Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blade (1998) Review:

Before this film, it was clear that any Marvel comic adaptation to the big screen was not favored by many. Howard the Duck (1986) impressed very few and The Punisher (1989) did not even get a chance to be released in U.S. theaters. It was difficult to say how Marvel would perform after such mishaps. Thankfully, they came back with one heck of an action-horror film starring one of the most popular actors at the time - Wesley Snipes. And was it a great casting choice; thank you David S. Goyer.

The duo ---> Snipes (Blade) & Whistler (Kristofferson)
To be brief because it was already explained, Wesley Snipes plays a half human, half vampire named Blade who takes it upon himself to slay every vampire that he comes into contact with. Just because, he doesn't like being part vampire himself. Accompanying Blade is his weapons maker called the "Whistler" played by Kris Kristofferson. Both Snipes and Kristofferson show great chemistry on screen will give a real sense that these two guys have been at it for years. Snipes plays his role with a controlled anger and moves with style, while Kristofferson lightens up the air with lines that any old man would say.

Witnessing these two handle their work is a medical examiner Karen (N'Bushe Wright) who also shows off some feminine power when she's given the chance. But just like any other female character in an antihero movie like this, Wright's character will not be a love interest and I am totally fine with that. Same goes for what should be for Marvel's The Punisher, Daredevil and Ghost Rider. Playing the villain, Deacon Frost is Stephen Dorff and he too gives the cold shoulder (pun intended) to many of his enemies, including his own. He doesn't even seem to really care about his partner Quinn (Donal Logue), a fellow vampire. That's selfish man.

N'Bushe Wright as Karen, who unknowingly is
dragged into the world of blade
Along with a set of great characters, comes some fierce stylized action, cool special effects and dark music. The writing is where it gets a little cliche. Because Wesley Snipes holds several degrees in martial arts, it should be no surprise that the action will be stylized to a level that will entertain and not be over top. And because this movie is rated R and is about vampires, there will be blood. In fact, I think it's appropriate to say that this movie was under the "Marvel Knights" logo before it was even introduced with Punisher: War Zone (2008) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012). The atmosphere is dark and gritty. Which is exactly what fans enjoy and want with comic book characters. Also, the special effects were evenly distributed as well, nothing seemed fake.

As for the music composed by Mark Isham, I found it to be effective because it contained a lot of downbeat tones that helped emulate how dark this movie was. But I also found it lacking because there was no reoccurring theme for the main character and it also wasn't present as often as it should have been. Again, when it was present though, it was effective. As for the writing, what didn't work for me was the whole prophecy concept. That and the "chosen one" line. Even if that phrase were left out, it would not have sounded so cliché. But overall, this is one early Marvel film, no one should miss.

Wesley Snipes does a great job portraying Marvel's first antihero. The action is tight and the score is dark and brooding. The writing even allows for good dialog but its back-story is too cliche.

Points Earned --> 8:10

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