Director - David S. Goyer
Year - (2004)

In the English language, the word but can be a very powerful one. Used in the proper context, but can be used to drop your defenses and at the same time, set you up for a statement that is guaranteed to ruin your day. For example, Listen Bob, youve been a great worker here, but (dot, dot, dot). Or how about, Weve had some great times over these past six months, but (dot, dot, dot). Both of these examples highlight the power of but, since its safe to assume that youre about to have your financial or emotional stability ripped to shreds. The whole point of this linguistic lesson is to help you understand when I say Blade: Trinity was a good movie, but . . .

For now, Ill start with what I liked about the movie. And first up to bat is Mr. Ryan Reynolds, playing vampire hunter and leader of the Nightstalkers, Hannibal King. Its because of Reynolds that Trinity is by far the funniest of the three movies. His comedic timing, line delivery, and overall presence on screen make him the best character in the movie. He has the best lines in the movie, and even when hes on screen with Blade, Reynolds devours the scenery until all we focus on is him. More than that, hes ripped like Brad Pitt in Fight Club, and handles the action and fighting sequences of this movie like a pro. I give kudos to the stunt men for turning Van Wilder into an awesome vampire killer.

Second on my what-I-liked list is uber-hottie Jessica Biel. However, the reasons for this are limited to the aforementioned hotness of Ms. Biel and the ass-kickery involved with her character. Her fights are stylized and extremely cool to watch, especially when she whips out a hand held power bow, with a UV laser running between the two ends, used for slicing and dicing vampires into dusty pieces. However, there really isnt much to Biels character of Abigail Whistler, daughter out of wedlock of Whistler Sr. With the exception of one shower scene, I never really felt that Abigails character was expanded enough to make me give a hot damn about why she was fighting the vampires, even after her father told her to stay out of the family business. And in reference to the shower scene, its not THAT kind of shower scene, but rather an emotional breakdown for Abigail that I wish I saw more of. Summed up, Abigail is the stoic vampire hunter, to match Reynolds sarcastic loudmouth. But weve already got the stoic vampire hunter in Blade. Which brings me to Blade, played once more by Wesley Snipes. Snipes IS Blade, and there is no doubt that he knows the character inside and out, especially after three films and despite three different directors. However, Blade got about as human as we were ever going to glimpse in Blade II, showing emotions and a wicked sense of humor more often than wed seen in the first Blade. With Blade: Trinity, Snipes was kind of in a rut, since the character really had nowhere else to go, and he was mostly left to snarling at the bad guys, and making intense expressions when the script calls for it. Hannibal King at one point suggests that Blade should try blinking more. Not to say that Blade still doesnt embody the badass of the Vampire World, but as I said much earlier, in this movie Id rather be watching Reynolds.

Now we come to the dot, dot, dot. First and foremost, I should say that I didnt like the villain played by Dominic Purcell. Purcell plays Drake, the new name given to the oldest and first vampire that inspired everything up to and including that little novel written by the loony Scotsman Bram Stoker. I was immediately in favor of pitting Blade against the true version of Dracula, since I first heard the idea months ago. However, the concept of Drake was a lot more inviting than what I saw on screen. Let me back up a bit and say that I thought from the first Blade, Stephen Dorffs Deacon Frost was a great villain, with a enormous chip on his shoulder and a healthy amount of sadism that made him the evil bastard he was. In Blade II, Luke Goss Jared Nomak was even better, since not only was he this genetic monster vampire gone wrong, but also throw in the Daddy issues and some truly awesome fighting and youve got the best villain of the series. However, with Drake, the oldest vampire, who is understandably pissed that vampires have been reduced to myths and marketing ploys (Count Chockula anyone?), I never doubted that Blade could whoop him before the end of the movie. Also, Drake isnt really in the movie long enough to establish how strong he is, what he can do, and why we should all be afraid that hes woken up after a few thousand years. The thing is, I know Purcell can act, after watching his short run on Foxs show John Doe, and his small role in my favorite movie of 2002, Equilibrium. Honestly, he just feels like a missed opportunity.

