Blade: Trinity (2004)

q7kJbnwThis review is being written at a good time for me, not only because I dug the last two Blade films, but because of the lawsuit Wesley Snipes has just waged on the studios about this movie. Snipes is a known diva, if you’ve read the past issues of “Fangoria” and “Starlog”, though his co-stars and director Goyer don’t openly admit it, Snipes is known for being a diva, and now he seeks retribution for a movie he claims he didn’t want to make, for starring along side people he didn’t want to star with being directed by a director who he says was forced on him. Regardless, I didn’t think “Blade 3” would live up to the first two. People often say there’s hardly any sequels that are as good as the first film, but I have something better for you. How many second sequels are better than the first film?

Not many, in fact it’s harder to find a good third film, than second and the proof is in the pudding, but alas, I really, really loved “Blade 3”. From the beginning I was grabbed by the throat and pulled in, and I went along for the ride. So–yes, this is a potential launching pad for a new franchise for the “Nightstalkers”. Just my imagination, you say? Well, judging by the mal-presence by Blade, and by the comic book that came with the DVD that didn’t feature the Blade character, my imagination? Well, you just got served. But I digress, this is still a great film. I still like “Blade 2” a hell of a lot better, but still this was a fun movie to be had by all. I admit I didn’t dig “Blade” despite it’s entertainment value; it was corny, bad dialogue and too murky for my taste, but regardless, back to “Blade: Trinity”.

Blade is now being helmed as a psychopath and his vampire hunts being dismissed by experts. When Danica Talon, an evil vampire mistress sets Blade up, Blade is now on the run from the city’s armed forces, and is caught by the authorities. When he’s saved by a young group of hunters “The Nightstalkers”, he now has to work with them to take on the king of all vampires, Count Chocula–I mean Dracula… or as he’s called here “Drake” (Ooh, scary, scary!). Despite my sarcasm, I loved this movie. It rocks, pure and simple. Director and writer David Goyer helms the film this time and does a great job by building up the movie at the beginning with a lot of great scenes with experts theorizing his mission with the suspected vampires and then we get into the vampire goodness.

It was a great start as opposed to the usual openings with the non-stop acting scenes that grew really mundane. To think of this as a straight-laced vampire flick is basically sticking to denial, because in the end all this ends up becoming is a very fun popcorn fodder film, that’s all, and you have to appreciate it for that, and I’m appreciative for Goyer bringing this great franchise to a good closing with such an exciting tale. Purely, Goyer’s talents lie in writing as he manages to pen not only a very exciting story, but also tends to bring the best out of the stars here whom manage to shine on-screen fitting perfectly into their characters. Blade is more bad-ass here and is really tense as he inadvertently takes on a mentoring presence amidst the young hunters, Jessica Biel who I’m admittedly not a big fan of, is great as the character Abigail Whistler, the daughter of Blade’s mentor who has also taken in the family business of hunting vampires and demons of the night.

She fits in to her character very well, and looks damn sexy doing her business, not to mention I really dug her bow and arrows which tended to only increase her sexual presence. And then there’s Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds who was previously only known as the comedic support in “Two Guys and a Girl”, and in the really bad “Van wilder” takes on the unusual role of action hero, and damn it if this bastard doesn’t steal the show. Reynolds is a combination of both a bad – ass and funny as hell jokester. Some people were annoyed at the wisecracking of Reynolds, but being a naturally born wise-ass with a need to poke fun at everything myself, I really got a kick out of his character Hannibal King and Reynold’s deadpan utterly funny delivery is priceless. King was my favorite character out of the entire movie and had my undivided attention throughout the entire film.

As for Parker Posey, I was worried about her taking on the role of villainess, but she does a pretty good job nonetheless and works with what she has. Goyer who makes his directing debut does a really good job with the right added amount of tension, atmosphere, and all out excellent action sequences that make this one fun experience to be had by all. Despite the title “Trinity” meaning trio, trust me, Blade is only in this half the time and always looks like he has nothing to do when he is actually on screen. As much as I loved the nightstalkers, this is Blade’s movie. So make his character the primary focus, would you please? Where’s his characterization? Where was his psychological and emotional struggles with his newly deceased best friend, mentor, and father figure that we’ve seen in the first two films?

All his role really entails in the film is meaningless dialogue with Drake, and the mentoring of the young hunters. Not to mention what was really disappointing was they don’t focus on the fact that Blade is basically being hunted by the entire city who views him as a psychopath. What I would have loved to see was Blade having to go through all of the vampires and through the city forces to get to Drake, not to mention his own emotional turmoil with facing that he’s basically on his own in the world without the help and guidance of his friend Whistler. Where the hell was that aspect at? Goyer dropped the ball on it, but perhaps his biggest error within the story is the characterization of Blade. Was it all intentional to get back at Snipes being such a diva, or what? Because Blade is a dick here, he’s a really shrewd, anti-social figure here who doesn’t want to be with the Nightstalkers.

The Blade I would have liked to see was the mal-adjusted angry Blade who would have accepted the Nightstalkers help and what they had to offer despite their amateurish behavior. Was it Goyers goal to make Blade unlikable solely for the launching of the Nightstalker franchise? It pretty much seemed like it. Plus the movie under Goyer’s direction was all too light and goofy compared to the first two films which had a sense of dread and atmosphere to it, but this whole production was like a light action movie that couldn’t be taken seriously, and while that whole scene with Drake in the vampire store was pretty funny, it was also basically pointless. Was there a real need for that scene other than to establish Drake as an utter moron? Plus, for the love of god, it’s Dracula, what the hell was it with calling him Drake? That’s moronic. It’s Dracula!

Everyone else has marketed off that name, why not do it too? And was Drake not the biggest pansy you’ve ever seen in the Blade series? Man, the entire time I was watching Drake on -screen, I was left thinking “Damn, Deacon Frost, The Wolfpack, and Nomak would have that guy for breakfast.” Dracula does not get beaten, he does not dress like a bouncer/porn star, he does not make exaggerated facial expressions, and he does not fight with swords when he has all that power, and that final showdown with Blade? Not only was it bland and boring, but I expected more from it. How about more originality, more kick-in-the-nuts action?

I mean, didn’t Goyer even remember the first film? That whole sword fighting scene has been done, and a hell of a lot better. Remember how utterly cool the showdown with Deacon Frost was in the first “Blade” film? Well, it wasn’t cool here. And it was pretty sad when Hannibal King’s fight with his rival was a lot more interesting than Blade’s showdown. That’s very sad. Don’t take this too seriously, especially you, comic nerds, and you’ll have a lot of fun as I did. This is a great closer to a great franchise with great performances, exciting action, a good script, and despite it’s flaws, this just rocked plain and simple. Enjoy, I know I did.