BLADE: TRINITY (David S. Goyer, 2004)
Wesley Snipes hunts vampires for the third time in BLADE: TRINITY. As if it isn’t enough having bloodsuckers perpetually chase you and keeping in check your own vampiric urges, now Blade has the FBI pursuing him. Blade’s nemeses set him up for the murder of a human as a means of beginning their endgame. The vampires have found the original Dracula. Some convoluted mythology explains how he can pave the way for them to walk during the day. Assisting Blade in the fight are the Nightstalkers, led by Whistler’s daughter Abigail, played by Jessica Biel.
Guillermo del Toro’s BLADE 2 improved upon the original. He blended the right mix of comic book action and horror while advancing the BLADE mythology. David S. Goyer, who has written all three films in the series, takes over the director’s reins for BLADE: TRINITY and undoes everything that del Toro accomplished. This visually flat, dramatically incoherent film puts a stake through the heart of the series. In one of the odder developments, Blade becomes an afterthought in his own film. He may not be about much more than his warrior skills and the push/pull of his mixed physiology, but compared to the one-liner machines that are the Nightstalkers, he’s a fully realized character. BLADE: TRINITY devotes an inordinate amount of time to the Nightstalkers and their wisecracking ways. Goyer must have wanted to make a comedy. The jokes and dialogue sound like cut-rate Kevin Smith material. That’s most noticeable with Ryan Reynolds, as Nightstalker Hannibal King, and his note-for-note stealing of Jason Lee’s schtick. Rather than the salvation BLADE: TRINITY delivers the destruction of the comic book’s cinematic treatment.
(Review first aired on the December 21, 2004 NOW PLAYING)