Undisputed (2002) – Wesley Snipes

MARTIAL ARTS value ⭐⭐⭐⭐
ACTION value ⭐⭐⭐
PLOT value
CAST value ⭐⭐⭐

This is a movie about a prisoner played by Wesley Snipes, locked up for life after being an undefeated California state boxing champion, now a 10 year reigning prison champ, having an organised fight inside prison with the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, recently given a short sentence, played by Ving Rhames (the hacker from Mission Impossible). That’s it, two guys meet in prison and arrange to fight. That’s as far as the plot goes. The actual fight scene at the end is quite boring and dragged out for a good 20 minutes. If not for the very respectable cast members, this movie would not be worth watching, but Wesley is his usual self and mildly entertaining in this poor excuse for an action movie. Ving Rhames is average in his role. We’re also treated by a supporting role from Peter Falk (of Columbo) who does a good job, as well as Fisher Stevens (the bad guy from Hackers) who ain’t bad, and Michael Rooker (leader of the Ravager pirates who adopted Peter Quill in the Guardians Of The Galaxy trilogy) who is pretty good here. So we’ve got a decent cast, working with a barely existent script. Sack the writer and the director. Give this team something serious to work on.

Blade (1998) – Wesley Snipes

8.5/10 – Wesley Snipes is a top-tier action movie hero when given the right movie to work on, as we saw earlier in his career with Demolition Man and Passenger 57; and this movie certainly brings out the best of him. Undoubtedly inspiring the Matrix to some degree, which came out the year after, with agents instead of vampires dodging bullets, and a team instead of a single man. Wesley Snipes has less of a cool ‘hacker’ feel than Keanu Reeves, but more of a convincing martial artist vibe about him, so this movie is very close to the level of the Matrix in terms of acting performance and convincing execution of plot. Wesley Snipes makes a very convincing animalistic/vampiric human being – his moves are sharp and slick, helped very much by great camerawork but also largely thanks to Wesley’s real life martial arts background and his general on-point demeanour. Blade is a rare example of a ‘vampire horror’ that appeals to people who prefer non-gritty, fast-paced, martial-arts-packed action movies that thrill rather than scare. I don’t personally enjoy horror movies, but this one’s fine as it’s more of an action thriller than anything. Like The Matrix, Blade also has a couple of sequels which is inevitable considering how great the original movie turned out to be; and like The Matrix, Blade’s sequels are not quite as good as the original but still worth watching sequentially.