As Del La Soul once pointed out – “three is the magic number” and now the makers of Blade and Blade II are probably thinking that they should have never listen to those hip hop funsters and stuck with just the two films. When the director of the first two Blade films Guillermo del Toro jumped ship to direct his dream project, Hellboy, the directorial reins where picked up by the writer of the first two movies David S Goyer whose inexperience shows.
By his own reckoning, Blade (Wesley Snipes) the half human/half vampire killer of all things fanged, has hacked, blown away, garrotted, mutilated and massacred thousands of vampires since starting his crusade against the bloodsuckers. This remarkable rampage has gone unnoticed by the rest of the world mainly due to the fact that once killed a vampire disintegrates into dust immediately. Unfortunately the vampires are a sneaky bunch and they frame their hunter by making him kill a disguised human and as a result this sets the FBI after Blade who is cornered and captured.
Behind this devious plan is female vampire called Danica Talos (Parker Posey) who travelled to Syria to an undercover tomb to unearth the original vampire Drake (Dominic Purcell), also known as Dracula. Talos believes that the powerful Drake is the only one who has the strength and power to destroy the Daywalker. She also believes that only with Blade out of the way can vampires conquer the human race.
While in custody, Blade is poked and prodded by psychologists and other various people who proclaim that there are actually no vampires but that Blade is a plain old sociopath who has killed 1182 people (actually all were vampire familiars – humans who help vampires who, if they perform well, are rewarded by becoming vampires themselves).
Help arrives for Blade in the form of Abigail (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) who break into the holding cells to rescue the shackled Daywalker. It transpires that Abigail is Whistlers (Kris Kristofferson) daughter who runs with a band of misfits called the Night Stalkers, a group who are out to destroy the vampire nation. Their leader of sorts, King, used to be a vampire himself before being rescued and returned back into human form.
Very reluctantly Blade teams up with these rookie vampire hunters and they set off after Drake armed with a virus developed by blind scientist (Natasha Lyonne) which could wipe out the vampires altogether.
Blade: Trinity is the weakest of the three films and just doesn’t have the same impact, suspense and energy of the first two films. The plot is underdeveloped and weak (and a rehashed version of the other two films combined in places) to say the least and is not helped by far too many stupid subplots. How come Blade knew nothing about another outfit hunting vampires and even has his mentor’s daughter involved yet he knew nothing about them. Whistler obviously knew about them as the blind scientist invented Blades new serum inhaler – surely they would have crossed paths at some point? Even the weapons are sillier with a lightsaber-esq compound bow which is “half as hot as the sun” – it makes the UV light bomb in Blade II almost realistic!
Although a spoiler it comes as no shock to discover that Whistler bits the big one at the beginning of this film – in the original Blade when Whistler died/turned it was a touching, poignant moment for Blade, but this time round its brushed over all too quickly and forgotten in a few minutes.
The performances are nothing to write home about with Ryan Reynolds appearing to be the only one enjoying himself. Wesley Snipes was reported very unhappy having to join with a couple of younger actors as New Line Cinema is set for a spin-off franchise with Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds and it shows onscreen. He is very wooden and almost uninvolved, only coming forward with the goods during the fight scenes. Gone is the zing and emotion that he had during the other two Blade films – the question does he even want to be there springs to mind.
Jessica Biel is very easy on the eye and has obviously been down the gym toning up. Her performance is very one-dimensional and her character is not given much to work with – you’d think that someone would at least have some sort of registered emotion when their father dies. Parker Posey looks bulimic to begin with and the condition of her prosthetic fangs make her look even more ill. She can barely mumble out her atrocious dialogue and is just awful at times. As mentioned earlier, Ryan Reynolds seems to be the only one actually having any fun, but seeing that he spends his entire time kicking arse and spewing Van Wilder like one-liners it’s no surprise.
Director David S Goyer is like a kid in a special effects sweet shop trying to taste everything at once and as a result there is no specific style with the final product being a moribund sequel to a once vibrant franchise.
One the whole the saving grace for Blade: Trinity is the action and this coupled with the funny (though childish) one-liners from Reynolds save the film from being a total disaster. There are a few nice touches which would have been better received if the first two films hadn’t set the bar much higher.
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