There is so very much that is so very irksome about BLADE TRINITY, the third installment in the Blade series and the one with the least reason to exist, that one scarcely knows where to begin. One is tempted to sum it all up with a short sentence warning potential audiences to stay away, but I find venting cathartic after cinematic experiences this unpleasant, hence the rant that follows forthwith.
For those not up on the mythos of the series, and theres no shame there, believe me, Blade, played by co-producer Wesley Snipes, is a hybrid. Half-vampire, half-human, hes an elaborately tattooed killing machine out to rid the world of as many full-blooded vampires as possible with the help of Whistler (and increasingly cadaverous-looking Kris Kristofferson) and the nifty weapons he develops. As the vampires sworn enemy, naturally Blade has earned their enmity. That he also takes out their human minions has earned him the FBIs enmity, too, not to mention the local police. As if that werent bad enough, the vampires have come up with the idea of resurrecting the ur-vampire, who sometimes goes by the name of Dracula, and setting him on Blades trail.
There are things that one can forgive in a film, for example the cheap props, the cheaper sets, and the bad lighting that makes it all look even worse that one finds here. What cant be forgiven is a lack of imagination and mostly stale dialogue coupled with performances that range from bored to boldly narcoleptic. There is a palpable lack of energy evinced by all concerned, even in the heat of the most elaborate action sequences. People and things burst into scenes, burst out of scenes, sometimes burst into flames, and yet its hard to credit that anyones pulse rate has risen above the bare minimum for the metabolic processes involved to continue. From Snipes impression of a block of granite to Parker Posey, in a series of increasingly scary hair-dos, giving a stumbling, zoned-out performance that could easily be interpreted as a cry for help. One cant help but wonder why the fine folks at I-Pod didnt want their product, which is shamelessly flogged throughout the proceedings, CGI-ed out of the flick and offer to pay for the process if necessary.
In the interests of absolute fairness, there were two things that I liked very much about BLADE TRINITY. One was the vampire Pomeranian, which had an irresistibly piquant kitchiness. The other was Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King, a fellow vampire hunter or, as he prefers to be called in a nod to cult television, Nightstalker. There is a delicious self-mocking heroism to him, as though he were in a completely different film, or more accurately, universe, the one created by Joss Whedon for Buffy and Angel. King can take out a horde of bloodsuckers with ease, and with just as much aplomb suggest to Blade that he try blinking once in a while. Then apologize for the flip remark by saying hes had a lot of sugar that day. Weve been promised that this is the last installment of BLADE, the series. Cant we make Kingl the hero of his own film series? Please? It would be not just a step, but a giant leap in the right direction, and one that would let the healing begin.