Blade: Trinity (2004) - New Line Platinum Series

Genre(s): Action / Horror / Thriller
New Line || NR - 123 minutes - $29.95 || April 26, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-07-01


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: David S. Goyer
Writer(s): Marv Wolfman (characters) & Gene Colan (characters), David S. Goyer (written by)
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Dominic Purrell


Theatrical Release Date: December 8, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    Disc 1:
  • Unrated Version of the Film
  • R-Rated Version
  • Writer/Director & Actors Commentary
  • Writer/Director, Producers & Crew Commentary


  • Disc 2:
  • Inside the World of Blade: Trinity
  • Goyer on Goyer Interview
  • Alternate Ending
  • Blooper Reel
  • Galleries
  • Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS-ES 6.1), English (Stereo Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

On the back of the DVD is says, "Where it began, so shall it end", well given that Blade: Trinity is the worst of the Blade movies, I'd have to concur. But the question is, how did it go so wrong? Was it the curse of 3, where it seems the third film a franchise fails? Sure, perhaps one could chalk it up to bad luck or a curse. But, for me, I think where writer David S. Goyer presented a unique vision (and version) of the world of vampires back in 1998, he also killed it off here with cardboard and campy characters, amatuerish direction and a plot that is boring and ordinary.

Although I like Ryan Reynolds as he's a funny, off the cuff, actor, but the character in the movie was more annoying with every other line being a joke. Jessica Biel, a fine actress in more way than one, is good but the role of Abigail Whistler lacked depth and sincerity. As for more bad ass himself, Wesley Snipes, looked tired rather than settled in the role.

**SPOILER ALERT**

As for the "unrated" aspect, like 99% of these unrated editions out there, there's nothing there that I noticed made a huge difference, save for an alternate ending where, instead of the Feds taking what they thought was Blade's body, this time it is his body at the morgue but he wakes up and takes on everyone... Not a bad way to end, but by that point, who really cares?

**END SPOILER**

Given its box office take and the law suit filed by Snipes, I think this is sadly the last time we'll see Blade. Sadly because he's an interesting character that deserved better.

Original Review:
Blade: Trinity suffers a double blow that plagued the first two films, but the difference is the first two Blade movies had other elements to overcome obvious flaws. Blade had an interesting premise and was a different take on the vampire genre. Blade II had a dumb plot but good acting and fantastic direction from Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro to compensate. Blade: Trinity has none of these things.

Blade writer David S. Goyer takes the helm of this profitable New Line franchise and turns in a mess of problems- some his doing, others due to a sub par plot and a star in Wesley Snipes who looks either tired or bored with the role.

Blade: Trinity finds our hero (Snipes) still fighting the good fight with the help of his aging master, Whistler (Kristofferson), taking out vampires and their part-human minions who do their bidding. However, there’s new game in town. Danica Talos (Posey) is yet another vampire (in a long line of ‘em) to have a plan to rise up some ancient force to win the war between the vamps and Blade (as well as conquest of humans overall) for the last time. Did she not see Underworld? Apparently, not as she finds the resting place of Drake -- also known as Dracula -- whom she’s relying on for her “master” plan.

After Danica catches Blade on film killing a pure blood human, it sparks a long-going manhunt for the Daywalker from the FBI, who -- after a decent firefight -- capture him for all his deeds in the past (these fellows don’t believe vampires exist). Coming to his rescue are two vampire hunters, part of a clan known as Nightstalkers. Whistler’s daughter Abigail (Biel) and Hannibal King (Reynolds) break into the police department holding Blade, take on the force of the FBI as well as Talos’ group of baddies in the process.

I have to assume that Goyer and possibly other producers (not Snipes, I don’t think) wanted to add younger actors to pump up a franchise that apparently they felt was getting sluggish. Goyer (a writer I hope can resurrect the Batman franchise - with Batman Begins coming in 2005), gives us really bland supporting characters who bring almost nothing to the film (more on this later) and could not help out Wesley Snipes’ tired (and probably bored) acting job.

Snipes’ Blade doesn’t have that dry and dark humor anymore. There was a time when he would be interrogated and a mere glance would make me smile. Nothing this time around and a possible reason to why I found this film to be a mess. I could be wrong, maybe the character is supposed to be tired after fighting an endless battle.

This leads to a secondary character problem: Firstly, Jessica Biel, though beautiful, is not very good in this underwritten role. As Abigail, she uses some cool gadgets to make a kill (her weapon of choice is a bow and arrow), but she didn’t have any kind of emotional connection with me (and there is a scene in which Goyer was trying to make one). Blade II featured a hot actress named Leonor Varela who also had a good background to her character.

Secondly, I didn’t think Ryan Reynolds was an actor who could tackle an action movie. Though he is buff and kicks some ass, the purpose of this character seemed to be more comedy relief than being a helpful trooper. The good news is, at least his lines were somewhat funny and nicely timed. Besides the lines, Reynolds, like Biel, also has little to offer to the film that needed something… anything!

