People that tout "The Matrix" as a new milestone in action film making have clearly missed out on "Blade". The opening of the film in a nightclub is a bravura moment of horror meeting action like never before. What elevates the film into a class of its own, is that it goes on to top that opener with successively greater displays of action choreography melding with special effects.
"Blade" could have been yet another overblown blockbuster, but it differs in that its relentless nature builds excitement rather than smacking of desperate CGI-laced attempts to keep the audience interested.
Wesley Snipes is Blade, a superhero whose fight against vampires has been born out of a dark and sad past. He's up against Frost, a brash young vampire with ambitions that go against the wishes of more senior bloodsuckers, who have secretly prolonged the existence of their sharp-toothed kind for many years.
Snipes plays his superhero character with such aching coolness that you can't wait for the next dumb-ass vampire to get in his way. Such challenges are met with flurries of lethal kung fu and deadpan quips that are actually funny. These retorts reflect an underlying healthy sarcasm in the script, which is in turn beautifully exploited by Blade's mentor, Kris Kristofferson as Whistler.
The sardonic nature of the movie is further enhanced by the ability of the characters to poke fun at the ludicrous nature of the hyper-intense fights that propel Blade in his quest to rid the world of vampires. It's a journey that's enjoyably involving, despite the frenetic pace, and that's a rarity with any action blockbuster.
Read a review of the "Blade" DVD.