ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘Blade Trinity’ (2004), Part Two
Chris: Welcome back to Ice Skating Uphill for the final installment of ComicsAlliance’s Unnecessarily In-Depth Review of the Blade film franchise! We’re at the mid-point of Blade Trinity, and when we last left our heroes, Dracula had taken to the streets in order to take out Blade once and for all!
David: In his corner: time-lapse montages! It’s really amazing how much blander this movie is than the previous two. David Goyer: just not a very innovative director.
Chris: I think we’ve proven time and again that his real talent lies in writing hilariously imaginative swearwords.David: So of course Warner Brothers puts him on a Superman screenplay.
Chris: Well, he did also write Batman Begins, so it’s not like it’s his only trick. Although to be honest, it does make me want to see a cut of that film where Liam Neeson tells Christian Bale that he’s about one ****-hair away from vigilante heaven.
David: I’m holding out for Henry Cavill calling Ursa a c***-juggling krypto****. Anyway, Lincula walks the streets of Esperanto City and runs into a shop with a bunch of Dracula bobbleheads and fangs, where he decides to terrorize some goths.
Chris: This scene might be the most ridiculous one in the franchise thus far, if only because it posits the existence of a store that only sells Dracula merchandise. Not goth stuff or even vampire stuff in general, but just Dracula.
David: The best part is that he actually just stands there looking terrified as “vampire vibrators” are demonstrated to him, containing paint jobs that I can’t imagine make them safe for vaginal insertion.
Chris: Pretty sure that has to be the first time that phrase has appeared on ComicsAlliance. Seriously, though, how were the two people sitting around selling boxes of Count Chocula in March not the first targets of the actual vampires who inhabit this world?
David: Anyway, Dracula throws the dude (who calls him a prettyboy) through a window and starts feeding off the chick — I’m not sure he’s supposed to be turning her here or not?
Chris: I don’t think so, if only because we never see a cute goth girl in a Motorhead shirt again, and that seems like the kind of thing they would’ve dropped into this movie as much as possible. Also, so much fishnet in this scene. So, so much. Like… “you want to kiss me, prettyboy?” is not the taunt you expect the dude wearing the fishnet shirt and goth makeup to go with.
David: Back with the Nightstalkers, Hannibal and She-Whistler bring Blade to talk to Natasha Lyonne, and pitch him a final solution against the vampires: a virus that kills all the vampires. However, to have “100% viral efficacy,” they need a purer strain of vampire DNA. In other words, now not only does Dracula need Blade, Blade needs Dracula. This movie isn’t much for evitability.
Chris: My favorite part about this is that Goyer actually drops the phrase “final solution” in there to reference what the vampires are planning, clearly likening them to the Nazis, and then has the good guys respond to that by literally plotting genocide via biological weapons.
David: Hannibal, She-Whistler and Blade go and get their sweet new gear from the team’s Q, Patton Oswalt, which includes “sundogs,” bullets that explode UV light, and Orion’s Bow from Season 10 of Smallville.
Chris: And don’t forget his matte black Nerf pistols. It’s like they were doing product placement for the action figures, except that this is an R-Rated movie where Ryan Reynolds drops the F-bomb like a comma, so I can’t imagine that a toy line was really a major concern.
David: Oh really.
Chris: Hey, those are from the cartoon. Of course, that leads us to the question of why they made a cartoon out of a hyperviolent social satire, but at least it was something that wasn’t just the movie with five minutes of Kurtwood Smith blowing off a dude’s limbs with a shotgun.
David: The next scene we get Blade, Hannibal and Whistler basically beating the crap out of a bunch of different familiars, all while Jessica Biel wears iPod headphones and listenes to “darkcore and triphop,” as Hannibal puts it. I really can’t imagine how listening to music would make you a more efficable vampire hunter.
Chris: The two best parts of Abigail’s Playlist: One, that Ryan Reynolds talks about her liking to listen to “MP3s,” rather than just saying “music,” because how else are we going to know that she’s a hip young vampire hunter from the streets? Two, that she is doing this while they are going out to get information that, presumably, people would be telling her. So, you know, she might want to be able to hear it.
