Published on December 13th, 2004 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Blade: Trinity
The Blade series has long been felt as the red-headed stepchild of the Marvel catalog. The first film barely made mention of its comic book roots sans for a mentioning in the opening credits. The second film in the series didn’t carry the Marvel logo on the actual prints, but did feature it on the poster. It seems as though everyone is finally able to acknowledge the series for what it is, but, unfortunately, the series’ third (and presumably last) installment is ultimately its weakest. This isn’t to say that Blade Trinity isn’t a good movie, it certainly is, for what it is, but as a die hard fan of the theatrical series the new elements to the film just don’t seem to click as well as the previous two entries in the vampire-slaying series.
Trinity brings the Nightstalkers into the mix with hopes of a spin-off in the future. Heading up this group of hunters is Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) who both went through extensive training to bulk up and create two very memorable characters. The story of the film brings the group to the aid of Blade (Wesley Snipes) after he is set up and a captured by the humans (with the Vampire Nation pulling the strings). Yet, while all of this is going on the vampires have also discovered the burial grounds of the first vampire, Dracula (Dominic Purcell). The vamps believe that their eternal leader is the only one who can defeat the day-walker.
The movie itself works very well, for the third installment in an established franchise, but without the Blade logo tying it into Marvel’s series there isn’t much in the way of story to really keep you on the edge of your seat. Still, many will argue that you don’t go to a movie, such as this one, for the story, you go for the fight scenes, violence, and general ass-kicking, all of which Trinity provides in droves. Something else the movie provides may surprise fans of the first and second film where the dark, gothic tone was never a purveyor of humor (besides Blade and Reinhardt’s (Ron Perlman) lovely conversations in Blade II), but Reynolds’ King hits every cue, and every joke right on the mark. Sometimes the film is funnier than certain “comedies” released this year.
In a surprising casting movie, Parker Posey joins the cast as the devious Danica Talos who provides the comic foil to Hannibal King (she is also was his Sire). Furthering the casting gambit a bit was writer/director David S. Goyer’s choice to bring on Paul Michael Levesque (aka Triple H) as a vampire-thug who loves his vampire dog (ominously cross bred with the Reaper strain). Triple H literally steals ever scene he is in, and when coupled with Reynolds, once again, hilarity ensues.
As I said before, the film, as a part of the Blade trilogy, works well, and provides both closure and openness in its conclusion. As a movie standing on its own the film seems almost rushed to a point of getting the series’ main star in cohorts with the new hopefuls and see how the chemistry plays out. Luckily, the chemistry is there, and with the off-the-set rumors of “difficulties” working with Wesley Snipes only ads more enjoyment to see him interact with the “kids.” The inclusion of the Dracula storyline seems like it would be an endgame of sorts for the series, finally giving closure to all the turmoil Blade has had to endure since he was a child, yet, the film’s ending is as open as ever leading many to believe if the series is actually over with (here’s hoping it isn’t).
Speaking of the ending, it will certainly make you groan when you see it. I thought that the character of Drake (aka Dracula) was so severely underdeveloped that it almost handicapped the movie’s story. Goyer seems to have included the character out of an attempt to mass market the series for non-fans. The persistent rumors of a slightly futuristic setting in which the vampires had conquered the humans is almost desired after seeing how this one ends, but we can’t expect Sam “Spider-Man” Raimi quality in every comic book movie that comes up to the plate.
Blade Trinity is the weakest member of the Blade series, but that doesn’t discourage me from wanting to see it a few more times in the theaters and pick up the DVD the day it comes out. Maybe it’s the fact that vampires and related lore seem to be really hot these days, and with all the conflicting movies and canon-violations (Underworld for example), it may just be hard to get as excited about seeing some good-old-fashioned blood sucking without a been-there-done-that aura washing over you.