Friday, April 4, 2008

I have to confess I'm a huge fan of the Blade trilogy. I love that each film has a very different look and feel. The first one was a very dark action film with a bit of horror thrown in, the second took that and added a bit more sci-fi and horror and of course the great Ron Perlman, and the third one made it a bit lighter and added some comedy to the mix in the form of Ryan Reynolds. In fact it's the addition of Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel that makes the third one my favorite of the trilogy.

So it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I set forth to watch Blade: The Complete Series. The trepidation comes from taking Wesley Snipes out of the picture and replacing him with Sticky Fingaz and the fact that it was aired on Spike TV.

Right out of the gate the series begins with some fairly decent action, unfortunately it's quickly pulled down by some horrendous acting and bad pacing. The main problem is that it expects it audience to know exactly who Blade is, and for me thats fine but what about those who have never seen a Blade movie or read a Blade comic, it leaves them wondering what is going on. More is slowly revealed about Blade, and maybe that's the point, that you are at the same place as Krista Starr (Jill Wagner) an Army Veteran whose brother is killed by vampires soon after she returns home from war. Starr starts to investigate her brothers murder and soon becomes embroiled in an underworld of Vampires.

But it's Wagner who poses the biggest hazard to the show, her acting is wooden, and her character is hard to care for. She's quickly turned into a vampire by big bad, Marcus Van Sciver (Neil Jackson), and it's up to Blade to save her using the same serum he uses to fend off "The thirst". (Don't even get me started on the weird Lynchian dream Starr has after being turned) After Blade "saves her" he and Starr team up to take down the "House of Cthon" (Van Sciver's Vampire Clan) from the inside. It's Starr's fight against being a vampire, while trying to keep her cover that fuels the entire show. Which makes my utter distaste for her character a major problem in enjoying the series.

The show is a bit of a disappointment coming off of the movies. Sticky Fingaz is sadly no Wesley Snipes, his delivery is at times painful to watch, and his performance makes Blade a completely unlikeable character. I'm not saying the film version was a lovable guy, but there was a charisma to the character that made you care, something the series is utterly lacking.

On the upside the show does have some good fight scenes and the series is at it's best when it focuses on Blade, like the 7th episode, "Sacrifice" It feels like the writers cared more when they were shedding more light on Blade and his past, but much like the audience, they didn't care about Krista Starr and her struggle with the villains, and didn't spend much time on those parts of the script. (Or maybe it was just the actress)

I will admit I couldn't make it through the entire series. After the 8th episode I was just burnt out on the show and I've waited over a month writing this, because I thought I could bring myself to finish the show. But I couldn't.

If you have to see this series rent it, otherwise pass on by. Better yet, if you have to see this series, post a comment telling me why you NEED to see this series, and I'll send you my copy. That's right this is the first CineManiac giveaway!!! So get typing!


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