Movie Review Flashback- Blade (1998)

Blade directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer is based on the Marvel Comic book character of the same name. The film, released in 1998, kicked off an interest in superhero films, especially in Marvel properties. After finally sitting down to watch it, I understand why.

Blade (Wesley Snipes) is a daywalking vampire who hunts his own kind. He has all of their strengths, but none of their weaknesses… except for their lust for blood. He saves Dr. Karen Jensen (N’Bushe Wright) after she is bitten by a vampire and brings her back to his hideout with his mentor Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) where he tries to help save her.

Meanwhile, Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) is tired of taking order from the old Vampire Houses and vows to use an ancient ritual to allow him and cohorts to transform into vampiric gods. The person standing in their way is Blade. They need his blood to finish the ritual, since he is the only known daywalker. Blade and Karen are the only ones who can stop Frost and his minions.

This movie feels more like an action-horror film than a comic book movie. While a lot of the elements from the character, co-created by genius writer Marv Wolfman, make it over to the movie, it relies more on the horror nature of the story to move the plot forward.

Unlike the modern sparkly vampires of today, this film presents the evil side of the blood-sucking evil doers. It highlights the sharp divide between the “pure blood” vamps and the “younger” ones who had been transformed through being bitten. They are clearly each fighting over dominance and control of the vampire houses.

What is peculiar about this film, is that while the audience is fully aware of Frost’s evil intentions, Blade is not. Through most of the movie, he is in the dark about their plan and only continues to kill the vamps out of sheer vengeance for the killing of his mother (shown in flashbacks). He is definitely a darker hero who has no qualms about killing his enemies or those who support them.

I will say, Snipes, Dorff, Wright, and Kristofferson are the only actors who have any significant screen time. The three of them carry on their roles very well and do an outstanding job. However, I was not impressed with Wright’s character development. Her acting was fine, but at one point, I actually was rolling my eyes at her for chastising Blade after he pick-pockets a villain. I was thinking, “Uh, I know your character is a doctor, but you literally just saw vampires try to kill someone and you’re worried about Blade robbing one of these guys?” I do not blame Wright for that, just bad screenwriting.

That being said, this film probably re-energized interest in comic book films. Nerds today can be happy that from Blade, we have a plethora of movies that we can enjoy.

FAVORITE QUOTE:  He can withstand garlic, silver, even sunlight. And he’s got their strength. This time tomorrow, all those wounds of his will be healed. He still ages like a human, though. You see, vampires age slower than us. Unfortunately, he also inherited their thirst.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Gore, graphic violence, disturbing images, Strong language, sexual content

Check out the movie trailer:

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there is a movie, comic book, song, or graphic novel you would like me to review for the future. While you are at it, check out my movie review of Frozen. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

This article has been updated from a previous version.


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