December 10, 2004

Blade: Trinity

I went into Blade: Trinity expecting the worst. What I got was at least mildly better than my expectations. The reviews were horrendous and Goyer had none of the experience that either of the prior directors brought to the game. It shows; this third entry lacks the plotting of the original and the stylized universe of Blade II. Still, much like the last few levels of "Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast" there's much fun to be had in watching the bad guys get chewed up and spit out by a hero with whom we already share two movie's worth of familiarity.
The primary difference from the other two stands out damn near immediately, however. After a trip inside an Iraqi tomb, we are presented with a traditional opening Blade action scene. The trouble begins when he stakes a human by mistake; the human world encroaches immediately. Suddenly Blade's running from police cars and his face is all over the news. This time around, the FBI is nearly as much of a nemesis as the vampires.
Other changes come in the form of Hannibal King and Abigail Whistler. The latter has at least as much comics history as Blade does, and is played by Van Wilder himself, Ryan Reynolds. His humour falls flat through the first half of the film and provides one of my chief complaints with the movie. From King's first interaction with Parker Posey's character, however, I was consistently entertained. Abigail is your typical action heroine, but at least Goyer didn't try to force a romantic connection with any of the male leads. Her character is primarily notable for looking extremely hot in a belly shirt. Damn.
A lot of conceptions are introduced and disposed of with flourish, each fluctuating between varying degrees of absurdity, with the UV laser thingy being the most absurd of all. Or the iPod. What the fuck is an iPod doing in an action movie, anyway? I know a lot of the troops over seas like to pump music into their tanks as they head into battle. But you'd think that when you're partaking in hand-to-hand combat, being able to hear what's coming at you would be important. Sheesh.
The film's primary villain is supposedly Dracula, or "Drake" in the Blade film. Because, you know, even the greatest horror villain in history needs to keep up with the times. He's played by Dominic Purcell, so great as "John Doe" and misused ever since. The movie's more fascinated by Posey's character, whose name I still can't recall, and he only gets a couple scenes and an action sequence before the final confrontation.
The final confrontation itself was the most disappointing thing about the film; had it really chosen to go out with a bang, this movie could have worked itself up to four star territory. I won't reveal what happens, so as to maintain what little suspense and tension there is. I will only say that it seems more geared towards opening the door for spin-offs that resolving Blade's story. Sure, he gets his big action scene. But the final narration is hardly the kind of wrap-up this character deserves. I still had an overall good time, but more in the fashion of a Scifi Channel Original TV movie than the theatrical experience the previous two provided. A solidly made but bland and relatively uninvolving entry to the series. ()

  - ADAM LENHARDT

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