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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.

Every once in a while, a sequel comes out that absolutely blows the original away, like Aliens, and T2: Judgment Day. Well, unfortunately Blade II isn’t one of them.

Now before the wrath of internet fan boys around the world rains down upon me, let me clarify. I really liked the first Blade. I really did. Yes it had its problems, but I really enjoyed it, hands down. Well, I also really liked Blade II. Really, I did! I spent most of the movie with my jaw open, trying to control the drool seeping out of my mouth. The thing is, these two movies don’t have too much in common.

The first Blade was a cool movie. So was Blade II. It was different that the first, not better or worse, but still damn cool. The first movie, being the first, had to do a lot of things the second one didn’t. It had to spend a lot more time developing characters and explaining things. Well, in the second movie, that’s already been done, so you can just jump right in to the action. And DAMN there’s a lot of it in this movie. Another thing is, if you’re expecting Blade II to be a lot like Blade, you’re in for a big surprise. The second Blade installment is more of an action-horror movie, as opposed to a straight-up action flick. You are supposed to be scared during parts of this movie. And the fights in this one are WAY cooler.

Allrighty then, let’s rundown the plot: Blade is still doing his vampire-killin’ thing, when one day (or night, but the scene takes place indoors, so I can’t tell), he is “approached” by some members of the Vampire Nation. (You’ll understand why “approached” is in quotes after you see the movie.) These vamps inform Blade that there is a new “species” of super-vamp called Reapers who not only feed on humans, but have also developed a taste for vampire blood as well. They want Blade to help them fight these Reapers, so they offer him a temporary truce. Blade reluctantly accepts, of course (or there wouldn’t be a movie), and then the balls-to-the-wall nonstop throw-you-out-of-your-seat action begins. That’s all you get out of me on plot; I am not giving nothing away

Oh, one thing though. I know most of you have probably seen the trailer to this movie. I know you saw Whistler in the trailer, and a good bunch of you are thinking “How the f—k is he in this movie? Didn’t he die?” As much as you may not believe me, Goyer and Del Toro dealt with this pretty well. I won’t give away how he’s reintroduced in this movie, but I’ll give you something to think about: How much exactly did you see in the original Blade regarding Whistler’s demise?

Ok, now let’s touch on the goods and the bad of Blade II. Mind you I can’t possibly list all the goods, but I’ll probably get all the the bad.


The Reapers: The very first scene in this movie shows you exactly what these guys are about. Damn these guys look cool. Wait till you see them eat…

Wesley Snipes: This man is right at home with this character. Now I’ve never read the comic books, but Wes plays one badass Daywalker in my book. Got to love the shades.

The weapons: Yes, Blade has his kick-ass sword. Yes he has his kick-ass guns. But di-ZAMN, the new weapons he’s got rule. You’ve got cool sun-bomb thingies, flying spinning blade thingies, and wrist punchy-injecting thingies.

The fight scenes: Words cannot describe the coolness of these fights. Think of a over-exaggerated version of the sound one makes during orgasm, that’s how I’d vocalize my opinion on these

Most of the CG: I’ll touch on the bad part below, but most of the computer-generated parts of this movie are really solid. The Reapers’ mouth effects blend seamlessly onto the actors.

The Bad:

The parts of the fight scenes that are completely computer-generated: Ok, 99% of the fight scenes in this movie are amazing. Fight choreography is astonishing, and Wes’s skill (that has earned him several Black Belts) shows. However, there are a few sections of one or two fights where it’s all computer-animation, and it doesn’t look too clean. It looks like it’s going too fast, past the point of believability. But, thank goodness, this doesn’t happen too often.

Scattered plot holes: They’re in every movie, oh well.

There are a few moments in the movie where I thought, “Ok, that’s a little much…” or “That’s not realistic…” Like the swishes, swooshes, and hums that Blade’s weapons make when he spins them around. Also, blood is not THAT watery! (You’ll see what I mean near the end of the movie.) But, for the sake of action-movie coolness, they were quickly forgiven. Sometimes, the added swishes and punch “thumps” that don’t really happen in real life are pretty cool in movies.

I really enjoyed Blade II. It’s not a great movie by great movie standards, but it sure is a hell of a lot more fun than some “great” movies. Awesome fight scenes, lots of cool weapons, costumes and vamps. If you want to go to a great action-filled popcorn movie, Blade II is definitely for you. If vampires, lots of gore and blood, or anything else in these kind of movies bothers you, why are you still reading? Go see E.T.