Vampire hunter Blade gets new allies to take on a resurrected Dracula.
Directed by David S. Goyer
Starring Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, and Ryan Reynolds
Review by Jon Kissel
Goyer’s influences, such as they are, have none of the twists or homages that Guillermo Del Toro brought to Blade II, a film infected by the Matrix but made memorable by Del Toro’s affinity for creature design. Here, Goyer doubles down on the Matrix, tosses in some Predator, and adds more nitrous-fueled car chases because Fast and the Furious is now a thing. He fails to improve or even meet the standard of Del Toro’s goofy Blood Pack with his Gen-X vampire hunting group, Ryan Reynolds’ Hannibal King is a leaden attempt at humor from an actor who, at this point, hasn’t figured out his ideal onscreen persona, and Jessica Biel is a walking Apple commercial or she would be if she had any appeal beyond the obvious kind. It’s a near thing of which sequel play, Hannibal or Whistler’s Daughter, is harder to take. Biel at least sticks to the stoic tone that Blade has established while Reynolds’ meta nonsense, starting with an opening voiceover that makes fun of a hypothetical viewer for thinking crosses would take down a vampire while of course silver and garlic do, is unbearable.
The only actor elevating their material is Parker Posey’s sub-antagonist Danica Talos, not because Goyer cracked the code on her character but because she’s leaning heavily into what little is there. Her glued-down hair look makes Posey almost unrecognizable, but she plays an arrogant bully so well in previous films like Dazed and Confused that this is a factory setting for her. Posey provides one of the only moments of nuanced emotion in Blade Trinity where she demands her male cohorts let her see Drake and saves any reservation about it til she’s alone in the elevator. It’s not a big moment, but Blade Trinity offers so little. Goyer tries out his horror chops to mild success with the sequence of Dracula taking out the Nightstalkers, an admittedly creepy sequence that owes something to Silence of the Lambs. The film also deserves some amount of credit for hitting the two-fer of both baby tossing and dog defenestration.
Blade Trinity is an ignominious end to what had been a perfectly fine franchise. No unique ideas are animating the material beyond the impulse to get some hot young (white) stars into the action, neither of whom contribute much of anything. All three films are locked in their era as representative of the shitty music culture of the late-90’s to early 2000’s. No matter how dramatically Biel brings her headphones to her ears, whatever thrash metal garbage she’s living to isn’t going to work. Like a vampire giving the sun the finger, Blade Trinity is worthy of my disdain. D+