David: This would have been a good time for Wesley Snipes to speak up about his preferral for smooth jazz. Although I guess he spoke up enough during this movie’s production, from all accounts. Their search takes them to Vance, the dude who’s trying to take Blade down in the media and corralling the cops against him. So they show at Vance’s building in full trenchcoats with fully visible metal stakes affixed to their chests.
Chris: Vance, of course, being the psychiatrist from before who was also Parker Posey’s familiar. I didn’t remember his name and I’ve watched this movie four times in the past two weeks.
David: They walk into Vance’s building and basically beat the crap out of everyone on the way up to his office without breaking a sweat. When they get to Vance’s office, though, Vance is already dead — and being impersonated by the dangerous DRAKE!
Chris: LAST NAME EVER! FIRST NAME GREATEST! MIDDLE NAME VAMPIRE! Oh wait, you mean a different Drake, don’t you?
David: I don’t think Wheelchair Jimmy from Degrassi is in this movie, no.
Chris: Sad but true: We do not get to see Wesley Snipes take on the Softest Rapper in the Game. Instead, Dracula is now going by “Drake,” in a tribute to Tomb of Dracula‘s original protagonist, Frank Drake. See, Dracula’s relatives (because, you know, Dracula had relatives whose last name was “Dracula”) changed their name and moved to America, probably to keep dudes from kicking in their front door and trying to stake them or beat them to death with magic whips.
David: Huh, really? I did not know that.
Chris: Yeah, the comic was originally all about Dracula’s descendant being recruited by Harker and Morris’s descendants to join up in their hunt for Dracula. It’s a really cool premise (and one that made the original set-up a lot more like Buffy, right down to the episodic storytelling), but eventually they figured out that everyone was really just there to see badass Gene Colan Dracula travel around the world fighting the Devil.
David: Blade chases after Drake from Vance’s office, and eventually finds him on a rooftop holding a baby and standing in sunlight. We then get David S. Goyer reusing the same scene he used just two films ago, when Deacon Frost took a young girl hostage in a park to taunt Blade. Drake gives a hilarious monologue about how people these days don’t live by honor or the sword, not like he or Blade do, and then he throws the baby to make his escape. Dracula, everybody!
Chris: I hadn’t really thought about it like that, but you’re right: Goyer kind of goes back to the same well a lot over the course of these movies, which is weird because it occasionally seems like he completely forgets what he wrote in the previous film. Like, for example, Blade killing a ton of humans in Blade II. This scene also involves Dracula talking about he’s the first Daywalker — regular vampires wanting to become Daywalkers being a plot point in all three movies.
David: Blade goes “coochie coo” to the baby and runs off, while Hannibal King is completely freaking out and screaming about how they’re going to “f***ing lose!” to Dracula, because “did you see that guy?!” Very convincing argument.
Chris: And this of course leads us to the part of the movie where Jessica Biel takes a shower in slow motion.
David: After a flashback to Whistler telling Karen about his past in Blade I, modified to be spoken to her with “I don’t want that life for you, Abi” at the end.
Chris: Oh wow, I didn’t even realize. Is it really just the same dialogue lifted with that new part thrown in?
David: I’m pretty sure, yeah.
Chris: Hilarious. This is a big budget Hollywood movie that’s totally structured like the pilot to a TV series. Which I guess it kind of is.
David: Hannibal King is recovering and continuing to annoy Blade, who leaves to hang out on a rooftop taking his serum and explaining why he has to take it to a six-year-old girl. When she asks “why not just be nice?” Blade coolly responds… “because the world isn’t nice.”
Chris: Fan. Tastic. Especially the way Snipes delivers it, which is more like “‘Because the worrrld isn’t nice,” with this great zoom on him as he says it.
David: Then we get Patton Oswalt’s most dramatic delivery ever. “Want a party favor?” “Lucky seven? Silver hollowpoints.” “Done.”
Chris: You know, I’ve heard Oswalt mention before that Snipes was mean to him on the set, but I’ve never really heard anything more in-depth. It’s especially weird because those dudes only have one scene together that lasts for about 2 minutes.
