***1/2 (out of 5)
December 8, 2004
Wesley Snipes as BLADE
Kris Kristofferson as ABRAHAM WHISTLER
Ryan Reynolds as HANNIBAL KING
Jessica Biel as ABIGALE WHISTLER
Parker Posey as DANICA TALOS
Triple H as JARKO GRIMWOOD
Studio: New Line Cinema
Directed by: David S. Goyer
BY KEVIN CARR
This film marks the directorial debut of the painted screenwriter David S. Goyer, whom I’ve been a fan of for many years. Goyer is the mind behind not only the “Blade” films, but also “Dark City,” one of the most underrated films of the 1990s.
Still, you always have to approach a second sequel with a little trepidation. After all, it’s rare for a sequel to be any good, and “Blade II” was pretty crummy in my book. I do find it odd that now that “Blade Trinity” has come out, critics are suddenly praising “Blade II” in comparison. You won’t get any of that retrospective kindness from me. While I thought the vampire hybrid concept from the second film to be clever, there were too many problems with it.
Some of the sins that were committed in “Blade II” are thankfully absent in the new film. For example, there’s none of that awful CGI fighting characters that so permeated “Blade II.” There’s also a better villain. Oh, he’s not great, but he’s better than the freaky looking king of the vampire hybrids from before. Of course, no one can hold a candle to Stephen Dorff’s portrayal of Deacon Frost in the first film, but what did you expect.
In this film, Blade (Wesley Snipes) is tricked into killing a human on videotape, and soon he becomes public enemy number one. Kris Kristofferson reprises (again!) his role of Whistler, shocking a public who has surely thought he had keeled over by now. But apparently he’s in the “I’m Gonna Live Forever, No Matter How I Look” club with people like Keith Richards and Nick Nolte.
The folks trying to destroy Blade this time around is a group of rogue vampires who have resurrected Dracula (Dominic Purcell), the first vampire, to make a new race that can rule the world.
Okay, I didn’t say the plot was great. It’s kinda like cough medicine. If you just deal with the fact you have to swallow it, it ain’t bad.
Ultimately, “Blade: Trinity” isn’t as good as the first movie. “Blade” was far from perfect, but it was an excellent blend of vampires and action. This new “Blade” is closer to the action-horror aspect than the atrocious “Blade II.” Still, “Blade: Trinity” is completely different than the first two movies. In comparison to the first, it’s not as good. But compared to “Blade II,” this is actually pretty decent.
It does bring back a little bit of the magic of the first film’s action sequences, although Wesley Snipes’ forced deep voice is a little silly. And while Snipes has a great look for Blade, he needs a decent supporting cast to make things really work. That was missing in “Blade II,” but can be found here – at least to some degree.
Indie film darling Parker Posey plays the lead vampire. Initially, she’s terrible, sending me into flashbacks to “Josie and the Pussycats.” However, as things move on and she’s able to settle in, it’s not bad. Of course, when your competition for top bad guy is Triple H, it’s not much of a contest.
Ryan Reynolds, whom some might recognize from “Van Wilder,” plays Hannibal King, one of the young vampire hunters. I’ll admit that he’s channeling Jason Lee a little too much. Heck, once you throw in the scruffy beard and cocky attitude, he’s practically playing Jason Lee in the film. But where I normally find smart-ass characters like this one to be grating on the nerves, I actually thought he was funny. He has some great one-liners, and his interaction with Parker Posey works very nicely, for what it’s worth.
You can’t look at “Blade: Trinity” as a horror film, or even a straight action film. It’s really more of a comedy than anything else. And while the normally very talented supporting cast (including Natasha Lyonne and Patton Oswalt) is wasted, Jessica Biel as Whistler’s daughter looks much better in tight leather pants than Kris Kristofferson ever did.