In The 1970’s, Marvel Comics introduced a new variety of unique superheroes including, Wolverine, The Punisher, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider and the one who I’m gonna talk about the most in today’s review is none other than Eric Brooks, A.K.A. The Daywalker himself, Blade. Introduced in a comic book series called “The Tomb Of Dracula” issue number #10. In this story, he’s a half-human half-vampire. who works as a hunter who specializes in hunting down vampires. His first battle in publication order, was his battle against Van Helsing’s archenemy, Count Dracula. Yep, he actually fought Dracula, I’m not kidding, look it up on the Marvel Database.
A Year Later, Marvel finally published Blade’s solo adventures, most notably his origin story, occasional crossover appearances with other superheroes/anti-heroes like Morbius The Living Vampire & Ghost Rider.
Flash forward Two Decades Later, in a time when comic book films were at its peak, until critical and box office flops such as The Phantom, Tank Girl, Judge Dredd, (Sylvester Stallone version) Shaquille O’ Neal as Steel, (not joking) Spawn and the crowning anvil that crushed superhero movies is Batman & Robin. Until one movie that managed to pick up the anvil and defibrillated the genre, is the one and only Wesley Snipes as Blade.
Blade opened worldwide in 1998. (same year The Mask Of Zorro came out) At the time of its release, the film received mixed reviews from critics and earned enough cash at the box office. Movie goers/comic book fans liked the film as it went on to become a cult classic among the sueperhero genre. Siskel & Ebert surprisingly enjoyed it, which means Blade resurrected superhero pictures!
Blade spawned two sequels with Wesley reprising his role, until the third installment ended. Who knows if he’s gonna come back. He claims that he’s open to reprise his role, unless his character exists in The Marvel Cinematic Universe. (MCU for short)
Now that Black Panther is earning widespread critical acclaim from critics, breaking records with movie goers who pre-ordered their tickets & Octavia Spencer buying a theater for kids as a sign to introduce Black Panther as a positive role model. I want you fellow movie goers and comic book fans that Blade is the first successful black superhero who made a tremdeous impact in superhero movies, way before Black Panther.
The following review doesn’t contain any huge SPOILERS. It means you’re allowed to read this article, just so you know if you’ve never got a chance to watch the whole thing. Does Blade still hold up? Let’s find out!
Positive: Wesley Snipes did a fantastic job as The Daywalker himself. He also co-produced the movie.
Fun Fact: Before Wesley was chosen as Blade, Laurence Fishburne, LL Cool J & Denzel Washington we’re both runner-ups for the role, until Wesley earned his title. Laurence later went on to co-star in Man Of Steel, Batman Vs. Superman & he’s gonna co-star in the upcoming Ant-Man & The Wasp movie.
Other Cast Members including, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Dorff all did a good job on their respective performances.
Blade’s origin story is shown in The Opening Scene. Later in the movie, one character stated on how he acquired his powers & abilities in the first place.
Screenwriter, David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy) wrote the script. He made sure not to screw up a bunch of Plot Points. At least he didn’t make any boo boo before he accidentally made a bunch of boo boos on co-writing the script for Batman Vs. Superman.
Action Sequences are kinetically fast paced containing swordplay, dismemberments & hand-to-hand combat. Speaking of fast paced, Wesley did most of his stunts himself and he’s pretty gosh darn quick when it comes to fight scenes. I’m gonna him Bonus Points for enduring multiple takes, plus he’s a skilled martial artist.
Cinematography looked normal without any technical difficulties.
Without giving too much away, there’s a dramatic scene with Blade and someone he knows, who tells him to “Walk Away.” Ain’t gonna tell you who that someone is, you’re gonna have to see for yourself.
There’s a Plot Twist connected to Blade. I’m not gonna tell you all the juicy details, you’re gonna be shocked.
Not a single character gets an early romance. Thank god it never happened, because I hate this overused trope of two characters starting a relationship way too soon.
I’m gonna give this film an Extra Point for inspiring producers to let other black superheroes such as Luke Cage, Cyborg, Miles Morales/Spider-Man, War Machine, Falcon & Black Panther to appear on television and the silver screen.
Negative: Digital Effects haven’t aged pretty well. Let’s be honest, this was back when C.G.I. at time didn’t look so relevant for a film that came out in 1998. Now that we have better technology, C.G.I. in the 90’s resembles a level off of Tomb Raider. Not the recent reboot, the original PlayStation game.
Pedestrians didn’t notice Blade interrogating a corrupt cop who’s actually a vampire. It would be like Wilson Fisk/Kingpin assaulting a rival mob member at a Chuck-E. Cheese restaurant while attending his godson’s birthday party! Are the extras in the movie blind like Ray Charles but can’t hear a thing on what’s going on with Blade’s shenanigans?!
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BONA FIDE BREAKTHROUGH!
In my opinion, Blade kept me entertained with its use of fast paced Action Scenes, Wesley Snipes’ performance, an interesting concept about a half-man, half-vampire who fights a species related to his heritage in order to protect the world. Similar to The Mask Of Zorro for making Summer Blockbusters feel fresh again that doesn’t have to involve special effects driven disaster movies, Blade made a pivotal impact on comic book movies. If it weren’t for Blade, X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman Begins & The MCU would’ve never existed in the first place! If I were you, I definitely recommend this movie as a fan of Marvel!