Blade: Trinity Review
By Shawn McKenzie 12/08/2004
Aside from his work on a couple of Spike Lee movies, the Blade series is Wesley Snipes’s crowning achievement. Sure…he may have had a few other good movies, like White Men Can’t Jump and Passenger 57, but overall, most of his movies have been stinkers. Can you blame him then for signing onto another tale of the vampire who can go out in sunlight? Luckily, Blade: Trinity is a very good movie, despite a few logic flaws.
The movie starts in a desert in Iraq, and a group of vampires, led by Danica Talos (Parker Posey), her brother Asher (Callum Keith Rennie), and Jarko Grimwood (Paul Michael Levesque, a.k.a. professional WWE wrestler Triple H), attempt to resurrect the pureblooded, original, 7,000-year-old Dracula (Dominic Purcell.) He is now going by the name of Drake, and he is setting his sights on our hero Blade (Snipes.) Since he is the original, he is able to walk during the day like Blade (other subsequent generations didn’t have pure blood, and that’s why they have lost the ability to go out in the sun.) Danica and her cronies set Blade up by filming Blade while he thought he was taking out another vampire during a hunt. It turns out that the vampire he thought that he was killing was a Familiar, i.e. a human who sympathizes with the vampire movement and helps them in tasks that they are not able to do themselves (this particular Familiar tricks Blade with fake fangs and essentially sacrifices himself for the setup.) The smear stunt tape is given to the FBI, and agents Ray Cumberland (James Remar) and Wilson Hale (Michael Anthony Rawlins) are instructed by Chief Martin Vreede (Mark Berry) to capture Blade. Cumberland, Hale, and their team find Blade’s secret hideout and seize the daywalker. Unfortunately, in an effort to keep their secrets from the FBI, Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Blade’s only friend, martyrs himself in an explosion. When they take Blade back to FBI headquarters, they have Dr. Edgar Vance (John Michael Higgins), a psychologist who recently appeared on Bentley Tittle’s (Eric Bogosian) talk show, interrogate/examine him. It’s at this time which Blade realizes that not only is Vance a Familiar, but so are Cumberland, Hale, Vreede, and practically everyone else too (at least in the FBI headquarters.) Suddenly, Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) break in and rescue Blade. Abigail is Whistler’s long-lost daughter, and King is a former Familiar and sex slave of Danica (and a vampire himself, until he was cured of vampirism) who now fights against the vampires. They are a band of warriors known as the Nightstalkers, all with the goal of ridding the world of vampires. Aside from Abigail and King, the Nightstalkers consist of blind scientist Sommerfield (Natasha Lyonne) and her daughter Zoe (Haili Page), techno-geek Hedges (Patton Oswalt), Dex (Ron Selmour), Flick (Cascy Beddow), and Caulder (Christopher Heyerdahl.) When they bring Blade back to their hideout, Sommerfield tells him that she has developed a weapon named the Daystar Virus, intended to kill all vampires. It needs to be shot into Drake and mix with his pure blood, which will kill all of the vampires after that. Unfortunately, she tells Blade that he may not survive himself, since he is a half-breed. He takes the chance anyway, and he goes with Abigail to shut down Biomedica, a lab that harvests humans for their blood. Meanwhile, the vampires do some bad things to the rest of the Nightstalkers and kidnap King and Zoe in the process, taking them back to the Phoenix Towers, their headquarters. Blade and Abigail must then rescue King and Zoe, fight Drake and his followers, and kill all of the vampires with the virus, all while avoiding the FBI.
I want to get the flaws out of the way first before I tell you about how cool this movie is overall. First off…why did they decide to kill Whistler off so quickly, especially since he had been killed and brought back so many times during the first two movies? I figure that they just needed to shove him out of the way in order to introduce Abigail, but wouldn’t it have been interesting to see Whistler and Abigail fight together side-by-side? Also…silver-tipped arrows and stakes? I’ll admit (and feel free to email me if I’m wrong), it has been a while since I have seen the first two movies, and I thought that vampires had to be killed with wooden stakes through the heart.
Other than those minor quibbles, the movie ruled. Snipes, of course, is a bad mo-fo, but joined by Biel and Reynolds, they became a great team. Biel looks hot in her outfits, as Kate Beckinsale did in Underworld and Halle Berry did in Catwoman. She could also credibly fight during her fight scenes, something that Ms. Berry can’t claim to doing. As for Reynolds, I was worried about him…at first. I already knew that he was funny in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and ABC’s “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place,” but I wasn’t sure he could make it as an action star. He put on 20 pounds of muscle and looked credible in his fight scenes (it was a little hard to believe that he could actually put the smackdown on Triple H though, even with the muscles.) Combine his fighting with his comedic barbs, and you have what is known as the man who “stole the show.” FOX’s former “John Doe” star Purcell and indie queen Posey make up some good bad guys. I wish that funnymen Bogosian and Oswalt had more screen time, though Oswalt himself managed to remain funny.
The action never stops, and it is surprisingly the least bloody of the three films. In fact, if you take out the whole vampire angle, I would barely call it a horror movie at all. That might please fans of action, though it might tick off horror fans. It doesn’t matter to me…as long as the action was cool, I didn’t mind the lessoning of the horror.
Blade II director Guillermo del Toro was supposed to helm Blade: Trinity, since he did such a good job with the second movie, but he decided to direct Hellboy instead. The screenwriter, who wrote all three films, David S. Goyer, took over the reins as director, and I think he did a great job. This is only his second movie, the first one being ZigZag, a drama also starring Snipes, and I think that he has a future directing action (his next project as a screenwriter is on Batman Begins, which comes out in the summer of 2005.) As for Snipes, the Blade movies may be his ultimate career accomplishment, but as long as they keep making more of them, I’ll watch him.
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