What The Hell Happened To Wesley Snipes?

From the A-list to direct-to-video...the Tomatometer tracks where he went wrong.

The Downward Slide

  • 17% -- The Art of War (2000)
  • 56% -- Blade 2(2002)
  • 44% -- ZigZag (2002)
  • 48% -- Undisputed (2002)
  • 27% -- Blade: Trinity (2004)


    After a two-year hiatus, Snipes was back...or so it seemed. Tackling both acting and executive producing duties on the U.N. thriller The Art of War, Snipes was once again in his groove. But the film was a critical and commercial failure, serving up Snipes' second-worst career Tomatometer rating. He countered with the HBO romantic drama Disappearing Acts, based on a Terry McMillan novel, but otherwise took another uncharacteristic break from major studio projects. A 2000 investigation into alleged ties between his bodyguard company and an extremist cult in Georgia, later dismissed, didn't help improve his reputation. Luckily, Snipes would soon return to his new magic formula: The Blade franchise. Blade II benefitted from Guillermo del Toro's action-packed direction, though critics marked it just shy of Fresh; Snipes picked up additional credits as producer and fight coordinator and the film surpassed the original with a franchise-best box office take.

    But following the huge success of Blade II, Snipes seemed to simply be killing time until the next Blade sequel. He married South Korean painter Nakyung Park in 2003 and spent the subsequent years splitting time between Asia and the United States. His in-between projects varied from independent drama (David S. Goyer's directorial debut, ZigZag -- which opened in exactly one theater) to a prison boxing B-movie opposite Ving Rhames (Undisputed) to a guest spot on The Bernie Mac Show. Of the four films completed between Blade II and Blade: Trinity, only Undisputed opened in wide release. During this time, Snipes also hit a major milestone in his career: he had his very first direct-to-video clunker (Unstoppable). Shortly thereafter, when Blade: Trinity opened in 2004 and became the worst-reviewed and weakest-performing film in the series, the honeymoon was over for Snipes and New Line. In 2005 he sued frequent collaborator Goyer and New Line Cinema for damages from the film's failure.



    Next: Exile in Direct-To-Video Land
  • Comments

    hewpot

    Ballsack Enormous

    snip

    Aug 13 - 07:51 PM

    Jen Yamato

    Jen Yamato

    snip?

    Aug 13 - 08:13 PM

    NuBz18

    Christopher Lozier

    lovely, jen. hilarious and wonderfully informative. how about de niro? pacino? while they're not forgotten, they've made some very odd career choices lately (godsend, gigli, 88 minutes, hide and seek, et al). cheers! :)

    Aug 15 - 02:47 PM

    djwoogiefresh

    DJ Woogie Fresh

    Snipes is the biggest actor that you will every know. It's kinda of like the 2-Pac story but better. It's like the Mohammed Ali story and even bigger. It's like the rebirth of SAM COOK. You will never be able really know about Snipes until he is dead and gone because of the respect that people have for him. He is one of the greatest Actors ever...
    DJ WOOGIE FRESH/SOUNDSTHATPOUND

    Sep 2 - 08:57 AM

    Brian82

    Brian McAleer

    What a shame! Very talented actor, but I always guessed he had personal issues. I got that impression from seeing him in interviews and at premieres. He's only human after all. And he might make a comeback. Just look at Robert Downey Jnr....

    Aug 13 - 08:22 PM

    Brian82

    Brian McAleer

    What a shame! Very talented actor, but I always guessed he had personal issues. I got that impression from seeing him in interviews and at premieres. He's only human after all. And he might make a comeback. Just look at Robert Downey Jnr....

    Aug 13 - 08:25 PM

    StonetheCrow

    First Last

    He should just do that ' Black Panther ' film
    right ****ing NOW.
    That will save him.

    Aug 13 - 08:25 PM

    Jen Yamato

    Jen Yamato

    Good point. If only Snipes could make a comeback like RDjr...

    Aug 13 - 08:26 PM

    jokerboy1991

    jack giroux

    You know I have had this idea for months its awesome! No need to thank me... Yeah but I think with Downey he has been making plenty of great films to lead him up to his big summer comeback, like Zodiac, Scanner Darkly, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and I dont think Snipes has made any movies close to RD'J's level. Plus doesnt Snipes have to go too jail?!?!?!

    Aug 13 - 08:33 PM

    jokerboy1991

    jack giroux

    You know I have had this idea for months its awesome! No need to thank me... Yeah but I think with Downey he has been making plenty of great films to lead him up to his big summer comeback, like Zodiac, Scanner Darkly, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and I dont think Snipes has made any movies close to RD'J's level. Plus doesnt Snipes have to go too jail?!?!?!