David: The next scene finally gives us the vampire final solution: exactly what the robots did in The Matrix, which is hook humans up to machines that drain all their blood while keeping them alive. It’s kind of obvious, to be honest, and I thought it was implied they were already doing this in the first movie. Blade and Whistler find the Chief of Police with a vampire girl outside of a warehouse, stake the girl and ask the chief what’s inside. “I can’t tell you — they’ll kill me!” he says. In what might be one of this movie’s best scenes, Blade just goes “motherf***er, I’LL kill you” and drags him to the door by the scruff of his neck.
Chris: It’s a pretty fantastic line, no joke. But you’re right, this whole setup is totally shown in the first movie when Traci Lords takes that dude into the meat packing plant and we see a cart roll by with a bunch of people on hooks.
David: The chief starts trying to justify the vampires, saying that they’re doing society a favor by getting rid of the homeless. Seriously.
Chris: Oh, so he’s a Libertarian.
David: Blade lets him go and tells him he has twenty seconds, and then like half a second later, goes “20” and shoots him in the back. It’s awesome. Blade shuts down the machines to kill all of the people inside the blood farm before even remotely attempting to save them, especially since, as the chief says, they’re in chemically induced comas. So stopping the chemicals should wake them up.
Chris: Well, he also says that they’re effectively brain-dead.
David: Back at Nightstalkers HQ, Drake approaches and we’re shown that the only person on security room detail is the blind geneticist. Really.
Chris: The blind geneticist who, as soon as she realizes something’s wrong, announces as loudly as possible that her six year-old daughter is also in the building. Lady, that is basically like putting out a cheese tray. You have just told Dracula that there are appetizers.
David: Drake for some reason disguises himself as Whistler (how does he even know who Whistler is?!) and tries to take out Hannibal. I don’t get this at all.
Chris: That’s a good point. They’ve established that Drake can shapeshift, but he never interacts with Whistler at all. Did Parker Posey just have a photo album of her various enemies? I mean, given the rest of this movie, I’d totally believe it if she did, I’m just mad that a scene of her putting on pajamas and having a slumber party with Dracula was cut out of the final film.
David: Geneticist lady starts trying to find her way to the source of whatever disturbance there is, walking past a dead Patton Oswalt and Other Dude Who Never Did Anything and leaving her child behind like a public school in 2004. It’s also an excuse to have Kris Kristofferson still be in the movie, let’s be fair.
Chris: I’m also not really sure how Dracula knows where Nightstalkers HQ is. And if he knew that, why he didn’t just show up, turn into Jessica Biel or something, and kill Blade.
David: Dracula kills blind geneticist and takes her daughter, because that’s the kind of Bad Dude Dracula is.
Chris: He also kidnaps Hannibal King, because Parker Posey needs those abs back on Team Edward.
David: Blade and Whistler get back from the blood farm to find the Nightstalkers HQ completely f***ed up. Abigail starts freaking out and crying over Blind Geneticist’s body, while Blade stands over her and tells her to “USE IT!” (the pain) repeatedly.
Chris: Oh man. That is quite possibly my entire line in the entire six-hour epic that is the Blade franchise. For months — years — after I saw this movie, I would walk up to coworkers and friends and just hiss “USE IT” at them.
David: Summerfield (the name of the blind geneticist which I just now am reminded of) is actually straight-up crucified behind a curtain that Dracula wrote about immortality on, too. What a dick.
Chris: I actually really like the little message that Dracula leaves written in blood on the curtain in front of Summerfield’s body, “IMMORTALITY WILL COME TO SUCH AS ARE FIT FOR IT.” It’s exactly the kind of theatrical intimidation that Marvel Dracula would do, and very similar to what Paul Cornell has him doing in the “Vampire State” storyline in Captain Britain and MI-13, where he officially declares war on England and leaves a message in blood to that effect written where Blade will find it. Why he decides to quote Ralph Waldo Emmerson, though, I have no idea.
David: Meanwhile, Leoben is showing Hannibal King “Pac-Man,” the vampire pomeranian the new vampire ruling class have created with their infinite resources.
David: Triple H then kisses the vampire pomeranian, and Hannibal King baits him with d*ck insults before getting tortured by Parker Posey in what might actually be the most ridiculous outfit she’s ever worn.
Chris: She is wearing, I think, an entire skinned fox around her neck as a scarf, with a fauxhawk / pompadour / ponytail. It’s amazing. It’s what I hope she wears around the house.
