3 1/2 Stars
Long before the Marvel Universe was the behemoth that its become, there was Blade. The long gestating project was the inaugural offering from the brand and their partner New Line Cinema. The previous summer New Line had released Spawn to good box office and modest critical acclaim setting the table for the forthcoming Blade. It’s been directed by Stephen Norrington who was the absolute correct choice for the material. His strong visual style and proficiency of tone and mood make for a David Fincher-esque superhero flick.
Blade (Wesley Snipes), the daywalker of Marvel Comics notoriety, is a half-human half-vampire 30-year-old who stalks the vampire sub-culture of New York City. Blade, along with his life-long friend Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) rescue a female doctor (N’Bushe Wright) from the clutches of a vampire attacker. Thus creating a new member of his alliance. Blade possesses all the vampire’s strengths and none of their weaknesses. He’ll need every ounce of strength he can call on to defeat the rebellious vamp known as Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff).
All of the elements have come together to create a very hypnotic and aggressive horror/sci-fi/superhero mash-up. Wesley Snipes is perfect in the role giving him a signature character and franchise during a time when his career needed a second act. The production design and art direction is high level and the direction from Norrington keeps the material heavy without lapsing into parody. Blade is an outstanding early entry into the modern superhero genre.
Director: Stephen Norrington
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N’Bushe Wright, Donal Logue