My vampire fatigue has officially set in again. Blade: Trinity is no where near as good as the first two. It’s trying too hard to appeal to a wider audience by upping the humor and throwing in some female eye candy. Neither ploy brings anything desirable or new to the franchise. It just kills it.
My biggest issue is with Ryan Reynolds. I feel really bad saying this, but I find it hard to like this guy. He’s super charming and good looking, but somehow this does not translate to anything good. Perhaps the problem is that he just picks the wrong movies to star in. That’s got to be it, right? He just seems so nice, I don’t want to think that his acting is the problem here. When he’s good, he’s good (The Change-Up, R.I.P.D.). But man when he’s bad it sticks in my head and makes me wish he’d retire (After Green Lantern Ben informed me Reynolds had been tapped to star in a remake of Highlander. I was super pissed for like a day and a half. Thankfully Reynolds has dropped out.).
I’m not a big fan of Jessica Biel either. She’s OK, but clearly cast to walk around in tight clothing. The combined presence of Reynolds and Biel cuts in to Wesley Snipes’ screen time, which is a big problem given that he’s the star.
Actually, I take it back, Reynolds is not my biggest problem with this movie. A major plot point is that a group of vampires has woken Dracula from a centuries long slumber. Pretty cool, until you learn that Dracula is now going by the name Drake. Drake… I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that the ultimate vampire would choose the same name as a snack cake company. (It also brings to mind a certain rapper/Degrassi alum, but this movie predates his move to music, so that association is all me.)
I enjoyed this film a lot more than I remember. I remember hating it when it first came out, but with a second viewing it wasn’t so bad. My biggest problem with this film is that it isn’t really Blade’s movie anymore. For whatever reason, Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds are almost the leads in this film with their own vampire hunting crew, the Nightstalkers. Wesley Snipes’s Blade character takes a backseat to these guys for much of the film, and it suffers because of that. I came to see Blade, and as charming as Ryan Reynolds is, he’s not what I’m paying money to see. I’m here to see Snipes kick ass, not see Ryan Reynolds make clearly improvised jokes about vampires.
The film revolves around the vampire community thawing out the first vampire, Dracula (Dominic Purcell) to finally kill their nemesis Blade. Years ago, Dracula was put on ice because he hated the world he lived in, and is not too happy to be woken up by the vampires he has come to despise. He does agree to kill Blade though, setting up the showdown we’ve all been waiting for since the series began. The best vampire hunter ever versus the first and most dangerous vampire ever made. It sounds good on paper, but the result is far from great. Purcell tries hard, but you really don’t believe he’d be any match for Blade. He turns into a CG monster during the climax which makes him somewhat more threatening, but for most of the movie he is just a pasty white brawler that you feel like Blade could snap in a moment’s notice. He doesn’t seem like the biggest threat Blade has ever faced. This may have something to do with the previous villains from Blade 2, the Reapers, being so cool. It was always going to be tough topping them, this film tries but it fails to deliver satisfactorily.
During the film Blade teams up with the Nightstalkers. They are led by Hannibal King (Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Biel). Abigail is the daughter of Blade’s weapon maker (Kris Kristofferson), who has a small cameo at the start of the film before dying for what seems like the tenth time this series. Abigail joins the ‘family business’ of vampire hunting and starts her own posse with Reynolds. The vampires in this movie feel like generic villains this time around. There is nobody with the charisma of Ron Perlman to elevate them above what seems like cardboard cut-out henchmen. Indie darling, Parker Posey has fun as their leader, but other than that, they were not very impressive. Wrestler Triple H also turns up as a brute vampire henchman, his acting is as you’d expect, ordinary.
This film is a pretty big letdown after the awesomeness that was Blade 2. The villain is boring compared to Blade 2’s Nomak the Reaper, and the story is not as exciting either. I really feel like Guillermo Del Toro’s direction was missed for this third movie. First time director David S. Goyer (he wrote the scripts for all three films and was promoted to director for the last installment) tries hard, but he is not Del Toro. I am really hesitant to compare this film with the second instalment, but it is really hard not to. The fight scenes are still great and Snipes still owns the role of Blade, but other than that, this film is really found wanting. Especially compared to the first two installments.
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