Marvel Movie Madness! Part 9: Blade: Trinity

Closing out the trilogy.

Enter Marvel Movie Madness, wherein Rotten Tomatoes watches all of the significant Marvel movies ever made. Full Marvel Movie Madness list here. Tune in! We give you our thoughts, and you give us yours.


Part 9: Blade: Trinity (2004, 26% @ 163 reviews)
Directed by David S. Goyer, starring Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds

Jeff: Well, that was disappointing. But hey, when a movie includes a voiceover sequence and one character warning another with the hoary phrase "you're gettin' reckless" within the first 10 minutes, you kind of have to be grateful that it's at least telling you upfront that it isn't going to be any good. Even for the third installment in an action thriller vampire trilogy, Blade: Trinity is packed with "wait, what?" moments, from its cast full of talented character actors who had mortgage payments (including Eric Bogosian, Patton Oswalt, and Parker Posey, who clearly studied for her role by watching Sandra Bernhard in Hudson Hawk) to its laughably senseless plot (Dracula can shape-shift because he has very tiny bones?).

That being said, Trinity does deliver a handful of cool action set pieces, as well as some interesting plot wrinkles -- turning Blade into a fugitive from justice makes sense, and turning him into the glowering mentor for a team of vampire hunters wasn't a bad idea. To no one's surprise, Ryan Reynolds steals many of the movie's most entertaining moments, and Jessica Biel makes for a decent action hero, although she isn't given much to do (aside from one of the most pointless shower scenes in recent memory). But all the (cough) new blood can't keep the movie from feeling tired -- Trinity gives us Blade versus Dracula, which ought to be the all-time vampire movie showdown, but the story follows the same beats as the rest of the franchise, and Goyer never builds enough tension to make it feel like there's really anything at stake.


Tim: My expectations for Blade Trinity were so low that I found myself kinda digging it. It's clearly the weakest of the three films; like em>Blade II it fails to dig deeper into our hero's psyche, and it often betrays the internal logic and rules of the first two movies. And like Jeff said, it sets up a final conflict that it has no way of pulling off in a satisfying way -- characters talk about Dracula's invincibility, that vampires are running the show in every major city, and that the Nightstalkers have devised a method of killing off every vampire in the city, but we don't really believe any of these things. Plus, the movie has no idea what to do with Parker Posey. She seems like a perfect arch-villainess -- heck, even in her indie comedies she projects an air of passive aggressive malevolence -- but she's given so little to do that her character ends up just being distracting.

For all its faults, though, Blade Trinity has a few things going for it. Reynolds and Biel are credible action stars, and some of the set pieces are reasonably exciting. But for me, the most entertaining moments in the movie are either throwaway gags or weird little things in the background. The biggest laugh in the movie -- nay, the franchise -- happens when Blade rescues the baby, and then, looking down upon it, growls, "Cootchie coo!" When the second-string Nightstalkers are clowning around at their headquarters, Patton Oswalt proves himself to be the worst basketball player ever captured on celluloid. And I liked the fact that one of the rap tunes on the soundtrack sampled the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs."


Matt: You know you have problems when your two franchise stars (Snipes and Kristofferson) sue over their lack of screen time. Compared to the first two movies, this one's a disaster. It seems to be more about setting up the Nightstalkers as spinoff franchise than a real Blade story, but the movie was so poorly received by audiences that the spinoff never happened (and it killed the original franchise).

This movie does so many things wrong compared to the first two. First of all, Blade gets pushed to the background in favor of new characters. The action is well-staged, but it doesn't really drive the story very well. Every time the story gets a little slow, Goyer tries to pep things up by throwing in a mostly random fight scene.

It bothers me how the iTunes product placement is so awkwardly forced into the movie; we learn that Jessica Biel's character likes to listen to MP3s while hunting vampires, so we see her synching playlists on her spiffy new iPod, but we cut to the next scene where she's kicking ass, and the iPod is nowhere to be seen. Incompetent product placement at its finest!

Another irritation is Ryan Reynolds's character, Hannibal King. I think Reynolds is funny in this movie, but this isn't Hannibal King from the comics. They do get the background mostly correct, but the characterization is completely different. Marvel's King was a no-nonsense, ex-vampire detective. The movie King is all about nonsense. It's as if Goyer decided to pull some name out of the Blade canon to appeal to comic fans, but he never bothered to actually do any homework about how the character had been previously written. Either that or maybe he thought comic book fans wouldn't notice.

