Blaze 2 (also known as Blaze: The Dark Beginning 2, previously titled Blaze: Back in Time) is a 2011 superhero film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and written by J.J. Abrams. A sequel to Blaze: The Dark Beginning, the film stars Ryan Reynolds, Jason Statham, Ashton Kutcher, Emily Blunt, John Cho, Eric Roberts, Brad Pitt, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Will Smith.
Due to the positive feedback to Blaze: The Dark Beginning, Michael Bay confirmed that he would make a sequel to it. The screenwriter, J.J. Abrams, stated that this movie has "time travel done right".
Kyle Shepard (Ryan Reynolds) is now happily married to his beautiful wife Emma (Emily Blunt), however, he still is Union City's protector: Blaze II. Kyle's friends have gotten new jobs; his friend Simon Reed (Ashton Kutcher) has now become a detective for the Union City Police Department, and Ryu Lee (John Cho) has been promoted to manager of MetaTech Industries. Soon enough, a new, major villain emerges by the name of Hellbourne (Eric Roberts). Hellbourne finds a secret science lab off the coast of New Jersey that is testing various time travel machines. He kills all the scientists there, and trys out the time travel machine by traveling back to 1945. He finds out it works, and hires a hitman name James White (Jason Statham) to go back to 1973, the year where Alexander Tate (Blaze I) was most vulnerable. Once they kill Alexander Tate, Kyle / Blaze II would lose his powers and Union City can be easily attacked. After receiving word from the government that the scientists working on the time travel project (codenamed Operation V2) have not responded for two days and are most likely dead, Kyle leaves to the island and finds out that someone has used the time travel machine, and has traveled to the date of June 12, 1973. Kyle becomes Blaze II, and travels to that date. He soon finds out Hellbourne and James White are trying to kill a young Alexander Tate, that way they can go back to the present and attack Union City. Blaze II then embarks on a journey through 1973 to find the evil duo and stop them from killing Alexander.
Liam Tate (Brad Pitt), the father of Alexander Tate, is killed by Hellbourne and James White when they attempted to kill Alexander. Liam jumped in the way of the gun James fired and was shot three times in the heart and once in the head. Blaze II and the evil duo look for Alexander, as well as trying to keep a low profile so they do not attract attention. Soon enough, Blaze II and the evil duo both find Alexander at an airport hanger at Union City International Airport. Blaze II and Hellbourne engage in a fight while James White chases Alexander. During the fight between the two, Hellbourne overpowers Blaze II, and begins to beat him repeatedly. Suddenly, Alexander comes and stabs Hellbourne in the head. The joy does not last long as James comes and holds Alexander at gunpoint. James says that if Blaze II trys to rescue Alexander, whether it be with his powers or something else, he would kill Alexander. While telling him to back off, Blaze II quickly launches a fireball at his face, letting Alexander loose. James is then backing up into the airfield, where he is hit by a plane's wing and killed. Alexander then questions how he becomes Blaze I. Suddenly, in the distance, they see an orb of fire land somewhere near Alexander's house. Blaze II then realizes that Alexander was supposed to be at his house at that time, where he would receive his powers. The orb then emits a field of light and disappears. Blaze II then gives Alexander his powers, and says his goodbye. Blaze II, now just Kyle Shepard, goes back to the portal that will take him back to the present. Once he arrives back to the modern day, he gains his powers again, realizing that he still received his powers from Blaze I. The following night, Kyle meets up with Simon and Ryu. Simon then asks how the adventure went, when Kyle replies "That's a long story....", where the movie then ends.
- Ryan Reynolds as Kyle Shepard / Blaze II, the protector of Union City who must travel back in time to 1973 to stop Hellbourne from killing the young Blaze I, or else he shall lose his powers and Union City will be vulnerable to attack.
- Jason Statham as James White, a hitman who is hired by Hellbourne to travel back to 1973 to help him kill a young Blaze I.
- Ashton Kutcher as Detective Simon Reed, Kyle's friend who is now a police detective.
- Emily Blunt as Emma Harrison-Shepard, Kyle's newly wedded wife.
- John Cho as Ryu Lee, Kyle's other friend, who works at MetaTech Industries.
- Eric Roberts as Hellbourne, the main villain who travels back to 1973 to kill the young Blaze I, which would make Kyle / Blaze II lose his powers and allow Union City to be easily attacked.
- Brad Pitt as Liam Tate, the father of Alexander Tate / Blaze I.
- Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander Tate / Young Blaze I, the boy who would soon become Blaze I.
- Will Smith as Detective Chris Williams, Simon's new partner.
Robert De Niro, who played Aldo Gambodi Jr. in the previous film, was set to have a major role in this film, but it was soon written out. However, the character does make a cameo appearance at the end of the film. Mark Wahlberg was considered to play James White, but he turned down the role due to him filming Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
During December 2012, Michael Bay and J.J. Abrams met and thought about the plot of the next Blaze film. J.J. brought up the idea of time travel being involved. Michael was interested, and allowed J.J. to begin writing the story. J.J. started writing the story on January 9th, 2010, and finished two weeks later. Production was soon green-lit after. It was decided Michael Bay would return to direct, however, his friend Jerry Bruckheimer was placed as producer, while J.J. Abrams became screenwriter. Initial development began in February, and finished in November 2010. Filming began soon after, and commenced on January 19th, 2011. On March 10, 2011, Jerry Bruckheimer announced that the film was to be released in 2-D and IMAX, just like the previous film.
After the Official Trailer was released on March 27, 2011, the release date was set to be Decmeber 9th, 2011. The official trailer also announced that the film would be rated "PG-13", and not "R" like the previous film. Michael Bay responded by saying "The change of the rating was so people of a younger age would be able to see this movie. We promise however, that fans of the first film will not be dissapointed, as this movie delivers as even more action then the first one".
The "Blaze" official site was updated to show trailers, pictures, etc. of Blaze 2. Also, Hollywood Collectible Group made action figures and bobbleheads of the main characters. Coca-Cola also put codes on cans of Coke that you could enter on the Blaze Official Website to unlock exclusive information about the characters.
A video game prequel, titled "Blaze: Redemption" was released on December 7, 2011 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. It was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai and published by Ubisoft. It received positive reviews, earning a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and 72 / 100 on Metacritic.
- The rating was "PG-13 for Intense Action Violence, Brief Drug Content, and Some Language".
- The film received positive reviews, and holds a rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and 78 / 100 on Metacritic.
- The film is 122 minutes long.