Blade ★★★½

Geoff T's Hoop-Tober 3.0 Challenge
Blade (1998)

Unexpectedly, I'm jumping many years forward with this superhero romp based on the ultimate vampire slayer, which I recall was the first major film based on a Marvel character (discounting the awful Captain America and Fantastic Four adaptations). To best describe Blade would pretty much be as like a live-action video game, it's a full on adrenaline-rush from beginning to end.

Wesley Snipes of course is Blade, a vampire hunter with deadly abilities. As depicted in the opening, his mother gave birth to him after being bitten, which gave him to best of abilities from both vampires and humans. Along with a bitten nurse who is looking for a cure, he's now waging open season on the worst of vampires, in particular the young leader of a vampire faction Deacon Frost, who wants to reign supreme over all humans by turning them into bloodsucking freaks.

Snipes was perfect to play Blade, it's easily a defining role in his career, the clothing, the deep-voice and the fighting abilities, and Stephen Dorff makes for a completely detestable POS villain in the form as Frost. The action sequences are nicely-directed and fast-paced as well, though the dated CG effect of vamps dissolving screams late 90s, but in a way I feel that contributes to it's very video-game-like nature.

One thing I will always love about this movie is the opening, which imminently sets the tone taking place in a booming underground vampire nightclub with blood pouring onto the party-goers below, then Blade shows up and crashes the party. The soundtrack in general is ace, it's a mix of breakbeats and techno riffs that goes nicely with the fast-paced vibe, like this track here. Pure acid-techno goodness in my eyes.

Maybe it is a bit overlong and style over substance, but I can't deny it's immensely entertaining. It has enough of what I'd want from a comic-book adaptation like this, plenty of glossy style, a gritty story-line and over-the-top violence. I was originally going to skip on this one, but I'm pretty damn glad I didn't in the end.

And apparently, the sequel is meant to be even better...


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