Mark Gil Sabandal
Genre: Action & Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Stephen Norrington
Written By: David S. Goyer
Release Date: August 21, 1998
Runtime: 120 minutes
With so many different types of action/fantasy in the film industry, and fantasy movies are mostly made of myths and folklore, Norrington’s unique technique in directing a film and Goyer’s creative mind showcased a well-crafted story titled Blade. Norrington and Goyer’s take on the story’s screenplay along with the portrayal of its characters amidst great visuals from scene to scene.
Blade (1998) is one of the films in the 19th century that uses advance technologies in order to produce amazing shots and expand creativity which results to capturing all actions and fighting scenes perfectly and amazingly. Considering Snipes background knowledge in martial arts, the action-packed movie keeps the viewers on their feet by not missing any scenes especially all the fighting scenes that appeared natural and well-choreographed. The story came from the adaptation of the comic book produced by Marvel Comics with its same title. Blade (portrayed by Wesley Snipes) is categorized as a dhampir; a half-human and a half-vampire also known as a “day walker” who hunts vampires. The first shot begins when Blade’s mother was bitten by a vampire during her pregnancy period and made her and Blade vampire too. The movie then fast-forward to the gist of the story, Blade hates vampire because of what happened to his mother and made it his mission to hunt and kill vampires. Blade’s main opponent is Deacon Frost (portrayed by Stephen Dorff), a human who turned vampire, and he is too greedy for power that he will do everything just to be on top and always feel that no one can outdo him even Blade. He planned to disestablish the vampire council by being the very first person to find the ancient vampire texts, and use it to unleash “La Magra” or the blood god, thus, enslave people to be the main source for blood milking.
Although Blade is not a full blown vampire and possessed all the power of vampires but none of their weaknesses, he is still in need of blood because of vampires’ nature – they suck blood and consider it as their main source of food. Blood for vampires mean everything. It boosts their energy and makes them feel relief. One of the remarkable scenes is when Blade injects a vaccine to prevent himself from craving to his temptation of drinking blood. Thanks to his friend Abraham Whistler (portrayed by Kris Kristofferson) whom he considers as a mentor and help him create an antidote to stop him from his desire of drinking blood and for not being a fully vampire.
As the story unfolds, Blade went to Frost’s penthouse so he can rescue Dr. Karen (portrayed by N’Bushe Wright) who believes that there is still a possible solution to help Blade and completely remove his vampire blood in his body and live a normal life but that experiment may take years, and what makes that scene extra especial is when he found out that his mother is still alive and revealed that the vampire who bit her was Frost.
The visual aspect of the film uses Formalism approach which deals with the extravagant way in editing the film. There are notable elements that come together in making the film as it is. Considering its cinematography, Blade (1998) uses a variety of camera angles that heighten the portrayal of the characters and deepen the happenings in the film. Most scenes are well-executed due to the editing style. Colors of each scene appropriate transcend the atmosphere of the film. Say for example, one of the very first scenes in the film is when to a Blade bar. He visualize that all the people in that place are too thirsty and desperate to drink blood.
Another good example is Blade’s last fighting scene with Frost that shows the subject of the scene is always in the center position which helps viewers avoid eye shifting in another part of the frame even with its has multiple cuts. Thus, keeping the viewers eyes on the most important parts of the film.
Given that most scenes are composed of fighting scenes, the film as a whole mostly made use tracking shots which make most of the fighting scenes easy to follow and visually pleasing to the viewer even when most of the scenes were bloody. The only thing that I think of as a downside of this film is the language used. There are some instances that Blade’s choices of words are considered as “below the belt” which might be taken as foul. Parental guidance for children is strongly suggested since the theme of the film might come across as greedy or in need of too much power.
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