    Aug 13 - 08:33 PM

    fullmetal_medji

    John Reese

    Snipes could make a comeback, but of course he would have to stop giving us bad movies like The Art of War 2. Seriously though did the world need a bad sequel to that horrible first movie.

    Aug 13 - 08:45 PM

    thug4life1979

    jamie boot

    come back? this guy isnt a has-been, he is a never-was

    Aug 13 - 08:53 PM

    Matanuki

    Matanuki .

    Wesley Snipes is a "never-was"? lol. Maybe in the world that exists only in your head.

    Aug 14 - 01:21 AM

    LoMaX

    andrew lomax

    I didn't realize that blade was so poorly reviewed.....22%

    Aug 13 - 08:58 PM

    stealingjoy

    Luke Hahn

    Blade has a 55% on RT... don't know why it says 22%.

    Aug 13 - 09:17 PM

    randal1013

    Randal 1013

    US marshalls is way better than a 25%. sometimes the critics are just wrong.

    Aug 13 - 09:22 PM

    jokerboy1991

    jack giroux

    Yeah I thought US Marshalls was actually pretty good, sure it was a rip off of the awesome "The Fugitive" but it was pretty entertaining.

    Aug 13 - 09:59 PM

    jeremyd4

    jeremy d

    Wasn't US Marshalls a spin-off/sequel to The Fugitive?

    Aug 14 - 12:08 AM

    Brad 3000

    Brad Arnold

    Um, US Marshals wasn't a rip off of The Fugitive- it was a sequel. I'm not making a joke here. Tommy Lee Jones was the same character - US Marshal Samuel Gerard - that he played in The Fugitive. That said, it is a horrible movie and all of you people who are defending it must be high.

    Aug 14 - 10:01 AM

    dontknow252

    aj meadows

    jokerboy, that is the single raddest avatar ever!

    Aug 15 - 11:25 PM

    Dachshund96

    Alpha Z

    Snipe is an idiot. He friking stuck on himself. If he doesn't get things to go his way he plays the race card. Plays the same damn character every movie.

    Aug 13 - 09:37 PM

    KISSman

    Tommy D

    After going through this list of films, it actually surprised me that it takes a second hand to count how many Snipes movies that I really like. My favorite is probably "Demolition Man" (which I was shocked to find out was deemed 'fresh').

    "Blade", "Blade: Trinity", "Murder at 1600", "U.S. Marshalls" and "Passenger 57" are all really good flicks and yet totally 'rotten' according to the Tomatometer. IMO, the problem has more to do with the screwy Tomatometer and less to do with Snipes.

    Aug 13 - 09:59 PM

    jokerboy1991

    jack giroux

    Yeah I thought US Marshalls was actually pretty good, sure it was a rip off of the awesome "The Fugitive" but it was pretty entertaining.

    Aug 13 - 09:59 PM

    jeremyd4

    jeremy d

    Wasn't US Marshalls a spin-off/sequel to The Fugitive?

    Aug 14 - 12:08 AM

    Brad 3000

    Brad Arnold

    Um, US Marshals wasn't a rip off of The Fugitive- it was a sequel. I'm not making a joke here. Tommy Lee Jones was the same character - US Marshal Samuel Gerard - that he played in The Fugitive. That said, it is a horrible movie and all of you people who are defending it must be high.

    Aug 14 - 10:01 AM

    dontknow252

    aj meadows

    jokerboy, that is the single raddest avatar ever!

    Aug 15 - 11:25 PM

    mandrake2004

    robert drake

    Snip.

    Aug 13 - 10:38 PM

    buttamack

    Ronnie Lewis

    Wesley Snipes should punch his agent square in the nuts! He needs to be doing movies like Keanu Reeves instead of Steven segal. He is a better actor than reeves and a more bankable action star, because his athleticism allows him to do most of his own stunts even in his mid 40's. I would love to see snipes in one of these new genration Action/Dramas where he can show off both his "acting and Karate chops"!

    Aug 13 - 10:43 PM

    Product_of_You

    Steven Edwards

    How exactly did Robert Downey Jr. make a comeback? He never really fell out. And he was certainly nowhere near starring in strictly straight to dvd films like Wesley Snipes. RDJ just happened to land a couple of really big movies around the same time.

    Aug 13 - 11:21 PM

    jeremyd4

    jeremy d

    Wasn't US Marshalls a spin-off/sequel to The Fugitive?

    Aug 14 - 12:08 AM

    Jen Yamato

    Jen Yamato

    Hmm. I may have been temporarily dyslexic, posted 22 instead of 55. It's Rotten anyhow! (No offense to the dyslexics in the room.) Fixed it, thanks.

    Aug 14 - 12:10 AM

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