Blade: Trinity (2004)
Directed by: David S. Goyer
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Dominic Purcell, Natasha Lyonne
1/2 (out of 4)
Warning: Some slight spoilers ahead.
Blade Trinity (AKA Blade 3) is a huge miscalculation, and this is a movie written and directed by the same guy who wrote the first two Blade movies, so it goes without saying that it is a tremendous disappointment. It goes for snappish wisecracks when it should offer subtle humor, and its choice of casting for its villains, given a history with Stephen Dorff and Ron Perlman, is unforgivable considering all we get this time around is Parker Posey and Dominic Purcell.
In case you forgot, Blade (Snipes) is the dunpeal anti-hero working with mentor Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) to rid the world of bloodsuckers. Having been set up by familiars (human vampire wannabes), they are hunted down by the FBI, resulting in Whistler’s death (again, and way too early) and Blade’s capture. Blade is rescued by a group of vampire hunters called the Nightstalkers, whose members include Whistler’s illegitimate daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel), resident wiseass Hannibal King(Ryan Reynolds), and blind woman Sommerfield (Natasha Lyonne) who seems like an obvious knockoff of David Strathairn’s character Whistler from Sneakers. But while I can believe that blind person can possess certain hacking abilities by sound detection techniques and utilization of audio equipment, I have a hard time believing that a blind person can design a vampire-killing super-pathogen using a Braille keyboard. Blade understandingly questions the abilities of this particular group of misfits, with an obnoxious King cracking wise “we were going to go with the name Care Bears but that was already taken” and “can we sign you up for our secret decoder ring now?” Hell, Abagail Whistler loads up her MP3 player in preparation for vampire hunting – it’s hard to believe anyone could take these people seriously, especially after seeing the Bloodpack of Blade 2 in action. This is the dumbed down version of Blade for the MTV generation – and don’t forget to take your IPod.
Things get worse as vampire boss Parker Posey (looking even more ridiculous than you think) resurrects Dracula, played by Dominic Purcell with a particular Eurotrash vibe that immediately erases any aura of danger about the character. Folks, we’ve fallen a long way from Max Schreck. We also get a large vampire thug played by wrestling’s Triple-H and crossbred vampire dogs. So as you can see, having replaced the seriousness of the vampire threat with goofball jokes and vampire pretty-boys and killing off Kristofferson’s character early, what we are left with is yawn-inducing mediocrity that makes me wonder if writers should just stay out of the director’s chair for good. The geeky pleasure of the interaction between Blade and Whistler, and the humor of two particular scenes – one involving a vampire dressed in protective gear flipping off the sun, another involving Dracula surveying the damage to his reputation symbolized by a Goth girl in a Hot Topic knockoff selling vampire vibrators, is fleeting and too rare in occurrence to mitigate the constant insults traded by the Posey and Reynolds characters. “It breaks my heart”, says Whistler early on – I know how he feels. Blade and Whistler deserved to go out better, Snipes and Kristofferson likewise.