December 9, 2004 -- “Blade: Trinity” is a standard, by-the-numbers action-fantasy sequel. It pretty much delivers what you expect. The only surprise for me was that is wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. The first movie in the series, “Blade” was a pretty good film. After that, well you know how it goes, Hollywood runs these so-called “franchise” films right into the ground. The second film in the series was inferior to the first and the third film was inferior to the last one. If another one comes along, it will probably be even worse. They should have stopped after the first one.
Wesley Snipes reprises his role as Blade, the half-vampire turned vampire hunter. Kris Kristofferson reprises his role as Abraham Whistler, partner and mentor to Blade. This film introduces a new vampire-hunting group called the Nightstalkers (no doubt named after the old TV series of the same name starring Darren McGavin). The Nightstalkers are led by Whistler's vampire-kicking hottie daughter, Abigail (played by Jessica Biel of “Summer Catch”) and the hunky Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds of “Van Wilder”). The wisecracking King is the comic sidekick of the film. A former vampire, King is a formidable fighter.
The vampires, looking for a way to defeat Blade, lead him on a merry chase and set him up for the murder of one of their human operatives called “familiars.” This puts Blade and Whistler on the run from the vampires, the police and the FBI. The vampires also succeed in raising Dracula, that old uber vamp, from his long sleep. Dracula (Dominic Purcell), who can also walk in the daylight, goes after Blade and the Nightstalkers. Dracula turns out to be a strange creature who looks a lot like the alien in “Predator.” Dracula can also change his shape to look like anyone, and he is super strong and quick. Blade and the Nightstalkers have their work cut out for them.
The acting is not bad by the leads and supporting actors, including Parker Posey, who plays one of the vampires, and wrestler Triple H, who plays an oversized vampire named Jarko Grimwood. Buried in a minor role is Eric Bogosian, who used to get better parts a few years ago. Jessica Biel does pretty well in her action role, as does Ryan Reynolds. There is a mighty attempt to use humor in the movie to lighten the mood, but this is sabotaged by weak jokes. Instead, the plot lumbers along ponderously despite all the action scenes. The script (by writer-director David S. Goyer) also tries to develop some of the characters, but doesn't really get very far with that, either. This is not a character-driven plot.
The costumes (all Goth), music (hip hop by RZA) and lots of cool weapons, are pretty much the same as in the first two “Blade” movies. This film depicts a dark, violent, noisy world which is utterly corrupt. The forces of light are few, the forces of darkness are many. Even the forces of light are not exactly what you'd call pure. They kill humans along with the vampires, and their motives are tied mainly to vengeance. They are not noble. They don't seem to adhere to any ideals. This is not really a battle of good and evil. One child in the movie talks about God and heaven. That talk seems way out of place in the context of this film. This movie rates a C.
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