When was the last time you revisited the iconic Marvel film, Blade? For me, it had been a while, but I recently indulged in another viewing in the spirit of Halloween. To my surprise, Blade remains an underrated gem that has aged remarkably well over the years. In this Halloween edition of a Rewatch review, let’s dive into Marvel’s Blade and its enduring appeal.
Directed by Stephen Norrington and penned by David Goyer, Blade graced the silver screen in 1998, with Wesley Snipes donning the titular role. This was a time when Marvel had yet to establish its own movie studio, and the concept of interconnected cinematic universes had not yet come to fruition. Blade is a trailblazer that predates the modern superhero film era we now take for granted.
Why Its Underrated
Blade’s stylistic choices were ahead of their time. Released a year before The Matrix, it surprisingly shares several aesthetic similarities that are now often associated with the latter. Think leather coats, all-black attire, and nightclub scenes with sunglasses—the very essence of coolness that The Matrix is renowned for.
At the time, superhero movies were in a slump, with releases like Batman Forever and Batman and Robin leaning toward campy and over-the-top adaptations. Blade broke free from the mold by taking a relatively obscure comic book character and treating it with the seriousness it deserved. In many ways, it served as a trailblazer for the cinematic superhero genre we know today. The martial arts choreography was top-notch, further enhancing its action sequences.
Additionally, Blade delved into the vampire mythos before it became a massive pop culture phenomenon with the Twilight saga. It was ahead of the curve in exploring the intricacies of the vampire world.
What Doesn’t Hold Up
However, not everything in Blade has aged flawlessly. The special effects, once captivating and impressive, now reveal their age. The scenes where vampires disintegrate upon being slain come across as dated computer graphics in today’s context. The film’s climactic battle, laden with computer-generated imagery and intricate lighting effects, seems reminiscent of the extravagant third acts in ’90s blockbusters like Ghostbusters or Indiana Jones. It serves as a stark reminder of how far we’ve come in terms of visual effects in contemporary comic book movies.
Deacon Frost, the film’s primary antagonist, falls flat in comparison to more recent and memorable villains in the superhero genre. His character lacks depth and fails to make a significant impact on the overall plot, leading to a rather anticlimactic resolution in the third act.
Despite these shortcomings, Blade’s legacy has had a considerable impact on the comic book movie landscape. The success of Blade paved the way for two sequels, helmed by Guillermo del Toro and David Goyer, respectively. In 2006, a live-action TV series starring Sticky Fingaz extended the Blade saga, closely connected to the movies and written by David Goyer. While it’s worth a watch, it doesn’t reach the same heights as the films. In 2011, an anime series continued the Blade legacy, offering a unique perspective on the character. Finally, in 2025, Mahershala Ali is set to debut as Blade within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ensuring that Blade’s legacy endures.
As Halloween approaches, it’s the perfect time to revisit Blade and appreciate its contribution to the superhero movie genre. Share your thoughts on this classic in the comments—what were your favorite moments, and which movie should I rewatch next? Don’t forget to like this video if you’ve enjoyed my content and subscribe on YouTube or follow me on TikTok to stay tuned for my next review.