David: King invites her to take a “sugar-frosted f*** off the end of his d*ck,” and I don’t even know what this means.
Chris: It’s one of Goyer’s more complex bits of profanity, which is really saying something.
David: Leoben, Parker Posey and Triple H (seriously) then attempt to torture Blade’s ultimate weapon out of him, while the viewer gets to stare at Ryan Reynolds’s abs. I also love how they refer to it as “Blade’s weapon,” when his part in its creation was “hearing about it from a blind lady they already killed.” With that logic, we might as well call it Bob Kane’s Batman.
Chris: OH SNAP!
David: Just for old times’ sake, kids!
Chris: But yeah, Blade is basically completely incidental to the plot at this point. He’s just there to fight Dracula, and even that is something that he’s not really necessary for, assuming that the Nightstalkers’ plan works out. All he really needs to do is get Drake’s blood so that they can get the virus working. It’s like watching an entire movie named after the dude who got the Death Star plans to Princess Leia, instead of the dude who blew the thing up.
David: Coming June 2015 from George Lucas: The essential Jedi prequel, Many Bothans.
Chris: Couldn’t be any worse than anything else that dumb franchise has to offer.
David: Eventually, they threaten King with turning him into a vampire until he’s dying from thirst and then throwing Zoe, the little girl, in there for him to feed on. Which is actually pretty f***ed up.
Chris: Parker Posey really is the most convincing and intimidating villain in this entire trilogy. I kind of wish it’d been her and Triple-H instead of Stephen Dorff and Donal Logue.
David: Parker Posey actually does act like an obnoxious club girl who lived 2000 years too long. We’re introduced to Colder (or is it Caulder?), a dude Sommerfield sent the Daystar Virus work to in case of her own death, along with a videotape so she can speak to Blade and Whistler and for some reason an assurance that Zoe is alive. I don’t get how she knows any of this, or why she prepared any of this.
Chris: Well, it does make perfect sense that the Nightstalkers would keep their Last Wills and Testaments updated on a pretty regular basis, considering what they’re doing and how likely it is that they’re going to die. That said, Summerfield seems to have updated hers like three minutes before she died, and also didn’t bother to tell anyone else she was working with that she finished up the Daystar Vampire Genocide Virus.
David: Caulder has it in a “compressed gas projectile,” which can be shot from a rifle or a bow. He was also only able to synthesize enough for one shot, of course. Why they wouldn’t just wait until they had more than one shot’s worth, I couldn’t tell you.
Chris: Presumably it’s because Zoe and Hannibal King are both trapped and possibly being tortured to death as we speak. Although really, you’d think the amount of f***s Blade would give about two people he just met — even a kid — when compared against the possibility of killing every single vampire ever would be somewhere south of zero.
David: Zoe, of course, is having a one-on-one with Dracula in the Vampire Building, where she identifies him as the Gnome King, because her mom had been reading her the Oz books before her death. I’m no big Ozhead here, but does the Oz metaphor go any farther?
Chris: You never read the one where the Gnome King is a shapeshifter who murders a Goth Girl because she’s selling vibrators in his likeness? Frank Baum was a weird dude.
David: Dracula tries to psyche out Zoe, telling her nothing’s on the other side of death, and all she counters with is “my friends are coming to kill you.” Then it’s time for a playlist/training/getting-ready montage.
Chris: All the playlist-making action you crave!
David: This is the least sexy costuming montage ever. Set to a song called “This Blood” by Black Lab, because Goyer loves subtlety. Also, it sounds like an FPS soundtrack, which I’m sure is no mistake.
Chris: And yet, this movie is significantly less video gamey than the last one. To its detriment, I think.
David: Then we get more of the Society for Creative Cursing with Reynolds lipping off to Posey, Leoben and Triple H, claiming he has a tracking device “below the Hello Kitty tattoo” in the “meat of his butt” and calling Posey a “horsehumping b*tch” (is she Catherine the Great or something?) and telling Leoben to “go f*** [his] sister.” Seriously, Reynolds reading Goyer curses should be this whole movie.
