Blade: Trinity (2004) – Directed by David S. Goyer – Starring Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Dominic Purcell, Triple H, Callum Keith Rennie, Natasha Lyonne, John Michael Higgins, Patton Oswalt, James Remar, and Eric Bogosian.
BLADE: TRINITY is not the fall from the mountaintop that Spider-Man 3 represents, but it is a definite step down in quality from the first two movies in the vampire-hunting franchise.
The main problem with TRINITY is that it moves BLADE firmly into superhero territory; watching this film is like watching a comic book company try to save an under-selling book by tossing in a bunch of guest stars and trying to make the book look more like everything else in the company line. It just doesn’t work; if anything, TRINITY feels like it should be the fourth movie in the series (not that there is a fourth movie in the series) and in the early stages of the film I feel like I’ve missed a story. The BLADE franchise, then, is like picking up a few old back issues of a now defunct comic, maybe from one of those awesome East Coast Comics ads that used to run in Marvel books all the time, and digging issues 18 through 25, but then being mostly confused by issue 64.
Things progress too quick here, and there’s an acute sense of David S. Goyer (who wrote all the BLADE movies and directs TRINITY) jumping too far ahead in his overall story. Before you’ve even settled into your seat, we’ve got some vampires digging up Dracula and Whistler being killed, and then Blade is hanging out with Patton Oswalt. It just moves too fast and too unconvincingly.
Danica Talos (Parker Posey) leads a group of vampires to look for Dracula in the-
I just can’t go on without saying how much I hate Parker Posey in this movie. She’s not an actress that does a whole lot for me even on her good days (mostly in the Christopher Guest films), but she’s intolerable here. Talos’ vibe is all “I’m better than you because I’m a bitch who doesn’t care,” and Posey does little to convince me she’s not on total cruise control in this movie. It’s not all Posey’s fault, of course, because she seems to deliver exactly what Goyer wants out of Talos, but whether the fault likes more with Goyer or Posey, I can’t stand the scenes with her in them.
The problems for Blade (Wesley Snipes) and Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) start when Blade kills a human familiar of the vampires. This comes to the attention of the FBI, who lead a raid on Blade and Whistler’s HQ which ends with the mechanic/father figure dying for good this time. The FBI captures and interrogates Blade, but the two chief interrogators interview Blade like they learned their cop techniques from watching reruns of bad cop movies.
It’s awful stuff, and we’re saved from seeing even more of it (or John Michael Higgins’ phony psych exam) by the arrival of Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel). There’s a decent fight scene during their escape but it’s just that – decent and nothing more.
Another area where TRINITY fails is that this movie feels more like THE NIGHTSTALKERS AND BLADE rather than BLADE AND THE NIGHTSTALKERS. The movie asks Reynolds’ charisma to carry much of the film, and while Reynolds’ is fine in that role, the film has him go overboard a bit too much. King’s outward loudness is balanced by Whistler’s inner calm, and perhaps if the film were simply theirs instead of having to include Blade, it might have worked better. As it is, however, we’ve got Blade competing for screen time with King and Whistler; as a result, where the previous two films were able to blend a variety of genres into an effective movie, TRINITY’s varying parts never coalesce.
There’s other Nightstalkers, too, but they’re here just to die.
The Nightstalkers-featuring-Blade want to stop Dracula (Dominic Purcell) and blah blah blah …
I mean, there’s nothing here unique or surprising or barely engaging. Everything is either a step down in comparison to previous films or a step sideways, and all of it is confusing. There’s really not much more to say about TRINITY. It’s not the worst film ever made, but it’s a step back from the first two films. It’s a much more straightforward superhero action movie but it’s not as enjoyable. In making the movie function more like a traditional superhero story, Goyer has robbed Blade of what makes him unique.