Posts Tagged ‘Blade: Trinity’

From the Hootoo archive. Originally published December 16th 2004:

Sometimes it seems you can’t keep a dead man down. David Goyer’s Blade: Trinity is the second film this year to feature Dracula as its main villain (the other, of course, was the rather overwrought CGI-fest Van Helsing). This time around he’s played by Eric Cantona lookee-likee Dominic Purcell – people seem terribly keen to bring the Count back, only to completely reimagine his image and demeanour. Very strange…

Rather cutely, in Goyer’s film Drac has been hiding out in Iraq, from whence he is extracted by a posse of vampires led by Parker Posey (who seems less keen on drinking blood than chewing up the scenery), as part of their scheme to bring about the ultimate vampiric domination of the world. The exact details of this scheme are a bit vague, but less so is their plan to sort out their dhampiric nemesis Blade (Wesley Snipes) by framing him for a series of murders he… well, he actually has been committing in the course of the previous two movies. Sure enough Blade is apprehended by the FBI and seems destined for a long spell in a rubber cell.

But help is at hand in the form of younger and chattier vampire-slayers Abigail (Jessica Biel), who’s the Buffy-clone daughter of Blade’s mentor Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds). They also have a scheme: theirs is to rid the world of vampires forever, and it’s a bit less vague than the bad guys’. And so the stage is set for the ultimate undead rumble: Blade vs Dracula!

Okay, this may sound a rather goofy premise given the Blade series’ gritty track record but in a strange way it does go back to Blade’s earliest roots, as a supporting character in the Marvel comic Tomb of Dracula. (Sadly, Snipes does not sport the bubble-afro hairdo Blade was fond of back in the early 70s.) And one of the distinctive things about Blade: Trinity is that it is rather more comic-bookish in tone than the first two films – partly this is down to the presence of comic-book characters like King, but it’s also there in the tone of the plot and many of the action sequences.

This is hardly surprising given that, in addition to being one of Hollywood’s preferred writers of superhero movies, David Goyer writes very good comic books himself. But what is a bit unexpected is the way he falls victim to a syndrome quite common to graphic writers writing film scripts: this movie is packed with interesting ideas, but none of them are really properly developed before being abandoned in favour of something new. And he commits the basic error of focussing on new characters rather than the established stars: Snipes’ rumoured gripes about lack of screen time are arguably justified – Abigail and King get a lot of attention and most of the best lines.

But having said that, there are a lot of nice scenes and memorable moments – my favourite being the point where Dracula goes into a specialist horror store and, understandably aghast at seeing all the crappy merchandise with his name on it, slaughters everyone inside. And Snipes gives arguably his best and most rounded performance as Blade to date, making it even more of a pity he doesn’t get more to do. In the end the film resolves itself through FX-laced martial arts sequences, as usual, which Goyer handles well enough.

Compared to the first movie this is a worthy enough piece of work, but it fails to approach the quality of Guillermo del Toro’s Blade 2 in any way. Blade: Trinity will probably entertain existing fans of the franchise, but newcomers may well be left wondering exactly what the fuss is all about.

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