Chris: It’s also worth noting that because the Daystar Virus can be shot out of an arrow, it now falls on Jessica Biel to actually do it. Once again, Blade is incidental to the plot in his own damn movie, and you can really see why Snipes was unhappy with how it worked out. This thing’s totally Nightstalkers: The Movie (featuring Blade).
David: Anyway, as everyone in the room starts gagging, King makes fun of all of them for choking on collodial silver being vented through the A/C system by the Nightstalkers, finishing with the best line in the entire three-movie series, calling Parker Posey a “c***-juggling thunderc***.” That’s Academy Award Best Original Screenplay material right there.
Chris: At the very least, a Spike TV Scream Award. If nothing else, the slow motion shot of Abigail putting in her headphones should’ve won an award for something. Most Hilarious Use of Slow Motion (Non-Zack Snyder Division), maybe.
David: There’s a gag in Whistler and Blade taking a few more seconds to show up than King predicts, but not by much. Blade crashes through the roof, lays out Triple H and then just leaves King chained to the floor. Is there ever any good reason given for why Blade hates King so much, other than “King is kind of annoying”?
Chris: Because Blade’s an a**hole?
David: Abigail finally rescues King and gives him his material, and then … well, then we get some headphones and a really long fight scene. And by “fight scene” I mean “rest of this movie.”
Chris: And why it wasn’t just Wesley Snipes vs. Triple H, we will never know.
David: After they ice a bunch of goons, Abi finds Zoe and King runs up against three vampire dogs, which he kills by tricking them into running off the edge of the building. Then he runs into a pipe. Then he gets into a wrestlematch with Triple H, and man, Reynolds is cut but Triple H would eat this dude alive in any real situation. And in this movie, Triple H is a F***ING VAMPIRE.
Chris: And Ryan Reynolds has just spent like 20 minutes of the movie being tortured! I’m also not really clear why King doesn’t just use the guns that Abigail just gave him either.
David: I guess he dropped them while being chased after by vampire dogs? God, I dunno. Now it’s time for Blade to fight Dracula, except first we get:
DRAKE: “Are you ready to die?”
BLADE: “I was born ready, motherf***er.”
DRAKE: “Motherf***er.” [cracks neck] “I like that.”
Chris: At this point, Drake suddenly has a sword that we have never seen him with before, apparently because — much like Stephen Dorff — he thinks it’s a good idea to have a swordfight with a dude WHOSE NAME IS “BLADE.” That’s like getting in a shootout with the Two-Gun Kid.
David: Drake also wears some ridiculous Final Fantasy armor, while Wesley Snipes takes off his trenchcoat in the most dramatic manner possible.
Chris: Dracula also doesn’t seem very good at sword-fighting, either. Like he looks like he’s concentrating really hard, while Blade is just sort of… well, he’s being super-cool Blade in sunglasses.
David: This fight scene goes on for SO LONG, too. And nothing actually HAPPENS. It just cuts between King/Triple H and Blade/Drake back and forth for like five minutes.
Chris: Here is a list of everything that happens for like five minutes: Blade does some stuff we’ve seen him do for three movies now, and Ryan Reynolds unsuccessfully applies the Cross Arm-Breaker. Then, eventually, after an eternity of fight scene, Reynolds puts a grenade in Triple H’s mouth and uppercuts him so hard he explodes.
David: That’s… that’s kind of awesome.
Chris: Yeah, but unfortunately it’s kind of awesome after like five minutes of boring-as-hell.
David: Abi eventually shoots Dracula with the special virus arrow, except he catches it, so she shoots him again and Blade finally gets to become an active participant in the plot by driving the virus into Drake and I guess catalyzing it so it runs around and kills all the vampires, including Parker Posey, and I guess Leoben died at some point before this and I missed it because it was probably couched inside five minutes of the same four people wailing on each other.
Chris: It’s a big ol’ mess of who cares.
David: Seriously, this climactic action scene was terrible.
Chris: It’s really boring, and it’s structured so weird. Like, Dracula shapeshifts into Satan from Tenacious D at one point and starts wailing on Blade, and again, why didn’t he do that at the start of it? Is he operating on Power Rangers rules? Did Blade have to use the Bubble Lead to get through his first form?
