Blade | the Love Letter to Black Comic Nerds
Marvel must’ve saw Steel and laughed their asses off. Marvel was in a tough state around this time. Marvel was in financial problems, and it was selling their properties to different (a move they would soon be a blessing and curse for them). Wesley Snipes was hellbent on making a Black Panther film but due to preproduction, he decided to take on Blade instead, and thank you lord for this choice.
Blade IS the film that proved Marvel can create a blockbuster and it set up the future for Comic Book films. Blade started it all and helped right the ship in Comic Book Movies after the Batman films went downhill. This movie can be summed up by one scene, the intro. The introduction to this is the best 10 minutes to a comic book film to date. Seriously, the introduction to Blade is one of the best introductions to a Comic book character ever. Blade in a brief description about Blade killing vampires, Blade is a half breed human and vampire sharing their strengths and weaknesses but also have enhanced abilities like being able to withstand sunlight. Blade being able to walk during the daytime, granted him the nickname Daywalker by his foes. Wesley Snipes was perfect for this role not do you see how much fun he is having in this film but how much he enjoy this character. In addition, the actions scenes were a blast with him whether by sword, shotgun, or hand to hand, Snipes was just kicking ass throughout the film. For every good hero there has to be a strong villain, but I feel this was a misfire not on the actor’s behalf. Stephen Dorff plays Deacon Frost, a Vampire who strives for power. He was not born a Vampire, which did not give him a seat at the table, but he felt deserved one. Frost’s main objective in this film was to become La Magra, the vampire blood god and rid the world of humans.
Dorff does a good job doing a Modern take on Frost; the comic book portrayal was an elder German scientist. However, the writing team mostly David s Goyer (a guy you will hear brought up a few times in the Blade reviews) failed to really claw on his character and do some really goofy things. Perfect example is wearing a Motorcycle Helmet and gear to avoid the sunlight but in a later scene, he’s able to walk freely in the daylight (did he have on mad sunscreen??). Stuff like that goes against writing not the actors. Speaking of the rest of the cast all the major players did great. Kris Kristofferson plays Abraham Whistler, Blade’s mentor and the person who raised him to fight for good. Whistler is in all 3 films (which really hurts the impact of one scene in this film), and plays a major part in the Franchise. I enjoy Whistler as the wise cracking asshole who is not afraid to fight anyone and Kris does a great job here playing him as he do for the rest of the franchise. N’Bushe Wright, who was drop dead gorgeous in this film, plays Karen Jensen, a Doctor hell-bent on finding the cure to end Vampires after a Vampire bit her. The most surprising and most awesome part about her character is the fact she was not the love interest in this film but someone with the same objective as Blade to stopping Vampires (TAKE NOTES ON THIS). Ms. Wright does well here and it is a shame this was the last big role for her. Sanaa Lathan plays a very important role in this, but I will not further into that. I will say her role was underutilized and it could had played a bigger role here.
As much as I love this film, there are some problems. The writing sometimes lacks logic in this realm and loses sight of the narrative. How many times do we have to see Blade allow a Vampire to escape and cause more harm, one Vampire in particular at that. The CGI is god awful to downright disturbing but those flaws get a pass because of how well the actors did their roles with what they had. Blade is a blast to watch and a fun time. This felt like a film that could have failed but had people behind it that refuse to see that happen. This film saved Marvel big time and was the 1st to spawn a trilogy. X-Men and Spiderman will get the accolades but Blade opened the door. The best way to describe to this film, “some motherfuckers always try ice skate uphill” (seriously how can anyone hate that line?)