dir. by Stephen Norrington

Starring Wesley Snipes

Gyrating semi-clad bodies grinding to the beat. It could be a New York after-hours club, or even something you would see on MTV. A seemingly benign situation, until the overhead sprinklers start and the dancers become frenzied, writhing in the liquid. The liquid is blood. This is the first scene of the new Wesley Snipes film, Blade. From this moment on, you know this isn’t going to be the ordinary action thriller type of film.

Born from a mother who was bitten by a vampire, Blade is half vampire, half human. This gives Blade the ability to have the strengths of being a vampire, with few of the weaknesses. Believing his mother is dead, Blade is on a crusade to rid the world of vampires. With the help of Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) they battle the best-looking vampires that I have ever seen. These are no Dracula wannabes, they are the hip vampires of the ’90s , fully integrated into human society — though they do have an elite vampire sub-culture.

Blade’s nemesis is the vampire overlord Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff). Frost is a young and cool vampire who looks like may have spent an abundance of time on South Beach. He also needs Blade’s blood to take over the world. Director Stephen Norrington did a great job showing the differences between the two worlds. Humans are portrayed as clumsy, compared to the sleek vampire world.

Of course, special effects, sets, and costumes are amazing, and reflect the nature of the characters. Drastic camera angles and unusual lighting make the cinematography work. Wesley Snipes’ martial arts training also ads some authenticity to the film. Although much of the film is bathed in blood, you get caught up in the storyline. The actors do a good job with the genre. This is not a film to be dismissed as merely another action thriller.

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