"I see you all alone, surrounded by enemies."
— Whistler to Blade
As a movie fan, I'm pretty easy to please (as you may know
from my previous reviews). When I went into Blade: Trinity,
the latest tale of superpowered half-vampire Wesley Snipes
killing the hell out of full vampires, I tried to put the other
Blade movies out of my head so I could enjoy this one
without comparing them. My main interest was seeing Snipes dispatch
some suckheads via kung fu and machine guns.
Well, I did get that. But it wasn't enough to keep this movie
from, well, sucking. In fact, I can tell you exactly when I
realized that this was not a good movie.
In each Blade movie, there is a scene near the climax
where Blade proceeds to break bad on a bunch of mooks, letting
him show off his bad-assery and building an adrenalin rush before
the final mega-battle. We have some cool fighting and effects
while a heavy techno soundtrack pounds off the screen to ramp
up the action.
In the midst of that scene in this new film, up from the back
of my brain popped the thought: "I'm bored."
I'm sure this is not the reaction the director wanted.
So here's the skinny. Blade (Wesley "Bad-Ass" Snipes)
is still waging his one-man war to kill all vampires and those
who serve them. Tired of Blade making them an endangered species,
the vampires, led by Danica (Parker Posey), do two things. First,
they go on a hunt to find the first ever vampire, who had buried
himself to sleep and escape a world he didn't like anymore.
Second, they arrange for Blade to be caught on video killing
a normal human so the police and FBI will hunt him down. So
we get a huge tactical assault on Blade's hideout by the FBI,
and he's captured. Why do they succeed? The plot needed him
So the cops bring him in, then the vampires come in to collect
him and take him off to be — well I'm not sure where.
That's because Hannibal King (Ryan "Van Wilder" Reynolds)
and Abigail Whistler (Jessica "I look good with a bow"
Biel), the daughter of Blade's mentor, crotchety old Whistler
(Kris "Convoy" Kristofferson), arrive to rescue Blade.
How did they know to rescue him? The plot needed it.
So King and Whistler II take Blade back to their base and introduce
themselves as a group of fellow vampire hunters called The Nightstalkers.
Blade, of course, thinks they're a bunch of rookies who have
no business hunting vampires. So he can spend the rest of the
movie bonding with them.
The Nightstalkers explain to Blade about the fang gang
digging up that first ever vampire with the intention
to get him to kill Blade and get him out of their way.
This first vampire, it's explained, is perfect. He has
all the normal vampire powers and a few extra, like
walking in daylight and shape shifting. How did they
know all of this? Because they needed to or Blade
The name of this uber-vamp? Well, he's had many, but his most
famous name is Dracula (Dominic "John Doe" Purcell).
He's now going by the name Drake, and looks like a refugee from
a modern angry heavy-metal band.
From here, the movie rambles through the plot framework set
up by the first two Blade movies. There are some good
bits, like the initial action scene where Blade takes out some
vamp mooks, Drake taking out a Goth store and a cameo appearance
by the Tomb of Dracula comic where Blade first appeared, but
overall the movie is not very inspired.
Snipes is back to his closed-off, wooden portrayal of the fearless
vampire killer. Biel is hot but undeveloped, Kristofferson is
reduced to a crotchety cameo, and Reynolds seems to be channeling
Jason Lee with a beard. He's got some good lines and is the
best thing in the movie, but even he gets annoying after a while.
As for the vampires, Danica is your standard sulky, fetish-clad
vampire gal. Triple H is a tough vampire with chromed fangs,
and while Drake makes nice eye-candy for the ladies, he's got
all the personality of beef jerky. Richard Roxburgh was ten
times the Dracula in Van Helsing.
What's really unforgivable, however, is the plot. David S.
Goyer is a really good writer. Blade, Blade 2, and
Dark City are all very well written movies. His comic
book writing is amazing. I really like his stuff, but he's really
weak here. The plot ambles around, going where it goes because
it needs to for no really clear reason except to set the characters
in place for the next fight. This is followed by the characters
spending another scene discussing the implications of what we
saw, just to make sure we got it. That, combined with some "just
because" chase scenes really make the film feel padded
out to its 113 minutes.
The direction, also by Goyer, is not that great either. I can
forgive this a bit more, because this is his first film. Still,
I have to wonder what the studio was thinking handing over the
directing chores for a major December release to a novice. Especially
having to follow Guillermo Del Toro, who infused every scene
in Blade 2 with such great visuals and a level of coolness
and darkness that just oozed off the screen. Blade: Trinity
feels like a rote action movie with some horror elements. It
even manages to take a very cool, unique bit from the second
film, the unhinging Reaper-mouth, and completely overuse it
to the point where it's a bit silly.
Blade: Trinity is not a good movie. If you really have
to see some kung fu vampire action, just pull out your DVD of
Blade 2. Don't let my sacrifice be in vein! Er, vain.