By Vic Holtreman
Short version: Another series that started out awesome but should have quit after the first movie.
Well, dammit, I was really hoping that despite all the bad buzz on this thing I might buck the trend and actually like it, but, as Alex Trebek might say: “Sorry….. no”.
Blade: Trinity opens with a voiceover talking about how the movies have it wrong about vampires. Right off the bat we’re treated to the joys of four-letter words in this little introduction. It is a sign of things to come. We open in Iraq, midday, with some special forces-looking types dropping from a helicopter close to some ancient monument. In another highbrow moment, one of the members of this party (covered head to toe in protective garb) flips the bird at the sun. This is the subtle hint that these guys are vampires. They make their way into the temple find some ancient writings (which one of the members of this “archaelogical team” refers to as “chicken scratch”) along with signs of a body in the ground beneath them.
Beyond that, cut to some good old-fashioned Blade action in which our hero is taking out vampires left and right with explosions, swords and guns. This was a welcome relief from what came before. Unfortunately, Blade is caught on tape executing someone, it makes it into the news, and we learn that vampires are taking a cue from the recent election’s dirty tricks playbook to use the media to help take Blade out of action.
He gets captured by the FBI and is rescued by a couple of young’uns (Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds) who fancy themselves vampire-killers. Oh, I almost forgot, Kris Kristofferson is killed off. Again.
Turns out that Biel is actually Whistler’s (Kristofferson’s) daughter and has been fighting vampires since she reached adulthood, which cannot have been more than what, six months ago? Of course Blade knew nothing about this. Or the fact that there are cells of vampire killers all over the place.
Much like The Rundown, one of the things that killed this movie was a character that should have been left out entirely: Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King. Take any scene where there is some decent action or explanation going on and insert this guy for some spurious, idiotic, cuss-word-laden dialogue to make you cringe and hope he stops talking soon. I’ve gotta tell ya, I realize this is rated R, but with the language in this thing, you’d think it was written by a 13 year old who had just discovered the joys of foul mouthed language. And considering this is rated R, why does it seem like the dialog is aimed at said 13 year old boy?
Another thing that drove me nuts is that this movie tries to be so “hip” so often that I swear I thought I was going to throw up. At one point David Goyer (who wrote and directed) poked fun at the film when Reynolds refers to their clandestine group as “The Nightstalkers” and Blade replies that it sounds like it came from a Saturday morning cartoon. Unfortunately right on the heels of that scene they rattle off another cutesy name for one of the bullets that they use.
And what is up with normal people being able to take on vampires? The main cool concept of the original Blade (which I really like, BTW) is that Snipes can fight the vampires because he’s half-vampire himself and has all their strength and speed. Add civilians to the mix who can also whup the vampires with martial arts and fancy (and ridiculous) weapons, and it cheapens the Blade character.
One last thing that bugged me, and it’s not just in this movie, is the recent trend of putting scenes in action/horror movies in which guys show skin. I’m not talking the standard shirt-off-show-muscles thing, but the kind of shots that were once populated by women. In this movie vampires and their “familiars” have tatoos either on their wrists or the back of their necks which indicate ownership. But the Reynolds character has his just above the pubic bone for some reason, which is of course shown, complete with pants lowered to reveal pubes. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t guys the primary target audience of these movies? Who the heck wants to see that?
Perhaps David Goyer is taking on too much work, or is getting a little too full of himself. I find it hard to believe this is the same guy who wrote Dark City and the original Blade. If nothing else, this film suddenly makes me feel worried about the upcoming Batman Begins which he also recently penned.
Maybe if this had been Blade: Duet with just Snipes and Biel, it might have stood a chance at being decent. But I suppose that title doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.