Monday, July 18, 2011

Movie Review: Blade (1998)

Blade, the human-vampire hybrid, has been leading the war on the denizens of the night for years. Now, as a power-hungry vampire seeks to escalate the war, Blade may be all that stands between humanity and devastation. Most of us are taught from a young age that first impressions are everything. If that's the case, then Blade definitely delivers. I don't know what it is about the opening club scene- the trippiness, the impossible red of the blood-doused skin, or something else- but it hooks me every time I watch it. Blade is the definitive action antihero - he's unstoppable, he's got an attitude, and he's not exactly the sociable type. If nothing more, that makes for an entertaining movie. Now, if only he would just work with the vampires. Like any good action movie Blade has plenty of comic relief, even if it is a bit piecemeal. You've got Quinn, the biker-enforcer type guy that makes you wonder what the brain capacity requirements for second in command of evil are. You've got The Pearl, whose alter ego seems to be The Worst Liar Ever. You've got lines like the first one Blade delivers, which only differ from the art of Samuel L. Jackson by a fraction of a hair. And, of course, you've got the twenty or so incarnations of "I'm gonna rip your head off", all of which end with Blade hitting them almost before the threat is over. Being an action-horror-comic movie, Blade has some decent gore. Unlike many traditional vampire images, where there is nothing visible after a bite but a quiet slit on the neck, there's blood all over the place here. It splashes all over the vampires face, the victims' shoulder, and generally a whole lot more bestial. Most of the gore and effects are surprisingly realistic. The exploding heads, etc., particularly Frost, are probably the worst effects in the movie. The first head cleans itself up nicely with a splash of good, dark blood. Frost, on the other hand, is preceded by a bunch of ugly CGI blood and ends with more of the same. The movie's not perfect, if I've been giving you that impression. There are a few loose ends, failed morals, etc. as well. I had to go into the Special Features to figure out why Quinn was so much harder to kill than the other vampires. I still don't get why everybody was after Blade in the hospital, despite the fact that he was attacking a 'corpse' who had just killed a doctor in plain site of everyone. I have yet to discover if Blade eats beyond his serum. Finally, the one obvious attempt at dealing with racism (even going so far as to use the title 'Uncle Tom') ended itself immediately when the same person who said "do you think the humans will ever accept you?" referred to humanity as "cattle". One part of the plot that should have been done without is the return of Blade's mother. Really, there was no need for her. None at all. Except, of course, for the immense sexual tension between mother and son to lead up to the most sexual scene in the movie: the orgasm caused by the longest blood drinking ever. All in all, Blade's pretty good if you like action movies. It's a little too much of an action movie, invoking such cliches as declaring Blade "the chosen one", but it's entertaining, has some good gore, and has some well-acted characters.

6 comments:

SQT said...

I loved this movie back in the day. I haven't watched it in awhile but I suspect it would still hold up-- especially against the pretty-boy "Twilight" vampires. I like it when the monster stays a monster. And the conflict between Blade's human and vampire side was interesting. Too bad Wesley Snipes kind of fell apart in his personal life. He had a good athleticism for action movies (5th degree black belt?).

animewookie said...

Soooo love this movie!!! No, it's not perfect...but it's a heck of a good time :D Best part of the movie...Some motherf*%ker’s always tryin’ to iceskate uphill. Literally laugh just writing it. Thank you for this one, made my morning :D

Budd said...

This was an excellent movie that proved that you could do a serious comic book movie after Batman had proved it and then ruined it.

Michael Offutt said...

Blade could own Edward Cullen. That's all I'm sayin' about that.

SQT said...

@Micheal-- I'd pay to see that.

The Man in Black said...

I didn't realize until Budd's comment that Batman and Robin came out before this. DC really did have as big a head start over Marvel with movies as they did with comics, didn't they? Shame it didn't help with Green Lantern.