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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Review: Blade

Director: Stephen Norrington

Screenplay: David S. Goyer

Year: 1998

Whenever I get asked about which movies I can constantly watch without getting tired of them, “Blade: is always on the top spots of the list. It is one of those movies that is simply fun from start to end, and even with its flaws, capture your attention. The combination of a frantic pace, non-stop action, and a character that has become a cinema icon give one of the most entertaining vampire movies I have seen. 

In a world when vampires roam the Earth, Blade, a vampire-human hybrid, hunts and eliminate vampires. Alongside Whistler, his fellow in this mission and who crafts his weapons, and the recently attacked Dr. Karen Jenson, the trio seeks to find a cure to revert humans’ turning to vampires. At the same time, Deacon Frost seeks a way to get more power and make vampires the dominant race with him as its leader.

When talking about actors interpreting iconic modern vampires, Wesley Snipes as Blade leads the list alongside Gary Oldman as Dracula in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and Kate Beckinsale as Selene in “Underworld”. Blade’s character is rough, skillful, and with much presence, for which Snipes was the right choice for his interpretation. You only need to see other movies from the actor, such as “Demolition Man” to highlight his martial arts skills and interpret this sort of characters. The recent “Dolemite Is My Name” is a testament to his acting chops outside of these roles. 

On the many things I could highlight about “Blade”, maybe the most imposing one is its pure adrenaline-pumping action. When “Blade” storms a vampire’s nightclub, the early scene shows the sort of frantic and bloody action in this movie, all of this together with a great soundtrack, and has become one of the most recognizable scenes in horror cinema. In this fashion, the director Stephen Norrington (“The League of Extraordinary Gentleman”) and screenwriter David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight”) intersperse exposition and action scenes so that Blade and Deacon Frost’s backgrounds can be explored without becoming dull. 

The CGI effects were never “Blade’s” strength, and more than 20 years after its release, it is confirmed that they did not age well. On the other hand, the practical effects still look great and prove why many directors prefer them over the digital ones. Luckily, in this movie, the digital effects are not abused and used mainly on scenes where it would have been impossible or too costly to get an effect that the CGI eases. 

To be honest, “Blade” is one of my favorite movies, for why I have to make a great effort to remain impartial while evaluating it. But even avoiding to be biased, there is little that I can consider negative about this movie, and can only point out the CGI effects and some acting that feels out of sync with the rest. For the rest, this movie offers pure fon from beginning to end and characters that have become iconic in horror cinema, mainly Wesley Snipes rendition of Blade. To finish this piece, there is only left to say in a funny note that “Blade” was the movie that put black robes in fashion in the 2000s and not “The Matrix.

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