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2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
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"Blade: Trinity"

Directed by David S. Goyer.
Written by David S. Goyer.
Starring Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson.
Release Year:  2004
Review Date:  12/9/04

Folks-- 

In a similar fashion to the disappointing finale to "The Matrix" trilogy, "Blade: Trinity" takes the excitement, the goodwill, the great laughs and the sleek look of the first two "Blade" movies and flushes it all down the fucking toilet.

It's not all bad, though--with a great soundtrack by The RZA and the sex appeal of Jessica Biel, "Blade: Trinity" is certainly watchable, and it's certainly...listenable.  This time around our man Blade (Wesley Snipes) is wanted by the FBI after killing roughly 1,100 vampires over the last few years and FINALLY catching their attention.  After he is apprehended by the feds and summarily broken out by a couple of vampire-hunting kids (Biel and Ryan Reynolds, from "Van Wilder"), Blade and his new friends learn of an evil plot:  the vampire Danica (Parker Posey...Parkey Posey???) is trying to raise the world's OV (original vampire) Drake (Dominic Purcell) from the dead to kill Blade and vampire hunters everywhere.  Much bloodshed ensues.

I'll put it right out there:  I thought that the first two "Blade" movies were great.  The original "Blade" was great, Stephen Dorff was great for the only time in his whole career as the bad guy, the opening sequence is fantastic, and the fight scenes are whoopin'.  "Blade II" was a great follow-up; the addition of a team for Blade to fight alongside added that je ne sais quoi to the action scenes; Ron Perlman was great, the soundtrack was awesome, the whole thing was class and the look was sleek.  My thinking was that for a third "Blade" movie, leaving well enough alone would make for a great formula, but new director David S. Goyer (he wrote the first two "Blade" films) decided to give us slightly less action, hammy lines, cheap-looking special effects and...

...Parker Posey as our lead baddie?

Who allowed this to happen?  Parker Posey, Ms. Indie Queen herself, as the bad girl in a big-budget studio blowout?  First off, you can tell that Posey is actually trying to give her scenes depth--no matter how shallow, the effort IS there--and for a movie like this where everyone else is dialing it in, she looks totally out of place.  Secondly, I think she's kinda ugly, so having to look at her awkward facial lines all movie long is not pleasant.  Not pleasant at all.  Yeah, yeah, I'm not gracing the cover of GQ either, but come on, you don't see anybody trying to put me onscreen for people to suffer through.  I'm trying to figure out if she is married to another "Blade" cast member, or the director, or somebody, cause this is just weird.  (It's also weird to see John Michael Higgins here as a psychologist, since he and Posey also starred together in "A Mighty Wind", comedies through and through.)

Anyway, "Blade: Trinity" suffers through other problems as well--a very bland opening number (after the other two films started off with solid sequences); bad supporting acting led by anyone playing an FBI agent in this film or any of Danica's evil cohorts; not-so-tough fight scenes.  Watching Reynolds throw punches was making me laugh; and, at 42, Snipes might not be able to do this kind of part as well as he could even five years ago.  There are the requisite man-toy scenes, where Blade and his team go over the new weapons, the new gadgets, the new car; there's a sweet four-barrel shotgun-looking thing, but then they never use it.  And, the other new gadgets just never wow you.  Even the end fight scene featuring Blade and Drake doesn't deliver; it's a so-so swordfight that isn't...well, it just ain't good.

And then you get your standard-issue throwaway scenes...but, strangely, they weren't thrown away!  Take, for example, a sequence where Blade and Co. discover a blood-bank farm that the vampires are using to feed their kind.  Making this discovery, one would think that Blade and his gang would have to fight through hordes of bad guys to make a discovery that could change the scope of the vampire war, then make that discovery and use it to take down the bad guys.  At least, you would think that.

Instead, Blade walks in, tells THE ONLY BAD GUY WORKING THERE to flip a switch, and then instead of saving the humans being milked for their blood or just blowing up the facility all together, what does Blade do?  He gets in his car and drives off.  I wish I had been sitting in the theater with people I knew, so I could have looked sane when I wondered aloud "What the fuck was that scene about????"  Couldn't they at least have provided a few security guards for Blade to fuck up?  Maybe a few sentries that Blade had to shoot?  Something???

As the last action film of the year, I had high hopes for "Blade: Trinity" and my hopes were definitely not met.  The soundtrack is hot, though...I found myself bobbing the head to a song by ODB and a couple of tracks by The Crystal Method throughout the film, even if some of the loud onscreen action wasn't quite as strong as the tracks.  Guess this means I won't be buying the forthcoming three-DVD box set.

Rating:  Rental

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09