Blade: Trinity


Reviewed by: Stephen Carty

Blade Trinity
"Blade feels like a supporting act in his own movie."

Though the Blade franchise has been hugely successful (ironically bringing the comic genre back from the dead), it's also been a diverse one. With fan opinion split down the middle, most either love Stephen Norrington's dark, techno-fused original or Guillermo del Toro's gory, visual-onslaught of a follow-up. Having written both, scribe David Goyer decided to also step behind the camera for the final instalment…

Having been framed for killing a human, Blade (Wesley Snipes) finds himself exposed and captured by the FBI. Thankfully, a group of vampire hunters called The Nightstalkers - led by former vamp Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and Whistler's (Kris Kristofferson) daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel) - come to the rescue. Meanwhile vampire Danica Talos (Parker Posey) looks to resurrect Dracula (Dominic Purcell) as part of her plan to find a "final solution".

Copy picture

Sadly, the result is nowhere near the send-off that the character deserves. Unfortunately, the dual task of writing and directing is too much for Goyer as his scripting (which usually excels) has more holes than a vampire victim’s neck and the direction pales in comparison to his predecessors. Lacking both the frenetic, adrenalin-pumping pace of Norrington’s first (Abbatoir bloodbath anyone?) and the gothic style of del Toro’s sequel, there’s a going-through-the-motions ‘seen this before’ feeling that’s hard to shake.

Okay, so the score music is decent and there are a handful of moving moments (see Whistler rubbing his wedding ring and the “Use It. Use It!” bit), but the internal logic that previously impressed is lacking. Whereas before the shadowy bloodsuckers were hard-to-kill, here they’re fairly easy to vanquish. While originally Blade had to strap himself in for a painful injection to keep his thirst at bay (nice idea), here it’s a type of – uh – asthma inhaler. Ignoring momentarily that Abigail listens to her iPod when hunting (seriously), there’s also the glaring hole that Blade – who in the original points out how to recognise vampires – is fooled into killing a human because of, sigh, fake teeth.

Possibly worst of all, though, is the fact that Blade feels like a supporting act in his own movie (the word you are searching for is 'unforgivable'). Sure, Snipes still snarls and kicks fanged-butt while oozing badass cool, it's just that he's too often pushed into the background to make room for the new faces.

Speaking of, both Biel and Reynolds (not to mention his 18-pack) deserve credit for getting into incredible shape. However, while Biel is totally underused (her character arc is a quick flashback montage), Reynolds fluctuates between spoiling serious moments by overdoing it and quotable show-stealing hilarity (“I date a lot of older men”). Elsewhere, though, Posey isn’t especially impressive (aside from one scene where she gives Hannibal an eerie threat) and Kristofferson seems tired of his role, but it’s the totally miscast Dominic Purcell who feels most out of place.

While fans will always welcome Wesley as his day-walking alter ego, Blade Trinity is a disappointing final effort that will almost certainly put a stake through the heart of the franchise. Where Blade is concerned, the third cut certainly isn’t the deepest.

Reviewed on: 06 Jul 2009
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Comic franchise gets a comedy revamp(ire).
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Angus Wolfe Murray *1/2

Director: David S Goyer

Writer: David S Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Cascy Beddow, Dominic Purcell, Natasha Lyonne, Callum Keith Rennie, Haili Page, James Remar

Year: 2004

Runtime: 113 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Blade II
The Matrix