Blade,directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer, was released in 1998 to worldwide box office success. It was even one of the first comic book movie successes after Batman and Robin thus being instrumental to Marvel developing the X-Men and Spider-Man series. Despite all of this box office success, Blade has received mixed critical reviews. I for one am on the side of – the movie sucks, though I did enjoy it when I first watched it. At first glance it seems like it would be a cool movie and there are some extreme/gory/cool parts but they are few and far between. What you are left with is a film that you can sit through and be mildly amused by but which is ultimately forgettable.
The movie and its characters vary greatly from their comic book counterparts. Marv Wolfman, the writer who created the character Blade, sued Marvel and New Line Cinema but ultimately failed to win that case. He and artist Gene Colan received a “based on characters by” credit for this one but not for the sequels. Stan Lee had a cameo which they ended up not using in the film and thank goodness for that. It would have been a shame to break his streak of only having cameos in movies with his own characters, but it would have been even worse to break his streak on a crappy movie like this.
Even though it’s completely different from the comic (where Blade is originally a human that is bitten by a vampire) the beginning of the movie is pretty cool. They open with a shot of him being born. How bad ass are you when the first scene is of you being born? His mother has been bitten by a vampire and now he is a “daywalker.” Meaning Blade is a vampire without the weaknesses of vampires, like being immune to sunlight for instance. So that’s cool. Then they show a scene with porn star Traci Lords (who faked her ID so that she could become a porn star while underage), and you can already tell what kind of movie this is going to be. She’s taking an unsuspecting human into a vampire club where everyone is currently dancing around. The human is horrified when the sprinklers unexpectedly turn on drenching him and the vampires who are baring their fangs at him now. The sprinkler scene is alright but the blood is kind of runny. That probably had to be done because of the sprinklers but it just looks like red water on the people’s skin. A fight scene starts and Blade stabs Traci Lords in the part she used most in her porn films. This movie is at this point, ridiculous. All credibility for being a serious movie is gone. From here on out, it’s a B-movie with a big budget.
In the following scene Quinn, surrounded by his minions says (in reference to Blade) “That’s him! That’s him! Get him! Fuck him up. We’re going to jack you up! Make him hurt bad!” Are you serious? Who wrote this stuff? Oh right, David S. Goyer. This is the same man who helped write Batman Begins and wrote the story for The Dark Knight. Most of the time the dialogue is crap but there’s a good moment once in awhile like when a human cop attacks Blade after seeing him fighting with the vampires. Blade says “Mutherfucka are you outta your damn mind!” That’s pretty funny.
This movie is pretty violent/gross at times. Vampires make out with blood all over their mouths, a vampire bites the bloody stump where a hand used to be on another vampire, and when the pure bloods die these winged skeletons burst forth from their mouths destroying their bodies; when Deacon becomes La Magra and is defeated he swells into this bubbly mass and explodes. Blade’s mother tries to stop him from attacking her saying “Erik, I’m your mother. You wouldn’t hurt your mother would you?” to which he replies “I must release you,” and runs her through with his sword.
The movie is very different from the comic. If you’re a fan of the comic, I’d say stay away. If you’re not a fan, I’d say stay away too. Just forget all about this movie, or watch and then forget all about it.
The Movie Lady