What The Hell Happened To Wesley Snipes?
From the A-list to direct-to-video...the Tomatometer tracks where he went wrong.
Becoming a Bankable Star
The early 1990s marked a turn towards dramatic roles that served Snipes' burgeoning career well. First, he teamed up with Spike Lee to contribute a memorable performance as Denzel Washington's saxophonist pal in Mo' Better Blues, and later that year joined the ensemble cast of Abel Ferrara's acclaimed blood opera, King of New York. The combination of a plum role as megalomaniac drug lord Nino Brown in New Jack City and his first star turn in Lee's Jungle Fever cemented Snipes' rise to the ranks of leading man. This would also be the best-reviewed period of his career -- and with nary a windsprint or karate chop to be seen! In 1991, Snipes also founded his own production company, Amen Ra Films, which would go on to produce The Big Hit, Snipes' telefilm Futuresport, and the Blade trilogy.
After those bloody urban flicks and Spike Lee joints, Snipes went for another change of pace. In 1992, he took on a supporting role as a paraplegic in The Waterdance, which won an Independent Spirit Award and earned him the highest Tomatometer of his career. Reuniting with his Wildcats co-star Woody Harrelson, Snipes also starred as a street ball-playing hustler in the buddy-basketball comedy, White Men Can't Jump, earning more critical praise and mainstream recognition. But by late 1992, Hollywood action roles were a'calling...and Snipes was on speed dial.
Next: The Action Star Years