Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Blade: Trinity - Unrated Version

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Wesley Snipes as Blade
Jessica Biel as Abigail Whistler
Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King
Parker Posey as Danica Talos
Dominic Purcell as Dracula/Drake
Triple H as Jarko Grimwood
Natasha Lyonne as Sommerfield
Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler

Special Features:
Widescreen version of the unrated film with 10 minutes of added footage

Two commentaries by writer-director David Goyer, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, producer, and crew

16-part behind-the-scenes documentary "Daywalkers, Nightstalkers & Familiars: Inside the World of Blade: Trinity"

Alternate ending

Blooper reel

Goyer on Goyer: The writer interviews the director

Galleries: VFX progression and weapons

Theatrical trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS Surround Sound
English and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 123 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the third film in the Blade series. The following is from the DVD cover:

"Blade (Wesley Snipes), returns as the ultimate vampire hunter in the explosive third film, Blade: Trinity. For years, Blade has fought against the vampires in the cover of the night. But now, after falling into the crosshairs of the FBI, he is forced out into the daylight, where he is driven to join forces with a clan of human vampire hunters he never knew existed - The Nightstalkers. Together with Abigail (Jessica Biel) and Hannibal (Ryan Reynolds), two deftly trained Nightstalkers, Blade follows a trail of blood to the ancient creature that is also hunting him, the original vampire, Dracula."

This edition of Blade: Trinity is unrated but the regular edition is rated R for strong pervasive violence and language, and some sexual content.

The Movie:
When the first Blade film came along in 1998, I was quite surprised by it. While it was by no means a perfect movie, it was the first good film based on a Marvel Comic. It really kicked off the recent comic movie renaissance. I wasn't quite as impressed by Blade 2. While it had better effects and a bigger budget, there were some aspects of it that I just wasn't enamored with. But I had higher hopes for Blade: Trinity since it looked like it was kicking the series off in a new direction. Unfortunately, the final result was a bit of a mixed bag.

Blade: Trinity has a decent concept behind it. The idea of Blade teaming up with a new group of vampire killers is a great idea. However, the group doesn't have any really interesting personalities in it that make them endearing. Some of the things they say and the things they do are just cheesy as well. The concept of this highly organized group never really comes together.

And the idea of Blade battling Dracula, the father of all vampires is perfect as well. But somehow along the way it never lives up to its potential of being an epic battle between semi-good and evil. Dracula ends up just not being scary or intimidating enough. (He's even reduced to running through the street being pursued by Blade much like a common criminal in a TV cop drama.) The villains in the previous films were a lot scarier. The final sword battle between Blade and Dracula just isn't quite impressive enough either. The movie spends a lot of time saying how big and bad he is, but when he's revealed he just isn't bad enough.

The new gang of vampires is rather weak, too. Compared to those in the previous films, these guys don't even look like the B-Team. They're more like the D-Team. As much as I like Parker Posey, she's not a good vampire. The teeth look ridiculous on her and some of her one liners are truly groan-worthy. Triple H makes a good thug-vampire, but he's not enough to save the bad guys.

Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King and Jessica Biel as Abigail Whistler are a bit of a mixed bag as well. Biel looks great in the fight scenes and she has some good emotional moments, too. However, she does this stupid thing where her character listens to an iPod while fighting vampires. It came across as really lame and a weak attempt at being hip. Ryan Reynolds is also tough in the fight scenes and he provides a lot of great jokes in the film. Unfortunately, he provides so many jokes and ad libs over and over that it becomes annoying. You start to hope that the vampires are going to kill him just to shut him up. Meanwhile, Wesley Snipes as Blade is not great either. He handles the action as good as he did in any of the other films, but he seems to just be going through the motions this time around. Several sad attempts at humor by his character also fall flat.

I should also mention that if you saw this movie in the theaters, this "Unrated Edition" has 10 extra minutes not seen before. One scene shows Dracula and Danica Talos having a romantic moment. Danica reveals a little about her past and Dracula seduces her. It gives her character a little more dimension. Then at the end of the film we see Blade resurrected in the morgue just as they are about to do an autopsy. The scene leaves you wondering if he killed one of the doctors or not for blood. Both of the scenes are interesting, but I can't say they're worth of going out of your way to see.

In the end Blade: Trinity has a few good effects, a few good fight scenes, and a few good jokes. Too bad the whole movie couldn't be consistently good. It's worth viewing if you saw the other Blade films, but your opinion of it will probably greatly depend on your views of the efforts to inject humor into the series.

The Extras:
There are quite a few bonus features included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:

Two commentaries by writer-director David Goyer, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, producer, and crew Of the two commentaries, the one with Goyer, Biel, and Reynolds is the best one. It's full of humor, funny stories from the set, and a lot of fun. It's probably more enjoyable to listen to their comments than to watch the film itself. The second commentary with the crew is much more geared towards the technical side of things though they have their fair share of fun, too.

16-part behind-the-scenes documentary "Daywalkers, Nightstalkers & Familiars: Inside the World of Blade: Trinity" This "making of" feature is almost as long as the film itself. It covers the writing of the script, the casting, the training, the stunts, visual effects, music, costumes, etc etc etc. Pretty much every aspect of the making of the film is covered here. It includes interviews with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and more. I found one of the more interesting segments to be about Goyer's various early ideas for the story (such as a futuristic apocalyptic version where vampires have taken over the world). Another fun piece is where Goyer points out all the little cameos and Easter Eggs in the movie.

Alternate ending In this alternate ending, Biel and Reynolds crash a Chinese casino and face off with a werewolf / vampire hybrid. It's a great idea, but actually seeing it makes you realize it's probably better left on the cutting room floor. Some of the stunts are weak and the werewolf looks a little cheesy. Too bad they couldn't make it work, though, because it would have been fun.

Blooper reel This blooper reel shows all the fun they had on the set. Even the stoic Snipes makes a joke here and there. You even see the infamous scene where Biel destroyed a $300,000 camera with a lucky shot with an arrow.

Goyer on Goyer: The writer interviews the director This amusing featurette shows director Goyer interviewing writer Goyer. He discusses standard things about the film, fans on the internet, internet rumors, and more. It's actually a funny bonus feature.

The Bottom Line:
If you're a fan of the Blade series, then you'll want to check out Blade: Trinity. Unfortunately it's not as good a film as its predecessors, but it does have a few redeeming moments that make it worth viewing.

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