The ZONE genre worldwide books movies
the science fiction
fantasy horror &
mystery website
 
 
home  articles  profiles  interviews  essays  books  movies  competitions  guidelines  issues  links  archives  contributors  email

Blade Trinity (2004)
Writer and director: David S. Goyer

review by Jonathan McCalmont

In 1998, a relatively small action movie using an old Marvel license was released starring Wesley Snipes, a solid second-tier action hero. The film wasn't that successful initially and wasn't heavily marketed. Word of mouth spread and it did well on video and DVD. Well enough to merit a sequel, Blade II, helmed by a hot Spanish horror director. In six years a lot has changed, what was once fresh and stylish now comes across as stale and tired. So very, very tired.

Let's look at the plot. Blade and his friends learn that Dracula (the first vampire and all round hardnut) is back. Dracula turns up at their base and kills some of Blade's friends so Blade and the surviving friends go and kill Dracula. Oh and there's also some extra stuff about vampires farming humans for their blood but Dracula never mentions it and seems to have nothing to do with him. The anaemic main plot and the seemingly completely unconnected evil plan smack of last minute re-writes as they literally have nothing to do with each other. However, while such plotting would be enough to sink a normal film, in this film it is actually one of the most solid elements.

The dialogue in Blade Trinity makes badly dubbed East European porn look like Tarantino and Ferrero Rocher adverts look like Samuel Beckett. People either spout clichés ("All their plans are coming to fruition") or gibberish ("Take a sugar-coated leap off the end of my cock"). Hannibal King (played by Van Wilder's Ryan Reynolds) continuously delivers one-liners so unfunny that the writers resort to making jokes about how unfunny his jokes are and Parker Posey, one time darling of the indie film crowd, gurns and says things like "will everyone please stop using the word 'dick'... it's making me envious." Such crimes against the language of Shakespeare, while hilarious in and of themselves, are unimportant if the film manages to be cool.

The strength of the original Blade was how stylish it was. From the thumping electro and hip-hop soundtrack to the look of the characters to the style of direction, the film oozed cool. Six years down the line and it's the film's look that says the most of the lack of creativity of the makers. Every visual cliché and trick is wheeled out suggesting that as a director Goyer has seen lots of stylish films but actually has no real idea how to be stylish. Dracula walks slowly down a crowded street, the other people speeded up so they scurry past him, characters wear sunglasses and walk in slow motion towards the camera, I'm pretty sure I even saw some 'bullet time' in there. We even have scenes of Blade brooding as he looks out over the water at a distant city and a female character gratuitously gets her kit off and broods in the shower. Musically, the writers are so desperate to make the film look hip that we get a scene explaining how one of the characters likes to download really cool MP3s and listen to them on her iPod whilst fighting (and then we get slow motion scenes of her putting her earphones in).

The action scenes use quickly edited together in the MTV-style making the action difficult to follow at times. The martial arts of the first two films take a back seat to gadgetry that invariably has compound names with the words 'light', 'star' or 'sun' in them. Even the set pieces are clichéd like the big fight against police as the characters break out of prison and the scene where Whistler's daughter is introduced luring vampires into attacking her on an abandoned rail platform.

Every element of this film has been seen before and while Goyer freely 'borrows' from other sources finds himself unable to say anything new about the vampire genre that hadn't been said in 1998. In Goyer's world vampires are still uber-stylish predators who hunt against a background of industrial music while wearing black trenchcoats and sunglasses at night. Goyer ignores truly innovative takes on vampires from series like Buffy and Ultraviolet and remains utterly stuck in the mid 1990s. That is this film's biggest crime; a failure to be cool. A cool action film can make the viewer forgive a lot of flaws but Blade Trinity's lack of cool merely highlights the film's weaknesses.

I'm giving this a two-star rating because, despite its flaws and its utter stupidity, I find it difficult to truly hate this film. It's like a screen version of someone's vampire role-playing game campaign in its unflinching geeky and derivative nature. The dialogue is even so bad that I suspect it might develop a cult following. A few years from now you might find yourself sitting at a sci-fi convention shrieking out dialogue like "cock-juggling thunder-cunt" between gales of laughter. This film is almost bad enough to be good... but not quite... so it's just bad.
Blade Trinity

Please support this
website - buy stuff
using these links:
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
Send it
W.H. Smith

home  articles  profiles  interviews  essays  books  movies  competitions  guidelines  issues  links  archives  contributors  email
copyright © 2001 - 2004 Pigasus Press