Title: Blade: Trinity
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Play time: 1h 53min
Director: David S. Goyer
Screenwriters: David S. Goyer
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Parker Posey
Going Back to Roots – Blade: Trinity
Say what you will about the misbegotten Blade franchise, but for better or worse, it keeps you on your toes. Stephen Norrington’s original was a miserable, humorless, entirely incoherent disaster. The sequel, in the hands of the talented Guillermo del Toro, more or less abandoned the source material’s trite superhero and martial arts trappings in favor of a distinctive sort of epic goth feel that, I liked. The reins of Blade Trinity were handed to David S. Goyer, the screenwriter of the first two films, and once again something unexpected happens: the movie veers back toward the first film’s traditional superhero action but also adds a level of bizarre camp. I didn’t like it — the third act lost me entirely – but it does some interesting things.
Opinion: Blade Trinity Better Then His Predecessors
One of those interesting things – indeed, the main reason that I cannot dismiss the movie entirely – is the casting of two Christopher Guest regulars in prominent, showy roles. Not having looked at the cast list prior to going in, the early appearance of Parker Posey as a villainous vampires, scowling, hissing and baring her fangs at every opportunity, ranks among the year’s most pleasant surprises. Every subsequent scene in which she appeared reduced me to a helpless pile of giggles. Casting her, and John Michael Higgins as a psychiatrist, took genuine imagination (and I could give Posey my first-born child for having the guts to take the role).
If the screenplay had been half as visionary as the casting, we might have been dealing with some sort of classic. Instead, it introduces some impressive concepts and imagery only to abandon them for tedious martial arts face-offs. The opening sequence introduces Dracula, the Original Vampire, as a bad-ass villain, a seemingly invincible monster with what looks like armor and a jaw that unhinges a half dozen times. He is even able to morph into human form. It is not unreasonable, at this point, to expect this to go somewhere at least marginally cool, but no: Dracula is played and vanquished in the most unremarkable way possible. Blade II had a somewhat similar villain in super-vampire Nomak (Luke Goss), but at least he had a compelling backstory and a suitable send-off.
Young & Attractive Hunters
One thing that was painfully obvious from the first two films is that Blade himself is boring (though I am told this is not the case in the comic books). Actually, that’s not an entirely worthless strategy: surrounding a bland hero with interesting supporting characters and goings-on could work, and did, to a degree, del Toro’s movie. Here, Goyer introduces two prominent players – young, attractive vampire hunters played by Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds. The former is a decent example of female ass-kickery, though she is all too often appropriated for iPod product placement; the latter, though, is utterly insufferable, cracking fart jokes and being hip when hipness is uncalled for. There is a scene where he gets beaten to a bloody pulp, and it is quite cathartic.
I was with Blade Trinity for quite a while, actually, grooving on the absurdity and anxiously awaiting the next appearance of Parker Posey. Goyer’s direction is undistinctive, but he has a tolerable sense of the action, and none of the set pieces are botched. There’s a city chase scene that’s fairly terrific, involving lots of bursting through walls and eventually the fate of an innocent baby. One chilling image is a logical extension of the vampire myth that’s reminiscent of The Matrix, except more immediate. But the series of climaxes that closes out the film is poor by any measure — rote, boring zombie action. None of the leads are able to unleash martial arts moves impressive enough to hold on to our attention through the interminable fight scenes.
Was Blade Trinity Any Good?
I like this kind of stuff, I really, do, and what I’d like to see from this franchise is an attempt to develop its mythology. Much like The Mummy, the stories here consist of a series of disparate elements thrown together for the purpose of making an action movie. Whoever winds up responsible for the inevitable next installment should make an effort to create not just heroes, villains and concepts, but a world for them to inhabit.