Director: David S. Goyer
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Dominic Purcell, Kris Kristofferson
MPAA Rating: (for strong pervasive violence and language, and some sexual content)
Running Time: 1:53
Release Date: 12/8/04
Review by Mark Dujsik
As the blood swirls in the backdrop like a nightmarish version of those cheesy silk sheet opening credit sequences of the days of old, an opening narration tells us, "Movies are full of shit." That seems an odd way to start a movie, don't you think? Then, moments later, a character looks directly into the camera and gives the audience the middle finger. That seems a tad bit stand-offish, wouldn't you say? The opening moments pass; we let them slide. After all, the narration is simply telling us that the portrayal of vampires in the movies isn't what they're like in the world of this movie, and the finger is actually directed at the sun by an unhappy vampire in the desert. But we hold these moments somewhere in the back of our minds, and by the end of Blade: Trinity, we can't help but think that maybe there was something self-criticizing behind that statement—something intentional behind that finger. Because there's something wrong with this installment (reportedly the last, if you can believe reports) that keeps it from even bypassing the feeling that this material is downright silly.
In the Syrian desert (later alluded to as the Iraqi desert for some reason), a group of vampires led by Danica Talos (Parker Posey, who should publicly state exactly what she was trying to accomplish with her hammy performance) enter a huge temple to unearth their race's patriarch Dracula (Dominic Purcell). The opening is slightly creepy, and Dracula's first appearance is a bit chilling. Cut to Blade (Wesley Snipes) doing what he does best: hunting vampires. After chasing one down, he impales him with a spike, only to discover that, oops, he's actually a human. This might not be a problem except that there were multiple witnesses and a videotape recorded by Danica. Now Blade has to worry about the vampires and the FBI. His mentor Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) tells him the vampires are issuing a public relations campaign against him. Soon, the FBI raids Blade's hideout, leaving Whistler dead (how many times has he died now?) and Blade in custody. Of course, the vampires are behind all of this, but with the help of Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and Abigail (Jessica Biel), Whistler's daughter, he escapes and joins the ranks of a vampire-hunting group called the Night-stalkers to discover what the vampires are up to.
The Blade franchise depends on its action sequences, and this outing sets out to undermine its action from the start. The opening fight is played out with the credits interrupting it, distancing us from becoming involved. It also has one major continuity blunder in the form of a bulletproof windshield. Despite the fact that Blade avoids getting shot because of it, he shoots a vampire through said windshield moments later. It's a minor quibble, but because the sequence lacks a connection, the goof stands out all the more. Later, during the FBI assault, Whistler shoots multiple cops after scolding Blade about killing humans. Listen to what I say, not what I do. And the question arises, why is there such an inconvenient setup of computer throughout their lair? It just means a hassle for someone to destroy them all in such an event. Blade's new partners don't add much to the mix, either, with Ryan Reynolds filling in the role of the wiseass who has an occasionally funny remark and Jessica Biel adding the presence of a strong woman. A scene in which the trio wanders the city with weapons fully in view is either a commentary on homeland security or just a sign that the filmmakers don't care anymore.
And what about the villain? Shouldn't Dracula, the prince of darkness, be a little more—oh, I don't
know—threatening? He's not even
interesting here, serving basically as a plot necessity with no purpose but to
destroy Blade, and he even postpones that for no reason. Instead of dreading him, we wonder, how does he walk in broad
daylight? At one point, someone points out that vampires are as a species called hominus
nocturnus, so wouldn't that imply the first of its kind would be nocturnal? And if not, why classify them as
such? The script by director David S. Goyer drops the subject with a line that
states he's a perfect vampire. Speaking
of perfect vampires, isn't the transformation of every vampire into day-walkers
the villains' entire motivation? So
what's this stuff about using the homeless as an extensive supply of blood (if
Newt Gingrich sees the movie, he'll probably wonder why he didn't think of that)?
The final, pivotal fight
between Blade and Dracula is intercut with
Copyright © 2004 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.
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