by an electronic hatch reveals that most Reapers tend to burn out within twelve hours if they do not feed, as well as having an additonal layer of bone, which surrounds and protects their heart. Having learned of this 'Achilles heel', prime weakness, he and Scud create UV projectors for the team.
While searching for the nest, Lighthammer succumbs to the infection, killing Snowman and chasing Verlaine up a manhole ladder before both die of light exposure when Verlaine removes the manhole cover. Chupa turns on Whistler and attacks him, only to die when a group of Reapers attracted to his scent tear him apart. Whistler survives an encounter with Nomak only because he reveals the truth of his condition and situation to Whistler so he can inform Blade. Asad is ambushed, dragged underwater, and killed. Using a special UV emitter bomb pack, Blade kills all of the Reapers with the exception of Nomak and rescues Reinhardt and Nyssa, but is betrayed by Damaskinos and his people, who stun Blade unconscious.
After Damaskinos' betrayal, he reveals that he created The Reaper virus in order to create a new race of vampires based on Blade and that Nomak is in fact his son. Scud turns out to be a familiar loyal to Damaskinos, who also works with Reinhardt. Blade turns the table on Scud, saying he always knew of Scud's true allegiance, and kills him with the bomb he had placed on Reinhardt, earlier. Damaskinos then orders his scientists to dissect Blade so they can learn how to replicate his abilities. After escaping his captors, Whistler brings Blade to a blood pool, where he regains enough strength to kill Reinhardt and his men.
Seeking revenge, Nomak tracks Damaskinos to his private heliport and kills him. He then bites Nyssa, infecting her with the virus while drinking her blood. Blade confronts Nomak, and after a ferocious battle, defeats him. With his now-broken sword, Blade stabs it through the side of Nomak's chest and into his bone-protected heart, slipping it through the bone plates on the side. Nomak then commits suicide to end his suffering by shoving the sword all the way into his wounded heart. Fulfilling Nyssa's dying wish, Blade takes her outside, where she dies while watching the sun rise before she can fully change. The movie ends with Blade in London, where he kills Rush, a vampire he encountered earlier in the movie.
Following the success of the original film, New Line and Marvel made plans for a sequel in 1999. It is said that the film was going to introduce Hannibal King and Frank Drake in the series as well as a time travel storyline where Blade goes years in the future. Guillermo del Toro was hired to direct Blade II by New Line production president Michael De Luca after Stephen Norrington turned down the offer to direct the sequel. Goyer and Frankfurt both admired director Guillermo del Toro and believed his dark sensibilities to be ideal for Blade II. Frankfurt first met del Toro when Frankfurt's design company, Imaginary Forces, did the title sequences for Mimic. "I admired Mimic and got to know Guillermo through that film," says Frankfurt. "Both David Goyer and I have been fans of his since Cronos and were enthusiastic about him coming on board. Guillermo is such a visual director and has a very strong sense of how he wants a movie to look. When you sign on with someone like Guillermo you're not going to tell him what the movie should look like, you're going to let him run with it." Like Goyer, del Toro has a passion for comic books. "Guillermo was weaned on comic books, as was I," says Goyer. "I was a huge comic book collector... my brother and I had about twelve thousand comic books that we assembled when we were kids, so I know my background." Tippett Studio provided computer-generated visual effects, including digital doubles of some of the characters.
Del Toro chose not to alter the script too much from the ideas created by Goyer and Snipes. "I wanted the movie to have a feeling of both a comic book and Japanese animation," said the director. "I resurrected those sources and viewed them again. I dissected most of the dailies from the first movie; I literally grabbed about four boxes of tapes and one by one saw every single tape from beginning to end until I perfectly understood where the language of the first film came from. I studied the style of the first one and I think Norrington used a tremendous narrative style. His work is very elegant."
Stepping back into Blade's shoes was a challenge Wesley Snipes relished. "I love playing this role. It's fun as an actor to test your skills at doing a sequel, to see if you can recreate something that you did," Snipes says. Peter Frankfurt adds, "Wesley is Blade; so much of the character was invented by Wesley and his instincts are so spot on. He takes his fighting, his weapons and attitude very seriously. He's incredibly focused, but he's also very cool and fun."
"Wesley knows Blade better than David Goyer, better than me, better than anyone else involved in the franchise," adds del Toro. "He instinctively knows what the character would and wouldn't do, and every time he twists something around, something better would come out."
Filming took place in Prague, Czech Republic including the Barrandov Studios, as well as London from March 12, 2001 and concluded July 2, 2001.
Blade II was released on March 22, 2002. This was during a period of the year (months March and April) considered to be a bad time for sequels to be released. Despite this, the film became the most successful film of the Blade series, making $80 million in the United States and $150 million worldwide. In its opening weekend, the film earned $32,528,016 from 2,707 theaters but dropped 59% of its earnings in its second week, which brought in $13.2 million. The intake is believed to be affected (in part) by the pull of NCAA basketball Final Four games. The film debuted in the United Kingdom at number one, making $3.6 million from 355 theatres and held the spot for the following week, where it had earned $7.9 million, despite a 47% decline. The film was also number one in Singapore, making $214,000 from 30 theatres.
Reaction to Blade II among critics has been mixed to positive. The film earned a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4, stating: "Blade II is a really rather brilliant vomitorium of viscera, a comic book with dreams of becoming a textbook for mad surgeons." Conversely, James Berardinelli gave the film 2½ stars out of 4, stating: "Blade II is for those undiscriminating movie-goers who want nothing more from a trip to the multiplex than loud, raucous, mindless entertainment."
The New Line Platinum Series DVD contains several deleted scene including a flashback sequence showing Blade's first meeting with Whistler, an music video for "Child Of The Wild West" performed by, west coast hip-hop group Cypress Hill and featuring drums and bass performer Roni Size, VHS Capture and theatrical trailer.
A Blu-ray version was released in 2012.
A video game of the same name and based on the movie was released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on September 3, 2002.
Blade II: The Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the film, Blade II. It was released on March 19, 2002 through Immortal Records and Virgin Records, and which featured collaborations between hip hop artists and electronic artists. This was similar to other releases from Immortal Records such as the soundtracks for the films Judgment Night (1993) which featured collaborations between rock and hip hop performers, and on the soundtrack for the film adaptation for Spawn (1997) which featured collaborations between rock and electronic artists. Allmusic gave it a positive review, praising some collaborations more than others.
This soundtrack appeared on four different Billboard charts. Blade II reached No. 26 on the Billboard 200 chart.