THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We’re hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!
Blade: Trinity (2004)
Directed by David S. Goyer
“Just because BLADE: TRINITY can’t match the first BLADE doesn’t mean it’s garbage.”
Time is a funky bitch. As the years go by, people forget things or view them from a completely new standpoint. For one, people seem to forget that the BLADE series was the start of the Marvel cinema explosion (this movie was the first to feature the Marvel logo). Granted, it’s not interconnected with all the current movies and this isn’t a Disney production, but still…
For guys like David S. Goyer, who produced THE FOREST which opens this week, he is now known as one of THE comic book movie guys. Sure, his work as a director never really took off, but his work as a writer…well, if you’ve seen a comic book movie in the last decade (especially DC), chances are his name was attached somewhere. With BLADE: TRINITY, he was widely viewed as f*cking up the franchise. But looking back, we all know that it would have self-destructed any way as Wesley Snipes career found the toilet (BLADE: TRINITY was basically his last starring theatrical movie) and he found himself in jail.
At the same time, back in 2004 the initial bitch about BLADE: TRINITY came from that our hero Blade didn’t need a bunch of young models helping him out. Old man Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) was enough to keep Blade alive and let him do his thing. In 2004, I agreed. But ten years out, things have changed. The idea of a comic movie being overloaded with characters is an every film occurrence. Actually, it seems a little ahead of its time. Marvel movies (and DC very soon) jams as many characters as the budget allows. This BLADE did no different, introducing the Nightstalkers to create Marvel’s first cinematic teamup! And while Snipes’ career hasn’t exactly maintained (jail doesn’t help with that), co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel have only gotten bigger. And what’s funny watching it now is that Reynolds plays Hannibal King like Deadpool, smart ass nonstop…which he does in 98% of all his movies.
Obviously, there’s a lot of nonsense in BLADE: TRINITY that prevent it from reaching its full potential. One of the most dated elements comes from the iPod influence of the day, shown when Jessica Biel (who plays Whistler’s daughter) needs to display how hip and cool she is by not only updating her Apple play list, but by also wearing earbuds throughout the final fight sequence so she can get her jam on. She clearly has better buds than me (cause mine never stay in).
Another major issue come from Snipes not having enough to do (he seriously has less dialogue than Schwarzenegger in TERMINATOR). He doesn’t have enough scenes that allow him to be Wesley Snipes, and that’s a shame. Another issue is the casting of Dominic Purcell as Drake aka Dracula (by the way, in the comic Drake is a member of the Nightstalkers, not their nemesis). Purcell seems like a serviceable actor and all that, but he’s a bit too…douchey looking, like a Jersey Shore castoff complete with tacky silver chain and leather pants. Not every actor needs to look like a model. I guess that’s way they brought in Patton Oswalt.
Another major problem that’s impossible to ignore is that after Stephen Norrington (who directed the best opening to a film ever) and Guillermo del Toro (I think folks know his name), we have David S. Goyer. The guy is a good writer, no one can deny that, but he lacks the style and substance as a director that his predecessors brought. Not that he doesn’t try. There’s plenty of gloss and lots of fancy pants looking action shots, but somehow most of them fall short.
Does the end result end up better than the original flick? No. But just because BLADE: TRINITY can’t match the first BLADE doesn’t mean it’s garbage. In fact, I enjoyed Reynolds much more and appreciated the fact the movie is R. I miss R-rated movies. And while Snipes isn’t fantastic here (supposedly he had a lot of issues with the script, and Reynolds believes he had a mental breakdown on set), he’s still a badass. This is the last of Snipes as a Hollywood force, so looking back, it only makes since that he was joined by two young folks, with one of them (Reynolds) to be THE comic book guy (seriously he’s played two Marvel characters and one DC). Go figure.
Here’s hoping Marvel gives Snipes one more shot at the character. Why not? The man deserves another opportunity to kung fu kick with the best of them.