Blade: Trinity

  Blade: Trinity
"This vampire dialogue is tough.
Good thing I wrote my lines down."

© 2004, New Line
All Rights Reserved

After losing the battle for humanity to Blade (Wesley Snipes) numerous times, the vampires (led by Parker Posey, and yes, you sadly read that right) have called upon their ultimate weapon, Dracula (a stunningly miscast Dominic Purcell), to destroy their archenemy. However, Blade is faced with his own problems after being charged with murder, leaving a group of vampire hunters called The Nightstalkers (including Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, and Patton Oswalt) as his only allies.

"Blade: Trinity" (IMDb listing) suffers from a newly discovered syndrome called "Seed of Chuckyism," named after Don Mancini's appalling horror sequel that invaded cinemas last month. The "Blade" series has been written by David Goyer every step of the way, yet "Trinity" is his first stab at directing a vampire adventure himself. Much like "Chucky," the rational is that by letting the creator get behind the camera, he will know how the franchise should be run. And much like "Chucky," "Trinity" is a disorganized, chaotic film that flies in the face of what was accomplished in the previous sequel.

"Blade II" was directed by Guillermo Del Toro ("Hellboy"), and that fanboy-beloved filmmaker put a sticky sense of horror back into the comic-book-based character. Del Toro also treated the material with respect, even trying to bring an epic feel to what is traditionally a simplistic martial arts extravaganza occasionally interrupted by bloodsucking freaks. "Trinity" casually throws away what Del Toro worked so hard to achieve, and Goyer replaces the fun with heaps of numbing blow-em-up material, and the worst editing I've seen in a motion picture in some time. And it's not just the fight sequences either, which are ridiculously overcooked and unnecessarily captured with just about every angle imaginable, but even in the dialog moments. It feels as though Goyer is sloppily trying to cover deleted story points, as his sequences aimlessly bounce across the room without much reason. "Trinity" is a disjointed and headache-inducing experience right from the start. A "Blade" film shouldn't feel like that until the last 20 minutes.

Another criticism comes with the title. The picture is called "Blade: Trinity," yet our friendly neighborhood vampire killer is hardly the focus of this sequel. It's almost hilarious to see Snipes standing around in the background, waiting for something to do as Goyer tends to a subplot featuring Whistler's (Kris Kristofferson) daughter, Abigail (Biel), or his incessant need to have everybody walk around in slow motion. Blade isn't the focal point of "Trinity," which is confusing to the franchise, and leaves the audience with a participation gap the first two films were careful to avoid.

Moreover, who decided that Dracula, that king of kings when it comes to nightmares, should be played by an actor who resembles a German nightclub bouncer? "Trinity" can never quite overcome that critical casting mistake.

"Trinity," unexpectedly, is also somewhat of a comedy, with the Nightstalkers led by Hannibal King, nicely played by rising comic ace, Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds is here to have some fun, and his adlibs work for the most part due to his snarky delivery and general ease with playing a macho vampire hunter. Reynolds saves "Trinity" with his timing. Faced with the likes of Posey as a chic vamp goddess (who can't spit out her dialog while wearing her vampire teeth) and Blade "coochie-cooing" an infant, we'll call this an easy lay-up for Reynolds, but his presence is welcome. In fact, if Goyer decides to spin-off the franchise and make a sole Nightstalkers movie (which, to be honest, is all "Trinity" really is), that would be the best idea to come out of this flaccid franchise.

For the finale, "Blade: Trinity" crumbles into a thousand tiny pieces. Characters introduced are quickly forgotten, what little logic there is (and should be expected of a "Blade" film) falls completely by the wayside, and there's an odd, almost impressionistic ending that neither provokes, nor answers, any questions about the resolution. Goyer was simply the wrong man to set loose in this world, for now the once promising "Blade" franchise has been crippled by his unfortunate tinkering.

Filmfodder Grade: D+

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