Blade (1998)

You know when you’re watching a flick and you see former porn actress Traci Lords sucking someone’s fluids… well you’re in for a treat. Enter Blade, the latest installment into the vampire chronicles of celluloid. But this one is such an energetic rush that even author Anne Rice hawked up on crank couldn’t churn this one out.

I will confess right now that I am most partial to vampire movies. It’s a guilty pleasure I’m not embarrassed of. What other genres out there could you expect to find titles from Abbot and Costello meet Dracula to Blackula? Not in any period piece I’ll tell you that. So I’m strangely drawn to vampire flicks, and this one quenches your thirst.

Wesley Snipes surmises the role of Blade, the half-human, half-vampire, all ass-kicker with great enthusiasm. Most of his lines are either snarled or more snarled, but what are you gonna’ do when you work the midnight shift? The story is pretty hokey but provides just enough moments for some intense action sequences. And that’s what keeps this movie together. The glue of this foundation are the adrenaline pumping action sequences with Snipes just flying around and turning anxiously aggressive vampires into annoying CGI particles. At times the movie can drag because you’re waiting for another action sequence in between the spillings of blood and gore.

The biggest problem in Blade is the wimpy villain. I have nothing against Stephen Dorff but he’s the most non-frightening and ineffectual villain since Colonel Clink tried halting Hogan’s Heroes. He comes off as a skinny kid trying to push around the big guys. I never bought anything from him. I can’t see how he’s an adversary to Snipes’ brooding and stoic hero. Wesley could push the kid down with one arm and twist it around his back ’til he cried “mercy.”

The best comic book transition to movie since 1989’s Batman. Thank God New Line didn’t try and hound a franchise out of this like they did to ruin Spawn and Lost in Space, of course the hellaciously bad writing might have to do with their failures as well. But Blade gets the most from every drop of blood and every electronic beat on the techno enriched soundtrack. A hip and entertaining vampire action flick.

Nate’s Grade: B

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on July 24, 1999, in 1999 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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