Blade (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Blade (1998)



Critic Consensus: Though some may find the plot a bit lacking, Blade's action is fierce, plentiful, and appropriately stylish for a comic book adaptation.

Movie Info

British director Stephen Norrington helmed this David S. Goyer adaptation of the Marvel Comics character created in 1973 by scripter Marv Wolfman and artist Gene Colan. In the Tomb of Dracula comic book origin, just before Blade's mother gave birth to Blade, she was bitten by a vampire, which made Blade immune to vampires. Now a vampire hunter, Blade, joined by vampire detective Hannibal King and Dracula-descendent Frank Drake, stalks vampires. In the 1990s (in Marvel's Nightstalkers), Blade teamed with Drake and King in an agency created to fight a variety of supernatural beings. The Marvel origin is retold in this 1998 Norrington film, with Blade's mother dying as he is born. Thirty-some years later, Blade now exists somewhere between the two worlds, not human but not fully vampire. He has become a relentless and superhuman vampire hunter, out to avenge the death of his mother and protect the rest of humankind from the evil vampire race. In this pursuit, Blade storms a notorious vampire nightclub and in a virtual bloodbath manages to wipe out most of the blood-lusting denizens. But the burnt corpse of vampire Quinn (Donal Logue) is reanimated at the hospital morgue and bites hematologist Karen Jenson (N'Bushe Wright). Blade magically appears at the hospital just in time to whisk Karen to his hideaway, a machine-shop run by his mentor Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who once rescued Blade and who now produces a antidote to keep Blade from turning into a full-fledged vampire and who builds custom weapons for Blade to use against his evil foes. Meanwhile, Blade's vampire arch-nemesis Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff) uses computers to translate the Book of Erebus, with the ultimate aim of bringing down the old-guard vampire council, headed by Dragonetti (Udo Kier), and triggering the Blood Tide -- an event in which everyone in the world becomes a vampire. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovimore
Rating: R (for strong, pervasive vampire violence and gore, language, and brief sexuality)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: David S. Goyer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 22, 1998
New Line Cinema


Stephen Dorff
as Deacon Frost
Udo Kier
as Dragonetti
Arly Jover
as Mercury
Traci Lords
as Racquel
Tim Guinee
as Curtis Webb
Sanaa Lathan
as Vanessa
Kenny Johnson
as Heatseeking Dennis
Carmen Thomas
as Senior Resident
Shannon Lee
as Resident
Kenneth Johnson
as Heatseeking Dennis
Clint Curtis
as Creepy Morgue Guy
Sidney Liufau
as Japanese Doorman
Andray Johnson
as Paramedic
Marcus Aurelius
as Pragmatic Policeman
John Enos III
as Blood Club Bouncer
Eboni Adams
as Martial Arts Kid
Lyle Conway
as Reichardt
Freeman White III
as Menacing Stud
D.V. De Vincentis
as Vampire Underling
Marcus Salgado
as Frost's Goon
Esau McKnight Jr.
as Frost's Goon
Heidi Erl
as Von Esper
Lennox Brown
as Pleading Goon
Irena Stepic Renduli...
as Slavic Vampire Lord
Jenya Lano
as Russian Woman
as Russian Vampire
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Blade

Critic Reviews for Blade

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (30)

For a while, anyway, this vampire picture flies.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Has the comic-book movie reached the end of the line? The glumly familiar, been-there-done-that aspect of Blade certainly suggests so.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Blade is often ridiculous, mostly poorly written and, surprisingly poorly acted too.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

What is unusual about the film is the way it combines high-tech violence with the more up-close-and-personal violence of vampires. These characters and the aggressive way they attack each other justify all the film's considerable noise.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Such techno-action may give Blade enough power for a sequel, but one is left wondering whether there's any room for its central character to sustain interest beyond this flashy debut.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Creative cinematography and non-stop, decently choreographed gratuitous violence make watching this comic-book movie entertaining. In fact, it's arguably the best comic-book movie of the year.

Full Review… | July 15, 2015
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Blade


A fun little comic book movie that is obviously a little dated today, but still a fun watch. Wesley Snipes makes a great Blade and makes him a pretty cool character. The mythology and backstories are the interesting part of the plot because the main storyline is pretty generic, but pushes the movie along at a decent pace. The special effects are the most dated aspects of the film, but they are also part of the goofy charm that is exuded throughout the film. Blade is very stylish and certainly paved the way for many future comic book adaptations and action movies. It's worth a watch for action aficionado's or anyone with an interest in early comic book adaptations, but everyone else might not get much out of it. I am firmly in the former.

Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

The script can be labeled as bland, but Blade is true to its comic-book origins and stylish. The film, with the help of Wesley Snipes, is bloody, action-packed and has no hesitation in delivery and impact. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


Despite Snipes' poor acting ability, it's an exciting vampire action film.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

Blade Quotes

– Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Dann M (3 years ago)

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