Blade (1998)

BLADE is a B-movie blast.  Though laughably serious as the Marvel 
Comics-created vampire killer, Wesley Snipes has dem martial arts 
moves down pat.  (He's even co-credited with the choreography.)  In
addition to ass-kicking (and, at times, jaw-dropping) twists and
flips, the long-coated one wields everything from a Samurai sword
to a boomerang knife-- a toy that wouldn't be out of place in a cer- 
tain other superhero series.  (That is, were the Caped Crusader more 
violent.  I'm Batman... slice.)  Beg, bite, borrow, or steal to see 
the opening sequence, set at a vampire rave (!) inside a meat-pack-
ing plant (of course), with Snipes cutting through their ranks like 
an African-American terminator.  (Race notwithstanding, he actually 
reminds of that other Marvel Comics character, the Punisher.)  The 
CGI gore could be better thoroughout, but the blood-- and there are 
*buckets of it-- looks great under cinematographer Theo Van De 
Sande's blanched lighting.  (Cool time-lapse photography, too.)  
Despite the deft action, a sly sadistic streak, and more than a few 
flashes of humor, the story starts to be a pain in the neck around 
the 100-minute mark.  Writer David S. Goyer (DARK CITY) piles on 
all the usual cliches, none of which have any emotional heft.  
(This is great pulp, but lousy drama.)  Happily, the final conflict 
is a garlic-flavored gas.  When Snipes squares off with Stephen 
Dorff's big baddie, any audience concerns about blood flow problems 
(particularly to the buttocks region) will be promptly forgotten.  
And gimme back those sunglasses...   With Traci Lords, Udo Kier,
N'Bushe Wright, and, as the title character's right-hand human, a
shaggy, surly Kris Kristofferson.  Directed by Stephen Norrington.
(Rated "R"/121 min.)

Grade: B-

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: Wesley The Vampire Slayer

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