After Blade II, which was a great vampire action film, I wanted to see more of the character of Blade (Wesley Snipes). He almost got a real love interest in that film, and I wondered what could be done with that angle. I questioned if he could develop more, or if he could become an even greater hunter. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he became a vampire-human-Reaper hybrid after Blade II ended. After watching Blade: Trinity, I retract my previous desire to see more, as I’ve since realized that it would be unnecessary.
Maybe the problem was the story, which is just as basic as the first one. Or possibly the fact that writer/director David S. Goyer (who wrote the first two Blade screenplays) decided to forgo the mythos that had been crafted in the previous films. Hey, it might even be the studio’s fault for rejecting the initial concept of having the film take place in a post-apocalyptic world where Blade would be the humans’ only hope for survival. I’m willing to call this the worst film in the Blade trilogy, although it still wasn’t terrible — just incredibly unnecessary and moronic.
The film opens up with a group of vampires digging around in a desert. They discover a buried vampire named Dracula (Dominic Purcell). Yes, that Dracula. Well, a re-imagining of that Dracula. This one has been around for thousands of years, can morph his body, walk around in the sunlight, and isn’t really affected by any of those silly vampire weaknesses that pain the creatures in this series. Once again, the basic idea is that the evil vampires want to become “daywalkers”, just like Blade can. If that’s all they can aspire to, isn’t their existence kind of boring? Do we really need to see them trying to be able to live in daylight again?
The answer is an emphatic “no.” Like the first Blade, this plot is basically there just to have a bunch of action scenes. This time though, they serve a secondary purpose: To allow Ryan Reynolds to make wise-cracking jokes whenever he gets the opportunity. Yes, Blade gets new partners in this film, and they come from the likes of Hannibal King (Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel). Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) is killed off very early on, so his daughter — who nobody knew about and her existence gets explained away in one sentence — takes his place (kind of).
Now, killing Abraham seems like a bad idea, just like it was in the first Blade. It was such a bad idea then, that they retconned it in Blade II. So why do that again? Regardless, he dies during an FBI raid, because Blade has attracted lots of attention after killing a human in public view, despite thinking he was a vampire. (He’s fooled by false teeth.) Now, wasn’t Blade able to tell the difference between a vampire and human because of how they move and smell? Wasn’t that explained in the first film? So how is he fooled by false teeth?
There are other moments where it seemed like Goyer didn’t even watch the first two films, let alone write the screenplay for them. I would have thought that he’d be able to come up with something interesting for Snipes to do with his role, but instead, there’s absolutely no development to his character, and, as it turns out, we probably would have been better without Blade: Trinity being made.
I will say that this is the funniest Blade film so far. Whether or not that’s a good thing will be up to you, but it definitely tries to be humorous, with various results. The tone is definitely lighter this time around, although I don’t know if that’s a positive. If this wasn’t a movie with a previously established canon, it might have worked as a very good action-comedy. But since this is a Blade film, I don’t think it works as well as it could have.
Really, what should have happened here was a few things. Firstly, it shouldn’t have been a Blade film. Secondly, re-work the first half into giving us a new characters, and give them things to work on throughout the picture. Finally, have the final action scene more impressive than the ones we see earlier. The first fight scene is the best, which isn’t a good thing. Blade gets a cool new gadget that acts like a whip with a blade on the end. He acknowledges it, thanks Abraham for making it, and then it is never used again. Judging from the first scene alone, I would have called this the best of the series. It’s a shame that it just got worse as it progressed.
I also need to wonder why Blade needed sidekicks, or why the FBI angle was introduced at all. At one point, he gets taken into questioning, after having his hideout blown up. The next day, he manages to just waltz right into a giant building, right after escaping from their custody in a huge firefight. And then the FBI are never mentioned again. It just smells of bad writing and directing, which was never much of a problem before. Maybe Goyer had too much on his plate.
As for giving Blade a couple of sidekicks, well, they end up taking up far more time than they should. This isn’t really a film about Blade. Instead, it’s about a jokester and a girl who fights vampires while listening to music on her iPod. (Which I wager was included just to give us a reason for all of the hip-hop songs that populate the soundtrack.) Blade doesn’t get enough time to do anything really great, and ends up getting relegated to the background by the end.
I suppose that the action scenes are, for the most part, fine. They work, functioning just fine at being entertaining. But that’s it. There’s nothing special to them, and they were done better in previous Blade films, especially because they weren’t so reliant on hand-to-hand combat cut up so that you can barely see what’s going on. The opening scene is probably the best in the series though, which gets your hopes up really high. Like I said, the action works, but it’s nothing special and ends up being worse than earlier installments.
Blade: Trinity is a capable action film, but a pointless one. We didn’t need any more of this character, at least, not if this is how he’s going to be presented. The action works, but that’s as good as it generally gets, the secondary characters end up overtaking Blade, and the tone is far lighter than this material deserves. If this wasn’t a Blade film, it might have been pretty good. But since it is, using characters who have been given much better, we have to look at it as such. It passes the time, but that’s it. There isn’t any need to give it a look, unless you desperately need to hear Ryan Reynolds joking around for a couple of hours.