Nothing But Memory

Marvel Movies Project: Blade: Trinity

As of Spider-Man 2, I am one third of the way through this Marvel Movies Project. Nine movies based on six Marvel characters/teams. Three sequels. Seven movies about solo (male) heroes and two ensembles. Today, as we enter the second leg of our journey, we encounter our first threequel.

Movie poster for Blade: Trinity (2004).

Blade: Trinity (2004) sees Blade pick up a couple of new allies in Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), daughter of his old friend Whistler, and Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds). The three team up to take on the legendary first vampire Dracula, aka Drake (Dominic Purcell). Drake, who’s not a huge fan of our modern civilization, has been raised from a lengthy slumber by a crew of vampires whose leader is Danica Talos, played by the always awesome Parker Posey.

Given that Wesley Snipes actually went so far as to file a lawsuit against the producers of Blade: Trinity because he claimed “the director, screenplay and supporting cast of Blade: Trinity were forced on him in violation of his contract,” and this movie was “merely intended to set up spin-off movies,” the new additions to the cast seem like the obvious thing to talk about. The film marks the first chapter in Ryan Reynolds’ less-than-stellar comic book movie career: he’s also played Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (pretty lame) and of course Hal Jordan in Green Lantern (just plain awful). Apparently, there are still plans to go ahead with a Deadpool movie, too. Why? I don’t know. Anyways, Reynolds is not bad in this movie; he’s entertaining at times, his beard is very attractive, he looks good with his shirt off, and his scenes with Parker Posey (“HANNIBAL KING!!!!!!”) are fun. Reynolds just doesn’t have any chemistry with Wesley Snipes. At all. Their characters aren’t supposed to like each other, it’s true, but normally when two characters don’t like each other, you can get some humour or dramatic tension out of it. With Blade and Hannibal King, there’s only awkwardness. All King’s jokes fall completely flat when Blade is around. It’s terrible.

Jessica Biel fares better. Abigail is like a female version of Blade, not very talkative (though obviously not on the same level of taciturnity as Blade … because no one is), and she and Snipes have a decent vibe in their scenes together. No seething hatred here: I am thus forced to conclude Snipes’ main problem was with Ryan Reynolds.

Each of the three Blade movies had at least one good female character. Blade: Trinity actually has about three, which is pretty amazing for a comic book movie. There’s Abigail, obviously, and Danica is a very fun villain. Natasha Lyonne also appears as Sommerfield, a member of King and Abigail’s vampire-fighting gang, the Nightstalkers. Although Sommerfield doesn’t have that much to do, just her presence is kind of interesting: she is blind, a woman, and a computer geek, plus she’s a mom. It’s an unusual combination of traits for a comic book movie character. Her young daughter Zoe appears as well, and thanks to a couple of conversations that involve her this movie might technically pass the Bechdel Test. Of the movies I’ve watched for this project so far, I think X2 is the only other one that would pass. How sad.

That said, Blade: Trinity is full of sexist and homophobic language, not to mention plenty of stupid dick jokes. It’s noticeably much more lowest-common-denominator than the other two movies in the Blade series, which is too bad. The series wasn’t mindblowingly innovative or anything, but at least it wasn’t stupid. Blade: Trinity is stupid.

We have come to the end of Blade’s movie career so far. What’s next for Blade? Well, Marvel got the film rights to the character back, but apparently they don’t have plans to make a new movie at the moment. Wesley Snipes is currently in prison for tax evasion, but Wikipedia says he’ll be out in July and before he got locked up he said he’d be interested in doing a fourth film. You never know — stranger things have happened.

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