Sunday, August 28, 2011

Give Us Your Worst, Part 17: Blade: Trinity

Wesley Snipes is currently imprisoned, ostensibly because of tax evasion, the same charge that brought down Al Capone. We are certain that, had they been able to prosecute Snipes for his involvement in Blade: Trinity, the FBI would certainly have done so. At least justice is served, albeit on a technicality.

The main problem with Blade Trinity is that Blade one and two were actually good movies - very good, in fact. And number three just doesn't live up to expectations. When the best thing about your movie is Ryan Reynolds auditioning to be Deadpool, you've got a problem.

There's a lot wrong with Trinity. The movie elevates insulting its audience's intelligence almost to an art form. This is a film where humans engage in fist fights with vampires and win, despite the fact the entire series has been spent establishing that vampires are superhumanly strong and fast. People literally shrug off punches which should be able to pulverize concrete - was anyone thinking while they were filming this?

And then there's Whistler. Both Whistlers, in fact. When the second installment bent over backwards to retcon Abraham Whistler's death in the first movie, we accepted it on principle (comic books have been retconning away deaths almost since their invention). But why resurrect the series' most interesting character in the second movie only to kill him at the start of the third? His death here didn't seem to have any real lasting consequences or impact.

Then there's his daughter, Abigail, who regularly beats up vampires while listening to her iPod. While driving to seek vengeance on a group of vampires who just murdered her friends, she spends her time assembling a set list to listen to. We are unclear whether this was supposed to be funny, whimsical, or perhaps gritty and realistic. Whatever the intent, the end result is simply bewildering.

But none of this compares with the movie's villain, who is (after a fashion) supposed to be Dracula. If you were to actively go out and try to cast the least appropriate actor alive for the role, we suspect you'd wind up choosing someone like Macaulay Culkin or Jason Alexander, and either would have made for a more entertaining Dracula than Dominic Purcell, best known for starring in the short-lived Fox show John Doe. Describing him as non-threatening is an understatement. When Purcell is stalking or killing his victims, it's incredibly challenging to stay awake.

It's unclear whether Blade: Trinity is supposed to be more horror or action, an important distinction, as we don't know whether to call it one of the least interesting horror movies of the past decade or one of the most boring action movies we've ever seen. Perhaps it can be both.

Regardless, this is a movie lacking impact. It's slow, pointless, and completely inoffensive. Pull out the harsh language, and we doubt there's enough gore or violence to even warrant an R rating. This isn't sickening, like Punisher: War Zone, nor is the embodiment of sleaze, like Frank Miller's The Spirit. In the end, it's just a tedious exercise that lacks the thrills of your average made-for-TV movie. What a waste of time.

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