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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Blade: Trinity
Blade: Trinity
New Line // Unrated // April 26, 2005
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Carl Davis | posted May 4, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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Before anyone thinks otherwise, I am a huge fan of the first Blade film and enjoyed the second installment as well. I am also a big fan of comic books and comic book movies. I know I sound defensive, but you'll understand why when I tell you that David Goyer's Blade: Trinity is one of the absolute WORST comic book movies I have ever seen. That's right, its worse than Mystery Men, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, and Batman Forever… it's actually not the worst when you consider Batman and Robin, but I have since tried to eradicate any memory of that film's existence from my mind, only now to be reminded of it as I lament on how mind-numbingly bad Blade: Trinity is.

Some reviewers might just give this film a pass as another stupid popcorn movie, or an innocuous waste of two hours, but I can't let this offense slide so easy. Goyer, amazingly the same writer who penned the first two Blade flicks, tackled both writing and directing duties on this third and hopefully final installment of the vampire-slayer trilogy. As far as I'm concerned there are few writers who are also competent directors, and vice versa. Film is a collaborative art and only in the case of the most skilled auteur are works created in a vacuum worthwhile. The writer is the guy who builds the scaffolding on which the director hangs the film. Blade: Trinity definitely reeks of the kind of festering bloat that happens when no one can say no, which basically means that Stephen Norrington (although his potential League of Extraordinary Gentlemen franchise was delivered stillborn into theaters) and Guillermo del Toro did an exceptional job with Goyer's written material, most likely jettisoning some of his weaker ideas which reign freely here (i.e. the gaping, sideways 'Predator'-esque mandibles which graced the mutated bloodsuckers in Blade II turn up not just on Drac himself, but also on a pack of vampirism afflicted dogs, too.).

I am by no means a 'Blade' or 'Dracula' expert, but I have read the phenomenal Marvel Essentials collections of "Tomb of Dracula" Vol.s 1-3, and am currently making my way through volume 4. To say that I am a fan of the character and his mythology would be an understatement. So when Goyer starts things off with the vampires setting up Blade to murder a human, I recognize it for what it is, an updating of a classic Blade story from the early comics. Even the inclusion of Hannibal King and the Nightstalkers, albeit in a new and 'hipper' form, takes its cue from the Bronze Age books. These are all great additions to the mythos of Blade and deserve to be seen on the silver screen. So why is it then that it all becomes such a goddamn mess in Goyer's incapable hands?

As I surmised earlier, it must have something to do with the system of checks and balances in place between writer, director and producer (of which Goyer did all three on Blade: Trinity) becoming unbalanced. So basically anything that Goyer wanted, he got, just by writing it into his script. Parker Posey horribly miscast as a chain-smoking, ball-busting vampiress? Check. WWE wrestler Triple H as a hefty vampire thug, complete with Lil' John inspired "grill?" Check. Natasha Lyonne as a blind microbiologist and single mother who somehow knows what she's bringing up on her computer screen via her brail keyboard? Check. And finally, Blade gunning his 'Blademobile' (at this point, what else can you call it?) straight out the back of a speeding tractor trailer directly into oncoming traffic in a scene that is equal parts Knight Rider meets The Matrix. Check and mate.

I'm sure other reviewers have scoffed at the blatant Apple product placement (iPods are the perfect accessory for vampire slaying!), terrible casting and lack of Wesley Snipes titular character in a movie that is only named for him. Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds are only there to provide some additional eye candy to the proceedings and don't do much to help or hinder the film too much. It's the truly bad casting (Patton Oswalt, in a "Fantastic Four" t-shirt no less?) that really spoil this film, that and the endless number of scenes that go nowhere and have no other purpose than for Goyer to waste some more money. Sadly, New Line Cinema are the biggest victims here, because while I'll never get those two hours back, they put all of their faith into this guy only to have one of their best franchises (next to The Lord of the Rings) dashed upon the rocks. I don't even think they realized it happened either, as this truly deluxe 2-Disc treatment makes clear. However, watching the many extra features only further saddened me at the massive amount of time, money and effort that went into this project and how they were all squandered. Please, don't even get me started on the "Alternate Ending."

The DVD:

Picture: Blade: Trinity, is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. The transfer is amazing, and the film does look pretty good, with the exception of numerous CG shots that are just plain bad.

Audio: There is a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital Surround Sound Track, as well as a DTS 6.1 channel Stereo Surround Track. The 5.1 Dolby track sounded great, although the soundtrack was the weakest of the three Blade films.

Extras: New Line cannot be faulted for the impressive selection of Extra features they've included on this 2-disc set. In addition to the Unrated version of the film (which clocks in with about 10 minutes of added footage), you can also select the R-rated version on the same disc. There is a commentary track for the Unrated version featuring Goyer, Biel, Reynolds and additional crew. There is also a supplemental disc of Extras, including incontrovertible evidence of what I surmised in the beginning, namely Exhibit A: "Goyer on Goyer: The Writer Interviews the Director" which is possibly one of the most pretentious mental masturbation sessions put to tape. Basically, it's Goyer, via split screen, interviewing himself. He confirms each and every theory I posed in my review, basically saying that his total control over the project sunk it from the beginning. There is also a multi part "Making Of…" series of featurettes entitled "Inside the World of Blade: Trinity," a Blooper Reel (which is actually pretty funny), a god awful Alternate Ending, Still Galleries and an assortment of Trailers. I guess I should also mention that they have also included an exclusive comic book which details the backstory of Hannibal (Reynolds) and the relationship between Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) and Abigail (Biel). To think that you would need to read this comic to actually understand the links between these character further illustrates the tenuous nature of Blade: Trinity's narrative.

Conclusion: To take a comic book style look at the main problem with this film, you need go no further than Spider-man's classic proverb: "With great power comes great responsibility." With David Goyer, swollen head and all, taking on writing, directing and producing duties on this film, it was like giving a kid the keys to the candy store. There wasn't a single voice of dissent to any and probably all of his suggestions. The only inkling can gather that New Line had any say at all in the final release of this film was the ending, bad as it is, was a huge improvement over what I can only gather was Goyer's original and preferred ending (the Alternate ending). Well, I guess it's only fitting then that Goyer, one of the trilogies own creators, drove a stake through its heart. I hope that all The Flash fans out there are prepared for Goyer's triple threat treatment of their DC icon. Do yourself a favor and Skip It.

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