David: Drake basically commends Blade on kicking his ass, and says that the future of vampires is safe with Blade, and that “sooner or later, the thirst will win.” Then he dies and the Nightstalkers bail, because thats’ what the Nightstalkers are doing now: being a bunch of vampire hunters who are hanging out with the LAST VAMPIRE ALIVE.
Chris: And then we get three — count ’em, THREE! — endings! It’s like Clue, if Clue were hyperviolent, full of profanity, and not that great!
David: Drake shapeshifted himself into Blade before dying, so Blade could escape.
Chris: That’s Ending #1. Ending #2, Blade is taken to the morgue where he wakes up, having survived the Daystar virus due to his half-human nature.
David: Blade is still alive, “fighting a war.” Against what? ALL THE VAMPIRES ARE DEAD.
Chris: Well, Ending #3 answered that question: Werewolves!
David: Wait, what?
Chris: I don’t think that one was ever shot, but I believe it made it into the novelization of the film.
David: Hahahahaha, seriously?!
Chris: The Nightstalkers and Blade just ended up fighting werewolves.
David: I guess they had a lot of leftover silver weapons.
Chris: And then, after the credits, the final thing that we see on screen:
David: Absolutely amazing.
David: Every sentence with profanity in it. Seriously: the profanity is the best part of this movie.
Chris: Parker Posey is legitimately awesome as the villain. She’s so smarmy and evil and obnoxious, and just the fact that this is a Marvel Super-Hero Movie with Parker Posey as the villain makes me happy.
David: Ryan Reynolds was Ryan Reynolds very well.
Chris: You didn’t know Van Wilder’s middle name was “Helsing,” did you
David: I haven’t seen Green Lantern, but he was probably still more entertaining in this movie. Unfortunately, I think that’s it for high points. That and “You’ve got twenty seconds. 20!” [bang]
David: Jessica Biel. Not only the actress, but her character.
Chris: The Nightstalkers in general. Like, I get that they were trying to do whatever the movie equivalent is of a backdoor pilot, but as we pointed out, it reduces Blade to a pretty superfluous role in his own movie, and then introduces a bunch of characters that just get killed off anyway.
David: I liked Hannibal King! Then again, you could have had it just be Blade and Hannibal and not completely diluted Blade in his own film.
Chris: Blade getting a sidekick is fine, his dynamic with Whistler worked really well. But with these guys, it’s just crowding everything. And it’s so cheap in going for emotions too. It’s not enough that Dracula kills them, Dracula kills them and kidnaps the little girl whose mother is blind. It’s everything Goyer could possibly do to tug the heartstrings. Plus, the weird adversarial relationship that Blade has with Hannibal King for no reason other than Blade suddenly being an a**hole.
David: Yeah, the blind mother and the Oz stuff and the little girl… I mean, why would you even bring your little girl with you while you worked with the damn Nightstalkers? And yeah, for God’s sake, Blade worked with SCUD. For like, two years. And he can’t stand Ryan Reynolds’s quips?
Chris: Beyond them, the whole plot is just full of stuff that’s either a retread, contradictory, or just plain dumb.
David: It does not help that Goyer has no identifiable directorial style.
Chris: Well, that brings us to the end. Not just for Blade, but for you and I as well, Uzi.
David: For now.
Chris: We’ve had some times, haven’t we? The last season of Smallville. Batman Returns. Catwoman. We have had some terrible, terrible times.
David: But yes, the demands of Real Life are piling too high, and as a result I’m having to pull out of our weekly reminisces. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a lot of trolling by redhood40.
Chris: I’ll take your word for it. Personally, I like that it was your idea to make me watch Smallville, and yet you’re the one who taps out first.
David: To be fair, it has been over a year.
Chris: I’m still mad about it. But for now, we’ve reached to the end of the road. As for what’s next for ComicsAlliance’s extensive library of media criticism, well, you’ll just have to wait and see. Uzumeri, it’s been real.
David: Seriously, it’s been an honor and a privilege to work on these with Chris. But this means you’ll see more solo pieces from me, so don’t despair! Although they probably won’t be anywhere near as funny.
Chris: Right, because between the two of us, you’re the one known for his jokes. For real, though, it’s been a great year and a half, and we appreciate everyone tagging along as we made fun of some TV shows and movies. Keep on skating uphill, everybody!
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