August 23, 1998 -- "Blade" is a high-energy martial arts action film that just happens to be about vampires. While the acting and dialogue are better than in most films of this type, the characterizations are shallow. The action scenes and special effects are dazzling.
Wesley Snipes stars as Blade, a part-vampire whose sole mission in life is to hunt down and kill vampires. Born of a once-bitten mother, he has the powers of vampires without their weaknesses. A sidekick and mentor, Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) has devised a serum to keep Blade from turning into a vampire, but he is becoming resistant to the serum.
Enter the pretty hematologist, Karen, (N'Bushe Wright), who is, herself, bitten by a vampire, but survives to develop a cure against the infection which can turn a person into a vampire.
One of those who has turned into a vampire, and is loving it, is Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) who unearths an old prophecy about the ascendancy of the vampire race, using the blood of a day-walker. Since Blade is the only day-walker around, the vampires set out to get him.
That sets up an apocalyptic struggle between Blade and the forces of good, against Frost and his evil henchmen. Since bullets don't work on vampires, the action comes down to swordplay, some high-tech wooden stakes and lots of kung-fu fighting.
The action is fast and bloody. The fight scenes are very well staged and stunt work and special effects are great. This is a very violent and gory movie with some gross-out scenes, but the action is exciting. The characters, evidently based on comic book characters, are thin. The actors do a good job with what they have to work with. It's not a bad movie. It rates a C+.
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