ALTHOUGH Wesley Snipes has achieved the Hollywood goal of starring in a comic book franchise that doesn’t require too much pressing acting, he doesn’t seem particularly enamoured by his good fortune in the rambling, overly long Blade: Trinity, which bills itself as the series finale (don’t count on this – in the final scenes, the door is left ajar!).
Suitably pumped up for the role, 42-year-old Snipes conveys his character as a glowering half-human, half-vampire hunter of the undead. And he appears slightly peeved about having to bother – one gets the impression that he’s actually mildly irritated by the hassle of filming the final instalment.
Directed by David S. Goyer, who wrote the screenplays for the first two chapters, Blade: Trinity is a choppy, inattentive, suspense-free romp that substitutes camp humour for chills.
The film begins deep in a remote desert where vampire leaders are resurrecting Dracula, the evil creature that spawned their race. Now known as Drake (Dominic Purcell), this mean and menacing vampire has unique powers, allowing him to be exposed to daylight and give him a bit of an edge on the rest of the in-bred vampire posse, who, over the years, have lost many of their original powers.
At the same time, Blade is destroying a vampire lair and is caught by the FBI after a drawn out, rather dull car and motorcycle chase. He is saved from captivity by a “sleeper cell” of so-called Nightstalkers, led by Abigail (Jessica Biel), the chilled out and capable daughter of Blade’s mentor, Abraham (Kris Kristofferson).
Abigail’s cocky sidekick, Hannibal (Ryan Reynolds), is as fearless as he is rash and never at a loss for a brazen barb, even when in a threatening situation. The Nightstalkers are aligned with Sommerfield (Natasha Lyonne), a blind scientist who has figured out how to rid the world of vampires with a biological weapon made from a sample of Drake’s blood.
The movie’s muddled action sequences take the film towards an anticlimactic rooftop conflict between Blade and Drake, who in a final devilish display shape-shifts from thug to monster. I won’t spoil the ending, but it certainly could have been a little more gripping. Consider a cheaper, re-modelled Matrix and you have a rough idea of the type of action which Blade: Trinity offers viewers. If you are a fan of this comic book/action/horror genre, then you will enjoy this, though not as much as the first.
* * *Good fun, but lacking in substance… especially our miffed Snipes.