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Blade: Trinity
Reviewed by Gary Mitchel, © 2004

Format: Movie
By:   David S. Goyer (director, writer)
Genre:   Action/Horror
Released:   December 8, 2004
Review Date:   December 13, 2004
Audience Rating:   Rated R
RevSF Rating:   4/10 (What Is This?)

"I see you all alone, surrounded by enemies." — Whistler to Blade

As a movie fan, I'm pretty easy to please (as you may know from my previous reviews). When I went into Blade: Trinity, the latest tale of superpowered half-vampire Wesley Snipes killing the hell out of full vampires, I tried to put the other Blade movies out of my head so I could enjoy this one without comparing them. My main interest was seeing Snipes dispatch some suckheads via kung fu and machine guns.

Well, I did get that. But it wasn't enough to keep this movie from, well, sucking. In fact, I can tell you exactly when I realized that this was not a good movie.

In each Blade movie, there is a scene near the climax where Blade proceeds to break bad on a bunch of mooks, letting him show off his bad-assery and building an adrenalin rush before the final mega-battle. We have some cool fighting and effects while a heavy techno soundtrack pounds off the screen to ramp up the action.

In the midst of that scene in this new film, up from the back of my brain popped the thought: "I'm bored."

I'm sure this is not the reaction the director wanted.

So here's the skinny. Blade (Wesley "Bad-Ass" Snipes) is still waging his one-man war to kill all vampires and those who serve them. Tired of Blade making them an endangered species, the vampires, led by Danica (Parker Posey), do two things. First, they go on a hunt to find the first ever vampire, who had buried himself to sleep and escape a world he didn't like anymore. Second, they arrange for Blade to be caught on video killing a normal human so the police and FBI will hunt him down. So we get a huge tactical assault on Blade's hideout by the FBI, and he's captured. Why do they succeed? The plot needed him captured.

So the cops bring him in, then the vampires come in to collect him and take him off to be — well I'm not sure where. That's because Hannibal King (Ryan "Van Wilder" Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Jessica "I look good with a bow" Biel), the daughter of Blade's mentor, crotchety old Whistler (Kris "Convoy" Kristofferson), arrive to rescue Blade. How did they know to rescue him? The plot needed it.

So King and Whistler II take Blade back to their base and introduce themselves as a group of fellow vampire hunters called The Nightstalkers. Blade, of course, thinks they're a bunch of rookies who have no business hunting vampires. So he can spend the rest of the movie bonding with them.

The Nightstalkers explain to Blade about the fang gang digging up that first ever vampire with the intention to get him to kill Blade and get him out of their way. This first vampire, it's explained, is perfect. He has all the normal vampire powers and a few extra, like walking in daylight and shape shifting. How did they know all of this? Because they needed to or Blade wouldn't.

The name of this uber-vamp? Well, he's had many, but his most famous name is Dracula (Dominic "John Doe" Purcell). He's now going by the name Drake, and looks like a refugee from a modern angry heavy-metal band.

From here, the movie rambles through the plot framework set up by the first two Blade movies. There are some good bits, like the initial action scene where Blade takes out some vamp mooks, Drake taking out a Goth store and a cameo appearance by the Tomb of Dracula comic where Blade first appeared, but overall the movie is not very inspired.

Snipes is back to his closed-off, wooden portrayal of the fearless vampire killer. Biel is hot but undeveloped, Kristofferson is reduced to a crotchety cameo, and Reynolds seems to be channeling Jason Lee with a beard. He's got some good lines and is the best thing in the movie, but even he gets annoying after a while.

As for the vampires, Danica is your standard sulky, fetish-clad vampire gal. Triple H is a tough vampire with chromed fangs, and while Drake makes nice eye-candy for the ladies, he's got all the personality of beef jerky. Richard Roxburgh was ten times the Dracula in Van Helsing.

What's really unforgivable, however, is the plot. David S. Goyer is a really good writer. Blade, Blade 2, and Dark City are all very well written movies. His comic book writing is amazing. I really like his stuff, but he's really weak here. The plot ambles around, going where it goes because it needs to for no really clear reason except to set the characters in place for the next fight. This is followed by the characters spending another scene discussing the implications of what we saw, just to make sure we got it. That, combined with some "just because" chase scenes really make the film feel padded out to its 113 minutes.

The direction, also by Goyer, is not that great either. I can forgive this a bit more, because this is his first film. Still, I have to wonder what the studio was thinking handing over the directing chores for a major December release to a novice. Especially having to follow Guillermo Del Toro, who infused every scene in Blade 2 with such great visuals and a level of coolness and darkness that just oozed off the screen. Blade: Trinity feels like a rote action movie with some horror elements. It even manages to take a very cool, unique bit from the second film, the unhinging Reaper-mouth, and completely overuse it to the point where it's a bit silly.

Blade: Trinity is not a good movie. If you really have to see some kung fu vampire action, just pull out your DVD of Blade 2. Don't let my sacrifice be in vein! Er, vain.



 
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