I’ll never forget the tagline for the (supposedly) final Nightmare On Elm Street movie, Freddy’s Dead, which was “They saved the best for last”. Anyone who has seen that movie, knows it couldn’t be further away from the truth. The average thing coming from Donald Trump’s mouth is probably closer to the truth than that tagline is to that movie. I can’t quite recall other sequels using a similar tagline, but often the people behind a movie claim that the latest installment is even better than the previous one. Not really a surprise there, since seats have to be filled at the cinemas. No matter what claims are made at the time of the release, to quote X-men: Apocalypse: “at least we can all agree the third one’s always the worst”. A movie which ironically was the weakest film itself in the X-Men reboot trilogy. The same goes for another Marvel property in its third outing: Blade: Trinity.
Blade: Trinity picks up some time after the events from Blade II and puts us in the middle of the cat and mouse game Blade and vampires haven playing for at least 6 years now. The vampires have Blade mistake a human for a vampire making him an actual murderer now. Unlike vampires who turn to ash, humans leave a corpse. By releasing a video of Blade killing this human to the press it puts the F.B.I. on his tail. With Blade on the run, this gives the Vampires every possibility to execute their latest plan: resurrect the first ever vampire: Dracula. Luckily for Blade help comes from a group that also hunts vampires: The Nightstalkers.
Blade: Trinity is often regarded as one of the worst comic book movies ever made. Clearly people claiming that have never seen movies like Captain America (1992), Steel or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Blade: Trinity is never that bad, but sadly it isn’t very good either.
The movie starts off promising. We are introduced to the resurrection of a monster and then put in the middle of an action scene in which we see Blade and Whistler take on yet another bunch of vampires. These scenes have always been the heart of the series. Every flaw there was in the story telling was quickly forgotten when we got those highly stylized action scenes. Except for that one in Blade II with the CGI-ninjas, that one kinda sucked.
After that things start to go downhill. The F.B.I. raid Blade’s lair and Whistler is once again killed. This is the second time Whistler is killed in this franchise. He was also killed off in the first movie, until they decided to have him return in the sequel because the kill was off-screen. We can safely assume that he’s really dead this time because this is the last movie of the franchise and they introduce us to his daughter/successor Abigail shortly after.
The bad guys have resurrected Dracula because he, like Blade, is also able to withstand sunlight. Since all of the other vampires are descendants of Dracula, it seems as if evolution has screwed these guys over. They actually lost an important ability instead of adapting to their surroundings. The vampires see Dracula as the key to regaining the ability to become daywalkers and wiping out the human race. If this is all a bit nonsensical, you might want to bend your head around the following scene: At one point Blade, wielding a katana, is apprehended by the F.B.I. Surrounded by law enforcement not one of them fires a shot. A black man with a weapon not getting shot by the police? One of the things that make you realize you’re watching a work of fiction.
Blade: Trinity’s weakest points are the Nightstalkers and a rather bland villain combined with a sloppy script. Both Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds are rather useless additions and feel out of place in the Blade universe. Biel is only here to pose as eye-candy while promoting the Apple iPod in one of the most shameless examples of product placement in the history of cinema. She even makes playlists for her iPod on a Macbook at one point when preparing for a fight.
Reynolds takes his brand of comedy and creates a chatty superhero in Hannibal King. While he is funny at certain moments he feels out of place in the rather serious Blade universe. His shtick becomes tedious by the moment the final act kicks in. Reynolds is the type of comic actor who isn’t able to turn mediocre stuff into something good. So he is really dependent on the material and that material isn’t very good here.
But the biggest disappointment of all is the villain: Dracula. he is played without any style or flair by Dominic Purcell. An Australian actor who is most known for his incredibly thick neck and his role in the TV-series Prison Break. Dracula has always been portrayed as a charismatic figure, sometimes flamboyant even. That’s not the case with Purcell who makes Dracula look like the bouncer of a sleazy strip joint where they have a one-legged midget performing as the star attraction. Not only is he pretty boring, his whole purpose in this movie feels forced. Supposedly he’s the big bad and able to take on Blade, yet when they have their first encounter halfway through the movie he actually flees the scene. Now they could have chosen to end their first encounter with Dracula nearly killing Blade so that the end fight actually has any tension since it’s established Dracula is more powerful than Blade. They actually choose to do the exact opposite by having Dracula manage to escape by using one of the laziest tropes in the book: put a kid in danger so that the good guy has no choice than to shift the focus of his/her attention.
I hate it when children are put in danger. Not because I care so much for the kid, but because kids in movies are sacred ground. You don’t hurt or kill them them on-screen. Teenagers are fair game, but kids most certainly not. When was the last time you saw a kid being killed off in a movie? Unless it was a killer kid (Mikey, The Good Son, the whole Children of the Corn franchise) my guess is: never.
In Blade: Trinity Dracula at one point kidnaps an infant and throws him of a skyscraper so Blade has to catch him. Dracula is of course gone the next moment, but why? Why not kill Blade the moment he is occupied with catching the infant? It’s just not this movie that uses this plot-mechanism, but it is a rather annoying one and writers should stop doing it. It should have especially been avoided in this movie as they already used it in the first Blade.
Then again, maybe this entire movie should have been avoided.