Blade: Trinity

written and directed by David Goyer

starring Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds and Parker Posey

review by Stephen Notley

Blade is and always has been a tremendously empty character. His mom was bitten by a vampire while pregnant with Blade, so he's half-human, half-vampire, meaning he kicks ass like a vampire but he also can walk around during the daytime -- the "Daywalker", as the vampires reverently refer to him. He has no personality, wears shades, and chops vampires into burning cinders with his sword, often with the limping help of Kris Kristofferson. In Blade he ember-ized a bunch of regular vampires and turned Stephen Dorff into a huge blood-ball. In Blade II, under the direction of Hellboy-maker Guillermo de Toro, Blade got to crack a joke or two while hooking up with a bunch of new high-tech vampires seeking his help against a buncha nasty ur-vampires, ugly split-faced Predator-jawed creeps that eat vampires like they eat us.

So what's Blade get to do this time in Blade: Trinity? If anything, it's something of a step sideways from Blade II. Actual character growth or drama is out of the question, of course; we're just looking for another iteration of the basic Blade formula of high-octane vampire-chopping and fancy motorcycle stunts. So in Blade: T we've got Blade and A) a team of young hi-tech wisecrackin' anti-vampire humans fighting B) a demographically similar team of hi-tech wisecrackin' vampires as well as C) Dracula. In the course of mixing and matching these elements we go from vampire-chop to cycle-stunt in reasonable if unenlightening order.

On the human side is Jessica Biel as Abigail Whistler looking and acting a lot like Jennifer Garner's Elektra in Daredevil, whipping out her electro-bow that's actually more of a laser-bat'leth; her big character trait is that she pumps up her iPod with hits before fights, presumably on the theory that it's better in battle to have music blaring in your ears all the time than to be able to hear what's going on around you. Also fighting in the name of humanness is Canadian Ryan Reynolds as Jason Lee-like Hannibal King, former vampire now tough-talking would-be pretty-boy vampire killer.

The vampires, on the other hand, are led by --get this-- *Parker Posey*, who sneers and bitches around with her vampy troupe made of up Canadian Callum Keith Rennie as well as a big beefy wrestler-guy named Paul Levesque with over a hundred WWF listings on IMDB. Dracula, meanwhile, is one of the mishier-mashier incarnations we've seen in a while, sometimes named "Drake" or "Dagon", part CGIish monster split-face demon, mostly loose-Italian-shirt-wearing Dominic Purcell.

Put it all together and what do you get? Not a lot, really. There's some yabber about an anti-vampire virus as well as a throwaway vampire "Final Solution", but with Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey and Dominic Purcell all running around you can't get away from the feeling that really, it's just a bunch of children.  Wesley Snipes out-olds everyone else in the movie by at least ten years and basically he just bears down, ignores all the kids' squawking and gets to work chopping vampires.

Certainly, boof! Explode they do, chopped vampires aplenty. Whatever software gadget they've cooked up to turn people into exploding charred cinder-skeletons does a real good job and they can do it lots of times, so expect lots of flying burning bones. There's lots of new anti-vampire gadgets with cutesy names like "Sundogs", plenty of pseudo-funny wisecracks between vampire torturer and plucky human torturee. Blade does actually have a fair number of kickass moves, meaningless as they are. He does a full day's chopping in what, if it were a comic, would be an okay transitional issue but nothing special. As a movie it's a popcorner, diverting enough while watching it, sliding effortlessly from the mind once done.