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Blade is a 2018 American Supernatural Superhero film written by Caroline Thompson and directed by Gil Kenan. It is based on the Marvel Comics character created by writer Marv Wolfman and penciller Gene Colan. The film serves as the ninth instalment of Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three, following Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) and followed by Captain Marvel (2019).

It stars Trevante Rhodes, Dustin Rayburn, Bianca A. Santos, Naomi Watts, Kevin Hart and Denzel Washington.

A reboot of the original Blade Marvel film series that began in 1998 with Stephen Norrington's tentatively titled Blade and concluded with David S. Goyer's 2004 Blade Trinity, Wesley Snipes had originally portrayed the role of Eric Brooks/Blade the Vampire Hunter.

The twenty-first Marvel Cinematic Universe instalment overrall shooting took place in Sighisoara, Romania, The Czech Republic, Chicago, Illinois and on managed soundstages at Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

Released theatrically and in IMAX theatres on November 10th, 2018 to box office and critical success, garnering positive reception.

Plot

Tara Brooks an ailing pregnant mother in Soho, London 1929 and former escort with Madam Vanity's House prepares to give birth at the establishment, tended to by friend Candace and Madam Vanity herself. As Vanity steps outside into the upstairs corridor she discovers the drained corpses of all her girls and is then flung over a railing to the floor below, by the dwarf vampire Imp. Dracula enters the backroom and knocks Candace into a wall, rendering her unconscious, a writhing Tara is then bitten by Dracula and filled with his blood from his wrist. Tara dies and as Candace re-awakens the baby has already been born, she then collects him as Madam Vanity re-enters.

Present Day New Orleans, Louisiana vampire hunter Blade pursues two Jazz player vampires Donnelly & Dusk across a cemetery with a rival Jazz band they have abducted. Blade is able to save but two of the captives battling and killing the two vampires. After he is thanked for his heroism compelled with hunger Blade feasts upon the remains of one of the band. A hidden onlooker in a red and black hood follows him to his underground loft beneath the bar Alimony. The onlooker reveals herself as Musenda also a fellow vampire hunter and vegetarian vampire, part of a hunting group called the Onyx, who are down to four members, including herself since the uprising of Dracula, when along with his warriors titled as 'The Family' decimated their New Orleans base: The Communion. She asks Blade to join but using Harry Houdini parlor tricks he escapes the loft.

Musenda comes to the Alimony to find Blade meeting up with his drag queen performer friend Helga Hornblower, as they prepare an exit the rest of Donnelly & Dusk's jazz vampire troupe arrives at the bar and attacks, Helga uses his holy water rifle and Blade faces off with his signature weapons, but ultimately the fight is won as Musenda activates her special vampiric ability: time manipulation to slow down the time around them and kill all their attackers. She leaves Blade unable to convince him still to join, returning to the Communion.

There she rendezvouses with leader Orji/The Guardian, weaponry gifted Dagger and morphing Stronghold. Having brought in the treasure of Elbonarza, the group now have jewellery in their possession that grants the vampire wearer the ability to move among the living in the light, and for brief moments satiates the incredible hunger and briefly at a time restores their heartbeat. Later that night Dracula and his collective: Imp, Glutton, Serpent, Leopard, Boiler and Skeleton attack. Blade appears and helps fend them off, avoiding being seen by Dracula and guiding the others to safety as Dracula claims Elbonarza's treasure. At the Family lair the abandoned Regal Theatre, Dracula realises having caught the scent of Tara Brooks' child, and dispatches the others to find him. Blade meanwhile brings the injured Onyx party to Helga's apartment that sits above unused water tunnels.

Blade reveals to Musenda that he is also a vegetarian vampire, relying on animal blood though it makes him considerably weaker. Helga keeps watch above over the street of the apartment when bar patron Jacob arrives, to ask Helga on a date. The Family attack Blade and the others in the tunnels, Guardian sacrifices himself and is killed using his sonic abilities to rupture the structure of the tunnels, causing the collapse to kill Imp and Guardian & Boiler.

Following this loss the group including Helga and Jacob retreat to London following the information of Tara Brooks, coming to the House of Vanity. There Madam Vanity and a still young Candace are revealed as vampires, having hidden Blade from Dracula he returned to sire them. They set a trap and capture the group in various nets as Dracula and the remaining Family arrive. Dagger cuts them loose and a fight results in the building catching fire, Candace is smashed against a wall and killed by Musenda, Stronghold in his hulking form rips through Glutton's stomach and Skeleton betrays Dracula, helping them escape as the fire engulfs Madam Vanity.

