First off let me say that I'm a big fan of the first two Blade movies- I really enjoyed both films. So I was looking forward to Trinity and, boy, was I disappointed.
The film has several problems, first of which is Hannibal King, played by Ryan Reynolds. There are a lot of things wrong with this character, and my main complaint was the simply appalling dialogue. He keeps trying to be whimsical and amusing but it comes across as if this guy is supposed to be in another movie. A movie that is not funny at all. Second, he's a kick-ass vampire hunter- well, no that's not right either. He gets his ass kicked several times and he just struck me as being effeminate. This man is no action hero and shouldn't be within 100 yards of a Blade movie set. Oh, did I mention that he can't act either? Bad, bad choice.
Second up, is Dracula. We know from the get-go that he's Dracula but for some reason he calls himself Drake in the movie. This is maybe a minor quibble but if you're going to have the arch-vampire in your film, why go and change his name? There's a point in the film where Dracula says something like- "didn't you ever read Stoker's fable?" (I'll ignore the fact that he's been in vampire hibernation for hundreds of years but upon awakening has apparently prioritised reading Bram Stoker's original Dracula novel); seems to me that David Goyer, the individual responsible for writing and directing this mess, should have read Stoker's book because the casting is all wrong. The actor picked has all of the charisma and presence of a lampshade. Also, he doesn't actually play too big a part in the film- any generic vampire badguy would have fit the bill- there's nothing really Dracula-specific about the plot. There's some distraction about him being the first pure vampire, but he turns out to be not that scary or dangerous at all.
Which leads me on to my next complaint- Blade can handle vampires because he's half-vampire, he's as strong and as fast as they are. The Nightstalkers on the other hand- a bunch of badly drawn background actors along with Jessica Biel and the aforementioned pansy Ryan Reynolds- are not. The vampires they're up against just aren't frightening at all. The threat simply does not exist. And speaking of the Nightstalkers, shouldn't the makers of Alias be suing over the theft of their tech expert? He's been lifted right out and set down in Blade- the actor even looks a little like the Alias character.
So, what do we have so far- uber-wet blanket Ryan Reynolds, appalling dialogue, a script that's not very well paced, vampires who aren't really scary at all (among the bad guys only Parker Posey's vampire bitch stands out- the others seem to burst into flame at the merest hint of Blade or giggle in the background), a seriously badly cast Dracula, silly weapons (don't even get me started on that), a completely unfunny script, and uninspired action sequences. In the first two movies, Blade was the epitome of cool. Here, he seems underused. It's as if David Goyer wanted to make a Nightstalkers movie, but had gotten lumbered with Blade instead. I'm not all that surprised that Wesley Snipes is taking legal action after seeing this- his Blade is a shadow of his former self. It's a sad way to end the series, going out with a whimper instead of a bang.
One other point that I should mention is that Goyer has absolutely no idea of how to even hint at menace. In the first movie we were treated to time lapse imagery of the sun going down and the night taking over the city. The same trick is tried here- several times- but it fails to establish any sense of menace. There's no impending threat of darkness coming because the vampire enemies just aren't that frightening. If Ryan Reynolds can be a Nightstalker, then so too can any geeky fifteen year old kid. If there is a Nightstalkers spin-off franchise, Reynolds is not the man to helm it. Jessica Biel is more butch that he is. And Biel's character was oddly missing. As Whistler's daughter she had some cool points saved up already- and in her first confrontation with the vampires she handles herself pretty well, but Goyer throws it all away by giving her a bow and arrow and a silly UV light weapon- kind of like a batleth. He also totally fails to develop her at all. She remains little more than a cardboard cut-out throughout the film. There's one scene where we see her in a shower apparently terribly upset, but it seems like nothing more than an excuse to show some Biel-flesh rather than to try and be meaningful in any way. Sure, there's a place for nudity in horror movies, but shouldn't she be upset about something? As far as I can remember all that's just happened is girly man Reynolds got wounded. Maybe she was crying because his character hadn't been killed off? Now there's a thought, Blade: Duo would have been a much better movie. One totally ridiculous and unnecessary thing about her character is her need to listen to MP3s while she's hunting. Quite aside from the fact that she wouldn't be able to hear the superpowered vampires sneaking up on her, this comes over as a totally blatant ad for Apple iPod and iTunes. There are more subtle ways to sneak marketing into films- Goyer obviously didn't get that memo.
One last thing, which really annoyed me because it was so stupid- sissy Reynolds holds up a tiny fragment of Dracula's armour, and I mean we're talking thumbnail size. He then goes on to show us what Dracula's entire suit of armour and helmet look like, because they've extrapolated. Yeah, right. Shouldn't someone over the age of five be watching for mistakes like this in the script? I'm stunned that stupidity like this can not just go into a script, but it can be storyboarded, the scenes prepared, even a little computer graphic designed and filmed- and it can actually make it into a final cut of a movie without anyone saying, "hang on a moment, you can tell what a whole suit of armour looked like based on this tiny thing that could have come from anything?"
Okay, there's one other thing that jarred with me and really annoyed my Other Half, and that's the swearing. I can't for the life of me remember Blade cursing in the first two flicks but he does in this and it just didn't sit right. There's no need for to use "MF" in a film based on a comic book.
All right, there's another thing (I'm in danger of becoming Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketch)- without wanting to give too much away, there's a prison break scene and at the end of it the group is faced by a swarm of police cars with cops pointing guns at them. Big problem? No, they just run away from the twenty or thirty cops- without getting shot- and drive away. The police don't bother to drive after them. It's this kind of poor thinking that characterises the whole film. If only Guillermo del Toro had been the director, things would have been a whole lot different.