Could that something be a capable villain (in this case, a villainess)? Parker Posey is a cute (though at times annoying) actress, but I cannot in the least bit stand her. For Blade: Trinity she comes off more like a feisty cat than a smart, maniacal villain who could pull off a vampire rule on such a large scale -- even if it only involved unleashing the superpower of Dracula.

Blade: Trinity marks David S. Goyer’s major-film directorial debut. His first film, ZigZag, also starred Wesley Snipes that tells me they developed a good relationship that (apparently) does not translate on or off screen (based on reports that Snipes was not too happy about the shared screen time with his younger co-stars). Back to the movie, though, Goyer’s direction comes across as amateur hour (and forty minutes to be exact). He uses quick cuts, time lapse and loud rock and roll to cover up for his lame screenplay.

This mistake falls on the feet of the execs at New Line rather than New Line, however. They could and should have seized somebody with a history than to hand it off to an inexperienced newbie who might have just sank a solid franchise (not overly successful, but still a good take).

Looks like another franchise bites the dust (no pun intended...).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

As with Blade II, the third movie is a two discer packed with some decent features. Missing here (versus the original and #2), is commentary with star Snipes, but given his relationship with the studio and Goyer at this point, it's not surprising...

In his adsence, the first commentary track with director Goyer and actors Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel. Of the two commentaries, this one is looser and off the cuff. As usual when actors do a track, they give out compliments to their castmates and crew too easily and often, but it's still fun to listen to Reynolds ripping on himself a bit or Biel talking about training and such. This is a good commentary track that is fun as it is informative.

The second commentary track has a mixture of formal conversation and fun banter. This one once again features writer/director Goyer who is joined by director of photography Gabriel 'Gabby' Beristain and separately with producers Peter Frankfurt & Lynn Harris, production designer Chris Gorak & editor Howard E. Smith. Just as in the first commentary, Goyer doesn't take himself too seriously and when combined with Gabby, it's pretty fun to listen to as they both - tongue firmly planted in cheak - criticize each other. Spliced in are a few other of the crew and while they are't as fun to listen to, they do provide any information that you never wanted to know.

"Daywalkers, Nightstalkers & Familiars: Inside the World of Blade: Trinity is a 16-part feature length documentary covering every aspect of filming this movie. This feature goes through different aspects of the making of Blade: Trinity including: story development, cast training, set design, costume design, cinematography, visual effects, the music and many more. Even though the entire thing felt a bit less than what you'd think would be there, but as a whole, it's still very good. The documentary goes into some detail about why actors like Reynolds and Biel were casted, why Goyer was chosen to direct, how the film was edited (including a short demonstration of what goes into editing a scene), etc. Along with behind-the-scenes footage, there are also some on-set interviews (with some sound bites from Snipes). By far, this is a nice and surprising addition. Runtime - Approx. 106 minutes

Goyer on Goyer Interview is supposed to be a funny interview feature where, using the simple split screen technique, writer David Goyer asks questions of director David Goyer... Don't know how much info you could extrapolate from this and in all honesty, even as a gag, I didn't find it that funny. Runtime - Approx. 5:10

The alternate ending has Nightstalkers Hannibal King and Abbigail Whistler in a Shanghai casino hunting something we don't see until near the last frame... a damn-ly retarted werewolf (which for some reason had an Elvis hairdue). This scene also has a cameo from Goyer himself being tossed onto a table when he gets in the way. I realize the film was campy, but this would've taken it near a Batman & Robin campiness. Runtime - Approx. 1:22

The bloopers reel has the usual stuff like pop-rock music over the scenes, but this reel has some funny ad-libs from Reynolds (one of which he goes through several takes changing which singer he's a fan of, "Celine Dion... she's a Canadian treasure"). On the whole, some funny flubs and mistakes. Runtime - Approx. 10:58

The rest of the features is a photo gallery and trailers. And sometimes I forget to mention this, but New Line also provides some good DVD-ROM features like the ability to print the script (or a specific scenes) and some other nifty features (though admittedly, you're not missing anything if you don't have a DVD-Rom drive.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Blade: Trinity, as with its predecessors, gives you the DTS ES, which (as usual) is great, though I expected for some more "oomph" out of the gun shots and explosions. And, of course, the Dolby 5.1 mix is decent and easily good enough, but is flat at times. The picture looks clean and crisp as Goyer's MTV, music video style is nice (doesn't help the movie itself).



.::OVERALL::.

Although the movie stinks, the special features are great, but is that alone worth the cost of the DVD? No. However, I think it is worth renting just to listen to the commentary tracks. The movie itself, is only for some rogue "Blade" fans that can handle the lighter mood of this version. Now, if the movie was better, then this DVD overall, would be a nice addition to a dvd collection.