At London Bridge they are met by Tony Stark who arrives by Jet with Peter Parker, informing of Dracula's plan to use his tech to power the destructive, supernatural aspects of the vampire lord Elbonarzo's treasure, which will raise a long extinct vampire army: The Tryks, Blade being the last piece to power it. Blade attempts a brief suicide which fails and the group return to New Orleans where at the Stark mobile installation a plan is ruled up for their storm of the Regal Theatre. That night Musenda and Helga are abducted by Leopard and Serpent, prompting Blade to go against Stark's plan and rush into the Regal to save them. Blade struggles against Leopard who can alter his face into a vampiric Leopard, assisted by a pet vampire Leopard, and Serpent who can do the same but change her body to a Serpent, and possesses a colossal monstrous vampire Python.

Spider-Man helps to web up Serpent and Dagger after pinning her with daggers allows for Musenda to stopwatch the environment and rush on through the python to rip out of it. Stronghold destroys Leopard with Iron Man. The entire group confronts Dracula who presents him the story of his mother, and his father's abandonment utilising his rage into hypnotising him into bleeding on the treasure. The Tryk army arises and a large battle ensues. As the heroes are being overwhelmed Jacob enters with a flare and sets off an explosion assisted by a hooded figure who attacks Dracula, revealed as Blade's father. Father Robert and Blade combat Dracula and Blade eventually stakes him with a Golden Stake from Elbonarza's treasure, destroying him and the Tryk army. Tony and Peter return to New York as after a moment in London with his father, with Musenda waiting, Blade brings him to the Alimony to see Helga's double act performance with Jacob, Dagger a bartender to replace Floyd the thieving one, and Stronghold a bouncer.

A Mid-credits scene shows Tara Brooks still alive, confirming Blade's hallucinations throughout the film to be real, she is accompanied in the shadows stalking around New Orleans by Hannibal King.

A post-credits scene shows Morbius the Living Vampire, appear from the wreckage of the Regal Theatre after the final battle, having caught Peter Parker's scent and uttering Spider-Man.

Cast

  • Trevante Rhodes as Eric Brooks/Blade
  • Dustin Rayburn as Helga Hornblower/Nightshade
  • Bianca A. Santos as Musenda Mortimer/Stopwatch
  • Naomi Watts as Tara Brooks
  • Kevin Hart as Ogun Strong/Stronghold
  • Marque Richardson as Azu M'Dammen/Dagger
  • Denzel Washington as Vladimir Dracul/Dracula
  • Anwan Glover as Edison Naro/Leopard
  • Ori Pfeffer as Orji Jones/Guardian
  • Lisa Bonet as Denise Hemrock/Serpent
  • Faizon Love as Roderick Billington/Glutton
  • Jaz Sinclair as Imogen Benning/Skeleton
  • Linden Porco as Trapeze Tunning/Imp
  • Esai Morales as Toman Tuskovitz/Boiler
  • Wesley Snipes as Robert Brooks
  • Sharon Maughan as Madam Florina Vanity
  • Jason Sudeikis as Bartender Floyd
  • Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
  • Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
  • Henry Thomas as Morbius The Living Vampire
  • Stan Lee as Blood Cook/The Doomsayer
  • Josh Charles as Private Investigator Hannibal King
  • Nathan Lane as Chef Luigazmo
  • Juno Temple as Candace
  • Major Curda as Jacob Avalance
  • Steven Glen Diehl as Roberta Nuance
  • Chris Potter as CEO Everett Kingsley
  • Jason Beghe as Reception Carl
  • Courtney B. Vance as Security Johnson
  • Michael Cerveris as Security Rylander
  • Anne-Marie Johnson as Secretary Miss Nolan

Trivia

  • In the Stark Mobile Installation in New Orleans, there are beakers full of the Gamma Radiation formula, responsible for Dr. Bruce Banner's transformation in the Hulk, inspected by Stronghold, hinting at his specific vampire ability of morphing and incredible strength, being owed to the same formula and having been turned by a vampire scientist with Oscorp.
  • Morbius the Living Vampire is in fact a Spider-Man villain, first debuting in the Amazing Spider-Man comics, A Sony Universe Spider-Man portrayal of Morbius was done for the spin-off where he is portrayed by Jared Leto. This incarnation portrayed by Henry Thomas is Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • The second last instalment of Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three
  • Original drafts marked an appearence by Dr. Bruce Banner at the Stark Installation
  • The Regal Theatre setting's design and concept is a homage to the great dilapidated opera house of The Phantom of the Opera.
  • The Cemetary Blade pursues Jazz vampires Donnelly & Dusk through is the landmark The Cities of the Dead, actually in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Blade's mother, Vanessa 'Tara' Brooks in the comics was an African American woman.
  • Helga Hornblower's actor Dustin Rayburn, along with minor character Roberta Nuance's actor Steven Glen Diehl, are actually prominent performing drag queens in reality. Both having competed on popular reality drag competition shows: Rayburn under his pseudonym Dusty Ray Bottoms on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10 (2018), and Diehl under his pseydonym Biqtch Puddin' on Dragula's House of Horrors (2016)
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