So you're home sick, it's late at night, and you're the only one there.
Of course you turn on Netflix.
If you're me, you break up your binge watching of murder mystery shows with something a little less intellectual.
This past weekend, I picked Blade.
Released in 1998, the film beat Sam Rami's Spiderman to the box office by four years and the amazingly campy Nick Cage version of Ghostrider by nine, making it the godfather of the current generation of Marvel movies.
So, how does Blade hold up now that it's old enough to enroll in college?
I think it does fairly well for what it is: a late 90s Action Movie.
Let's run through the checklist:
- Grim Loaner Protagonist with a Tragic Backstory?
Blade is the Daywalker, the result of an in utero infection by the vampire curse. He inherited supernatural speed, strength, and senses along with a thirst for human blood and an aversion to sunlight. He was rescued from the streets by a grisly Kris Kristofferson and now lives in an abandoned factory with his adoptive father and every day is a war zone.
He's so hardcore focused on killing vampires, he starts a firefight with one in the middle of a crowded park and basically ignores a hostage until she's about to be hit by a bus.
- Dark clothing? With buckles? Sunglasses at night?
Status= Check, Check, and Check
- Sweet fight scenes?
- Old People being one-upped by the younger generation?
The Vampire Council is straight out of the White Wolf playbook. Only, you know, without the superpowers.
So, when frat boy vampire Deacon Frost pulls a coup, the audience (of mostly young males ages 18-25) is supposed to...empathize? I guess?
Too bad his master plan would lead us directly into Daybreakers...
- Computer technology that miraculously solves an ancient puzzle?
Because literally antediluvian beings (previously characterized in this movie as ossified fossils obsessed with past traditions) have failed to remember the language and religion that provide both the teleology and eschatology of their entire race?
They misplaced an entire temple? Forgot how to speak vampire?
Status= Sigh. Check.
- Pervasive Profanity to prove we're edgy?
|Donal Logue's character alone would carry this|
- C. G. I. (!!!)
90s Action Movie Status= Definitive.
Let's be honest. Why did I, or anyone, watch this movie?
To see Wesley Snipes kill vampires with style. And that just never gets old.