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Blade: Trinity (2004)
Rated R

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, and Jessica Biel

Rating:
*1/2
out of
*****

After breaking out in one of the better comic book films in recent memory (1998's Blade), the Blade movies have degenerated with each entry in the series. Blade II was a mess of CGI-effects-heavy fight scenes and a suspenseless plot. 2004's Blade: Trinity is completely disconnected from the first two films. The plot-driven action of the first film is nowhere to be found and the energy of the second (one of the few good things about that film) is also missing.

This time around, Blade (Wesley Snipes) and Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) find themselves hunted by the FBI. Vampires, who fear they can't destroy Blade alone, have manipulated humans into thinking Blade is a serial killer who must be stopped. When his hideout is infiltrated by FBI agents and police, Whistler is killed and Blade is captured. When all looks lost, Blade is rescued by a group of vampire hunters called the Nightstalkers, led by Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), who happens to be Whistler's daughter.

The vampires, led by Danica Talos (Parker Posey), one of the most ridiculous villainesses of all-time, have awakened the original vampire, Dracula (Dominic Purcell). Apparently, the vampires' bloodline has become diluted over time and the blood of the original vampire could help them finally overcome humans as the dominant species on the planet. Yawn.

Despite the movie's two hour running time, I actually had trouble recalling the simplistic plot. What I can remember is the excessive amount of screentime devoted to Ryan Reynolds' Hannibal King delivering bad jokes and sarcastic comments or Jessica Biel's Abigail loading up playlists for her iPod. The action sequences are poorly edited and not terribly inventive or interesting.

First-time director David S. Goyer, who also penned the script for this and the first two Blade films, seems as if he's trying to hide the fact that Snipes may not be doing his own stunt work in the film in even the simplest of sequences. There are many shots of Blade fighting that are either interrupted by objects in the foreground that serve to block our view or we see Blade's body, but not his head, in many instances.

Aside from the uninteresting action, there's a lot of derivative stuff going on here. When Dracula is in his non-human form, he appears to be a rip-off of Predator, with a multiple-mandible jaw and a massive physique. The fight scene in the police station recalled a similar fight in The Terminator. Thankfully, there are no bullet-time effects (ala The Matrix) that I can recall. Then again, this film is so forgettable, there might have been.

It's a shame that the last of the Blade films is nowhere near as good as the original in any aspect. Aside from having the attractive Jessica Biel, this film has nothing to recommend it over the previous two entries. Disappointing.

Trivia: When Hannibal King is telling Blade about the return of Dracula, he shows Blade a copy of Tomb of Dracula #55. Marvel's "Tomb of Dracula" comic (#10 to be precise) was the title in which Blade made his first appearance in the early-1970s. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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