1998 / Stephen Norrington / Hulu / R
As much of a Marvel nerd as I am, I’ve never read a Blade book.
Blade made leather coats and sunglasses cool before The Matrix.
Blade made Chargers cool before The Fast and The Furious.
Wait… so why can’t we get rated-R superhero movies now?
I wanted to be a day walker so bad as a kid.
Blade, aka Wesley Snipes, aka the action star we didn’t know we needed. There are so many films, characters, and stories that have been born from this film alone. The Blade pose in itself is memorable and still used today in every superhero film. Looking back now it is obvious how much of an impact this film had on the late 90s and early 2000s.
Blade is a character that originated in Marvel comics back in the 70s, just like many of the other monster-based heroes that appear in Marvel comics, like Morbius, and Werewolf by Night. It’s increasingly intriguing how this film is what really kicked off the superhero film in mainstream media. First of all, Blade is rated R. Secondly, Wesley Snipes was, and still is, considered a bad boy in Hollywood, not someone to look up to. Thirdly, the main character is black, and race is never part of the equation. There’s an opportunity to make this film a commentary on race, but the way the story is depicted, I don’t think that was ever a concern for the director and the rest of the team. It will be interesting to see what Marvel does with this property in the coming years.
If by chance you’ve never caught this film, not only am I surprised, I’m also disappointed. Even my grandmother-in-law has seen Blade, and she loves it. He’s a daywalker, a human born from a vampire. He has all the abilities of a vampire, but lacks the drawbacks, save for the thirst for human blood. What comes naturally to someone like this? Hunt those that creep in the dark of night, of course. The action scenes are fast-paced, the music bumps, and the story will punch you in the gut. Are there cliches in Blade? Sure, but are they really cliches if Blade was the first to make those cliches cool as fuck? I think not.