Based on a Marvel Comic, Blade sits somewhat uncomfortably between the overt kookiness and satire of From Dusk Till Dawn, and the dark gothic trappings of Interview With The Vampire.Blade (Snipes) is a reluctant vampire, born on his mother's deathbed and sworn to eliminate the legion of vampires which, unbeknown to us dumb mortals, have managed to infiltrate all levels of society, including the police force, big business, government and even Wall Street.
Helping Blade in his quest are Abraham Whistler (a fairly decrepit-looking Kristofferson) and Karen (Wright), the obligatory female whom Blade rescues from a vampire attack. While it contains a number of impressive set pieces, one of the major problems with Blade is that it tries hard to establish its own identity and style, yet ends up as just another mish-mash of popular genre elements.
The look of the film clearly borrows from superior efforts like Se7en and The Crow (as well as the recent Spawn - another Marvel Comics adaptation). The inclusion of time lapse photography is effective at first, but overused and quickly becomes tiresome, giving Blade the feel of a pretentious music video.
As the title character, Snipes (who also co-produced) is at his blandest, walking his way through the film in awkward looking leathers, and clearly borrowing from Arnie's Terminator persona.
Dorff seems miscast as Blade's nemesis, Deacon Frost, an interesting character whose potential is never fully realised in David S. Goyer's by-the-numbers screenplay (which outlives its welcome by at least twenty pages). Under-used are 70's Warhol star Udo Kier, and former hardcore queen Traci Lords, who is great as a hungry, sexy vamp, but barely lasts five minutes.For all its faults, Blade should have no trouble finding favour with its target audience. The action rarely lags, the violence is excessive, and there is enough blood-letting and bone-crunching to satisfy both undemanding horror and action fans alike. ---John Harrison