Shiny Shelf


Blade Trinity

By Mark Clapham on 12 December 2004

This third ‘Blade’ film is written and directed by David S Goyer, who wrote the previous two films. As you’d expect, there’s continuity with the previous movies, along with the slightly more personal feel that a single creator brings to a project.

The storyline is a natural development of what we’ve seen before – Blade is still running around fighting vamps with his mentor Whistler, while the vampires are still coming up with ludicrously complex science/archaeology based schemes to take over the world. What Goyer brings out from his own scripts that the previous directors didn’t is a quirkier sensibility, one rooted in Blade’s origins as a 1970s Marvel Comics character. The villains are a little more eccentric, and there’s more humour to the film than its straight-laced predecessors would make you expect.

The 70s-ness also involves an admirable restraint in the use of the film’s effects budget. The vampire-dusting effects are as good as ever, and there’s some lovely CGI matte shots, but wirework and CG stuntmen are used sparingly in fight scenes that emphasise good, visceral punches and kicks rather than eye-twisting feats of artificial agility. Furthermore, although the big bad guy is CG-enhanced at times, the film never devolves into giant, unreal creatures beating on each other rather than the actors we’ve become attached too. This is a good thing, avoiding the modern equivalent of replacing James Bond and Goldfinger with Sylvester and Tweety-Pie for the last reel of the film, and expecting the audience not to twig.

Sticking with the real actors is a very good thing, what with the excellent cast Goyer has assembled. Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson as Blade and Whistler respectively are as relentlessly macho and serious as we’ve come to expect, which is all to the good, but new additions to the ensemble bring different tones to the movie. Of the main co-stars, Jessica Biel is efficient and attractive as the high-kicking Abby, but it’s Ryan Reynolds as deadpan, self-effacingly humorous ex-vampire Hannibal King who gets all the best lines, while being a sufficiently robust action hero to avoid any accusations of being a comedy sidekick. The rumoured prospect of Reynolds and Goyer re-teaming for DC’s ‘The Flash’ is something to get really, really excited about.

The rest of the cast is equally excellent, with indie comedy actors John Michael Higgins, Parker Posey and Natasha Lyonne all providing a little more depth and character to what could easily be stock roles. Elsewhere, Goyer has recruited talent from as diverse places as TV (Dominic Purcell and Callum Keith Rennie) and wrestling (Triple H) for his other characters. Purcell doesn’t have quite as much to do as he did in the quickly cancelled ‘John Doe’, but nonetheless brings a surprising amount of depth and sympathy to a character who is, in plot terms, pure unadulterated evil. He remains a star to watch.

Don’t believe what you may have heard – there’s no third instalment collapse here. ‘Blade Trinity’ rounds off the series well, retaining its predecessors many fine qualities while adding a few twists of its own. Firm direction, an entertaining script and classy performances produce an action that delivers exactly what you’d want from this kind of movie.


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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named markclapham.com.




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