In the spirit of 1994's 'The Crow' and 1997's 'Spawn', 'Blade' has an
irreverent comic book style presentation lacking in any emotion or
original style. It is, however, a fairly decent movie if you know this
going in. Decent in the sense that it is truly brimming with excellent
action sequences, special effects to rival any vampire movie and stunt
work that cannot be dismissed as routine. It also has a good story of
conflict and pokes fun at big corporations as the vampire cult in the
film is shown in the form of businessmen sitting around a boardroom
table in conflict regarding their next move.
The film opens in a haunting fashion in 1967 as a woman, injured and
bleeding severely is admitted to the hospital where she is about to give
birth. The film skips forward to the present day. A vampire cult is
bent on taking over the human race. Blade (Wesley Snipes), is the child
of the woman seen giving birth at the beginning of the film and is half
human and half vampire who works for the forces of good as a vampire
killer. We come to realize that Blade's mother was attacked by a
vampire which explains her injuries also seen at the beginning of the
film. Blade relies on a formula, injected into him intravenously to
keep his human side alive but his body is weakening and a permanent cure
must be found for him to sustain his present state of being. Blade's
sidekick is Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who manufactures the formula
and helps Blade like Robin would help Batman. Blade meets a blood
scientist (N'Bushe Wright), a victim of being bitten herself, who helps
him find a cure for sustaining his human side.
Blade's arch-enemy is Frost (Stephen Dorff), a chilling outcast from the
group of vampires, who has his own followers and Frost's ideas for
taking over the world are very different than some of his peers, putting
him in direct conflict with them. He and Blade meet on several
occasions in classic comic book style confrontation.
'Blade' is written by David S. Goyer based on characters created by Marv
Wolfman and Gene Colan. Director Stephen Norrington gives the film a
look that is a cross somewhat between 'The Terminator' and 'The Lost
Boys' and the film is strangely empty in many spots, relying on its eye
candy to do most of the work. Snipes and Dorff make for good opposites
but the story can't sustain itself to the point of remaining interesting
for its running time of exactly two hours.
Perhaps in setting a trend for the future, 1989's 'Batman' has done more
for the technical side of films and less for the academic side of them.
The triumph of the hero's accomplishments came across much more
powerfully in 1978's 'Superman', which offered sub text in its first
hour to explain the man of steel's origins. Most comic book stories
I've seen since haven't been as expressive in giving audiences a total
look at comic book characters, only their superficial side.
Copyright © 2000 Walter Frith