And that is the dot, dot, dot. The rest of the movie, including the storyline, the sideline characters, both good and bad, the fight sequences all felt like the ingredients were there, but there was nothing to elevate the movie to the level of the first two films. In Blade: Trinity, the vampires finally wise up and use the full force of the American Media and the FBI to paint Blade as this sociopath who thinks vampires are among us. After catching Blade in the act of killing a Familiar, thats a human vampire servant to the uninitiated, Blade becomes Public Enemy Number One. However, that great little idea was tossed out the window with the introduction of the Nightstalkers and Drake. So much that no one even bats an eyelash when Blade is seen running in broad daylight brandishing a really big gun, when I thought he was on everyones most wanted list. Also, the concept of Drake, the oldest vampire who was perfect in everyway was an interesting concept, since the Nightstalkers want Drakes perfect blood to construct a biological weapon aimed at destroying all vampires, and the vampires want Drake in the hopes of making a new race of Daywalkers. However this never seemed to have the impact on the Vampire world like the Reapers in Blade II or the Vampire God in Blade. It just wasnt epic enough for me. As far as the secondary characters, from the previews I had no idea that there were more Nightstalkers than just Reynolds and Biel, and with good reason. They suck. It takes more than a few funny lines to make me care about a character, and with the remaining members, they were simply fodder. The one good character however was the 9-year-old Zoe, daughter of one of the Nightstalkers. There is a moment later in the film where she shows more backbone than the rest of the team and I was a heartbeat away from cheering for the kid.

The villains are a little bit more fun, however. Parker Posey, the single greatest example of casting against type, enjoys the hell out of her role from start to finish. Just imagine if Paris Hilton was an evil bitch of a vampire, and youd have Poseys role of Danica Talos. Also, I think Pro Wrestlers should get more movie gigs, because I really liked Triple H as the lead henchman Jarko. Hes the empty-headed muscle, and while it might not be a huge stretch for Mr. H, I enjoyed watching him beat the crap out of Reynolds. However, these characters were more funny than menacing and for the purposes of a villain role, it just didnt work out. What confuses me is that I know Goyer can write secondary characters and make me like then, evidenced by The Blood Pack in Blade II. Some of those characters didnt even have dialogue, but were they still awesome? You betcha.

Lastly, I have to say a word or two about the fighting sequences. One on hand, I got into the action, whenever Blade or Abigail whipped out a new toy I hadnt seen before, but the moments when I actually got to see what was actually going on were few and far between. Not as bad as something like The Bourne Supremacy, director David Goyer needed to move the camera back about two feet and STOP MOVING IT SO MUCH. Which was a real shame, since the selling point of any of the Blade movies was the awesome martial arts. Its a sad day in the theatre when Im the only one laughing at a vampire being decapitated, because no one else in the audience could figure what was going on. But probably the biggest problem of all was the final confrontation between Blade and Drake. A knock down drag out swordfight between two masters wouldve been awesome, but sadly, just didnt have any real effect. For one thing, I dont know who told Goyer that CGI blood is more effective than actual fake blood, but it didnt work. Also, if you look at Blade II, that scene where Nomak catches Blades leg, and swings him around right into concrete pillar, I remember watching that and thinking, That REALLY had to hurt. However, Trinity had nothing that visceral or painful going for it, and Im sorry, but when I see two super powered people go at it, and one gets punched with the force of a small pick-up truck, I expect at least a little blood.

So, Blade: Trinity was a good movie, but it didnt have enough going for it to make me think they ended the series on a good note. In its own right, Trinity was funny, with some witty dialogue and had two neat characters that might be worthy of their own spin-off. The movie also did have some definite moments of coolness when the camera stopped moving, but the problems involving the story, characters, and action scenes just left me feeling, eh . . . Blade: Trinity is the weakest of the three, and though I cant tell you all to rush out to theatres and see this movie, its worth the wait for rental, and will be in my DVD collection, simply so I can have all three.

Reviewed By - Evil Ash

Rating ( 3 of 5 )



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