..

BLADE: TRINITY

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Dominic Purcell, Triple H
Director: David S. Goyer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS ES 6.1, Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: New Line Cinema
Features: See Review
Length: 123 Minutes (Unrated), 113 Minutes (Rated)
Release Date: April 26, 2005

"Are you ready to die, Blade?"

"I was born ready, motherf***er."

"Motherf***er...I LIKE THAT!"

Film ***

When the character of Blade was first introduced in 1998, audiences were given a new reason to cheer for the anti-hero. The vampire slayer, known to everyone as "the daywalker" has sliced and diced his way through numerous enemies, not so much as a means to save the human race, but as a way of striking back at the very species who made him the man he is. He just manages to save humans in the process.

Blade was a blazing introduction to the character, as he fought against the vampire gods. Then came 2002's Blade II, a superior and incredibly fantastic follow up that had Blade up against the creature race known as the Reapers, which even vampires were in fear of. Both films carried a fantastic visual style and went all out in terms of good old bloody action, mixed with fantastic effects.

Now Blade has returned for one final hunt in Blade: Trinity. While I may have to rank this as three out of three, this installment is nevertheless a furious piece of extravagant entertainment. Wesley Snipes gears up in the trademark black suit, and David S. Goyer, writer of the first two movies, takes the director's chair this time around, presiding over an outstanding landscape of action and effects, along with a high dose of humor to go along. The one thing one will have to accept is an over-the-top plot.

The movie begins in Iraq, where a team of vampires, led by female Talos (Parker Posey), explore an ancient temple. They are in search of the first and most powerful vampire of all...Dracula, whose body is rumored to lay somewhere within the tomb. He is there, indeed, in the form of a grisly looking demon monster, making Tim Curry in Legend seem more like Big Bird.

Meanwhile, our hero, Blade (Snipes), is doing what he does best; slaying some vampire ass. But what starts as a normal battle for Blade takes an unexpected turn when one of his victims doesn't burn like other vampires. The victim turns out to be a human, leading Blade to discover that he has been set up, by the same gang of renegade vamps who just discovered Dracula.

The incident is caught on camera and sent to the FBI. Blade then becomes a wanted man by the feds. He is soon captured, and is confronted not just by the FBI, but the vampires who set him up. It seems that there's some conspiracy between the two to put Blade away for good.

He then gets a surprise rescue from a band of fellow vampire slayers known as the Nightstalkers. The two leaders are former vampire/resident wisecracker Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), the long lost daughter of Blade's longtime mentor (Kris Kristofferson) who recently perished during an FBI raid. Blade doesn't what any help from what he sees as nothing more than rookies, but the two insists, since Abigail wants vengeance for her fathers death, and Hannibal's previous experience as a vampire could help in there attempt to destroy the purest of all vampires.

Dracula is actually a shape shifter, able to shift into the human form of Drake (Dominic Purcell). Talos and her team are able to bring Dracula back to power by having him feed off the countless corpses they have stored in a lab (a plot point which was cut out of the first movie—see the deleted scenes area on that disc). This will allow him to regain full power and plot a vampire takeover of the entire world.

The rest of the movie is basically an array of extended fight scenes and shootouts, each of which pack the same fantastic punch that the previous two flicks delivered. Snipes is a physical marvel as always, but I must say that I was more than impressed by the physical qualities of Ms. Biel. I know she got a great workout running away from Leatherface, and she has come into this fight in a lean, mean, sexy fighting machine mode.

The true scene stealer of Blade: Trinity is Ryan Reynolds of National Lampoon's Van Wilder, and who can also be seen in the current remake of The Amityville Horror. Reynolds was whipped into incredibly ripped shape for this part and does plenty of butt kicking. However, it's his comedic side is that takes hold in just about every scene he's in.

Usually if an actor utters a series of cheeky one liners, they tend to irritate and not always be the least bit funny. Not the case here, and I would give a sample of them if there clean enough, which they aren't, which is mostly why they get such big laughs. I guess it also works since the last two movies were very dark, and didn't have time for lots of jokes.

So while Blade: Trinity can't quite measure up to the impact of its predecessors, it remains a damn good installment and, should this mark the end of a trilogy, makes a more than fitting farewell. The action is as enthralling as always, the look and design is visually intoxicating, and the frequent humor perfectly reflects the ridiculousness of the storyline.

Happy hunting, fellow review slayers...it's been a terrific ride!

Video ****

New Line's top quality of their DVD production has always been displayed in the Blade movies. The first two discs were all around incredible, and the disc for Blade: Trinity is nothing short of drop-dead fantastic. The anamorphic picture ignites with a sharp-as-a-"blade" image and an outstanding array of colors, which is a key part in the look of the three movies. The sets look astounding, and the effects sequences are prime examples of what the DVD format was created for. A massively superb job from New Line!

Audio ****

After the roar and fury of the first two movies, there really wasn't any other route for this release to take but that of high superior sound quality. Both tracks, the 5.1 EX mix and, especially, the explosive 6.1 DTS ES track are guaranteed to rock your speakers to the floor. Every possible sound element, from music to dialogue to action/explosions is given grand treatment. Needless to say, one of the most fantastic sounding discs you'll ever come across.

Features ****

New Line executes Platinum Series brilliance with a locked n' loaded Unrated 2-disc package. Disc One contains both the unrated and R-rated versions, 2 commentary tracks; one with cast and crew including castmates Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds and writer/director David S. Goyer, the second with selected production crew members.

Disc Two carries the rest of the firepower, beginning with "Inside the World of Blade: Trinity", a sixteen-part documentary that traces production, an alternate ending, a lengthy blooper reel, trailers for this and additional New Line releases. Glorious package!

Summary:

Blade: Trinity delivers one more mega battle between Blade and the menacing vampire race. New Line has done this film series pure justice in the Platinum Series, and this 2-disc offering is a truly superb addition, as well as one of the best releases you will come across this year!

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com