|Blade: Trinity (2004)
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Jessica Biel,
Director: David S. Goyer
There’s nothing better than a little vampire ass-kicking to light up the holiday season, but unfortunately for fans of the “Blade” franchise, the third (and hopefully final) installment of the heroic bloodsucker just doesn’t have the same bite as its previous chapters. As Marvel’s first successful comic-book-to-film adaptation, the original “Blade” instantly became an underground hit with the sleek, yet comical Wesley Snipes headlining as the title character, and even “Blade 2” was more than a mere duplicate thanks to its thorough vampire history, but “Blade: Trinity” is nothing more than a blended carbon copy with a bloodthirsty desire to maximize the death count.
The story continues when a gang of overconfident vampires hell-bent on recapturing the social majority awake Dracula (Dominic Purcell), the grand daddy himself, and unleash him out into the world to trigger what they believe to be the final solution in the war between humans and vampires. Blade and his human sidekick Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) are still working late-night clean-up jobs in the vampire district when Danica Talos (Parker Posey), the leader of the ragtag band of misfits, frames the notorious vampire hunter for killing a human and helps the FBI lock him away for questioning. It isn’t long before Blade is stylishly busted out of jail by Whistler’s daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel) and ex-vampire Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), and the new trio of hunters set out to finish the war once and for all.
Directed by David Goyer (who also penned all three films), “Blade: Trinity” has too much energy for a film that walks in slow-motion like its main characters. The scripts have never been perfect in the past, but they never had as many faults as this third outing and Goyer hardly achieves the same experience. Instead, he forces wooden dialogue into a script that could have been written by a monkey and introduces Dracula as the weakest baddie of the entire trilogy. His passion for the title character’s internal battles has also drifted away in place of more action and Snipes himself has been demoted to co-star status in order to make room for the story’s two younger, prettier and much hipper heroes.
Biel isn’t a great actress by any means, but she slides her sexy body into a variety of leather outfits and does a pretty good job with what’s given, though Ryan Reynolds ultimately steals the show as the acerbic Hannibal King. Reynolds, a rising comic ace in the film world, delivers another hilarious performance that is fueled by flawless comic timing and a barrage of deadpan one-liners. But he doesn’t only steal the show, he saves it, because if Reynolds hadn’t dropped into the story when he did, any interest I had invested into the future of the franchise would have faded a lot faster. “Trinity” has its high points for fans of the two younger stars, but everything else is about as exciting as a brain-dead coma victim; and Goyer even throws in a few of those as well.
While the film didn’t fare as well as its previous successors, “Blade: Trinity” certainly has been given the finest DVD treatment of the bunch. Released in a two-disc unrated version of the film on New Line’s Platinum Series label, “Blade: Trinity” offers fans a ton of extra material to bite into. Featured on the first disc of the set are both versions of the film, the theatrical R-rated cut and the unrated version (which contains ten minutes of never-before-seen footage), as well as two full-length audio commentaries. The first track features an entertaining discussion between writer/director David Goyer and co-stars Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds about the making of the film. While Goyer and Biel discuss more about the actual production of the film, Reynolds provides plenty of comedy on the side to keep things interesting. The second track features Goyer and crew discussing the various production aesthetics implemented in the shooting and editing of “Blade,” and it’s none the more interesting than the first track.
On disc two, there are even more tasty extras including an alternate ending involving the Nightstalker characters hunting a werewolf, a blooper reel, picture galleries, and a creative segment that has writer David Goyer interviewing director David Goyer (yes, the same man) on the treatment of bringing his script to the big screen. Most notably on the second disc is the two-hour collection of production featurettes entitled “Daywalkers, Nightstalkers and Familiars,” which can either be viewed as one giant documentary, or individually selected by topic. For vampire and comic book fans alike, rushing out to pick up this DVD is a no-brainer, but for those of us who weren’t as enchanted by Blade’s final hunt, a rental may still be worth checking out the supplemental material.