I could go on and on about this movie... Three different endings were shot!? There's a laser bat'leth? A vampiric pomeranian? Patton Oswalt's embarrassing basketball winning that pick up game!? And oh yeah... a movie called Blade that mostly forgets about the title character!? I think it's telling that Goyer hasn't directed anything but shlock horror since this film was released. If you screw up a money-making franchise this badly, no one's going to trust you with a major motion picture again.

More Marvel Movie Madness:

Comments

Clint D.

Clint Davis

Next to Ang Lee's Hulk, this is the most unwatchable Marvel movie for me. Give me Howard the Duck over this film anyday

May 27 - 05:14 PM

algreen99

AL Green

No my friend, Hulk 2003 is far more tolerable than this.

May 27 - 07:14 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

It's certainly among a long list of Marvel's worst. I found Punisher Warzone to be the most unwatchable though.

May 27 - 07:42 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Punisher Warzone was truly terrible.

May 27 - 09:15 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Definitely one of the worst movies ever based on a comic property. It was like they read Garth Ennis' comic-books, and decided they wanted to take the extreme violence from those, except take it to ridiculous heights, take out his great writing, and throw a really shitty story in, too. Not to mention the production values are absolutely bottom of the barrel. You can clearly tell The Punisher is holding a doll and not an actual child when he blows one guy's face off. It is a laughably bad movie.

May 27 - 11:54 PM

Tyler P.

Tyler P

In all seriousness, Howard the Duck was actually an extremely enjoyable movie. It would have been great if it weren't for the second half of the movie when Jeffrey Jones' character came in. Who didn't get an erection when Howard and the girl were about to have sex? Why are you looking at me like that...

May 29 - 02:52 PM

quietus28

jj l

I actually enjoyed Ang Lee's Hulk, and found it far more interesting and enjoyable than the Edward Norton one.

May 31 - 09:48 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Yeah, this one was really bad. I agree with pretty much everything Matt said. I enjoyed the first two movies (I still think the first one is very underrated), but this flick deserves all the shit it gets.

May 27 - 05:16 PM

Dragonrider2007

Aaron Davies

I actually semi enjoyed this movie just because Ryan Reynolds made me forget how bad it was.

May 27 - 05:34 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

That exact same performance will have the opposite effect in Green Lantern

May 27 - 07:10 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Actually, Ryan Reynolds is why this movie was so bad.

May 29 - 09:25 PM

TheMovieNerd

Tumelo Drametu

I don't mind this movie. It is not as good as the other two films but i still have no problem watching it.

May 27 - 05:39 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

This movie is awful, and completely undermines everything that was established in the first two films. How did vampires go from being an enormous subculture, complete with nightclubs, ancient bloodlines, science labs, internal conflicts (pure bloods vs. human-turned-vampires), etc, to a group of whiny henchmen in an office building led by Parker Posey (sporting prosthetic fangs way too big for her face) and Triple freaking H?!?!

Blade went from being the brooding tortured star of his own franchise to a grouchy, grumbling babysitter. Ryan Reynolds was pretty funny, except the actual Hannibal King wasn't anything like that. It's as if Goyer said, "Hey this guy's in the comics and has a cool name, but instead of being a serious former vampire detective, let's make him Deadpool." Jessica Biel's character was a walking Apple advertisement, even though listening to Jurassic 5 on your iPod while fighting hordes of undead bloodsuckers is a surefire way to get shot in the back. Dracula made even less sense. I understand wanting to do something different w/ the legendary creature but come on; his tiny bones allow him to shape shift (and apparently change his skin pigment too)? He looked more like the red demon from that movie "Legend."

There was a good idea in here somewhere but it got lost in this mess. I said it in the "Blade II" segment that David Goyer is hit or miss and this one is definitely a miss. Blade vs Dracula would have made a perfect movie, but those involved in making this third outing seemed more interested in revving up the cool rather than weaving the concept into a worthwhile narrative. Oh well. Maybe someone will try to reboot the franchise (they've done it with everything else).

May 27 - 06:38 PM

waggaga1

noel noel

This movie sucked. That's that.

May 27 - 06:55 PM

MAMOVIES

Matheus Cassiano

Agree

May 29 - 02:15 PM

Murdoch

Murdoch +

That exact same performance will have the opposite effect in Green Lantern

May 27 - 07:10 PM

algreen99

AL Green

No my friend, Hulk 2003 is far more tolerable than this.

May 27 - 07:14 PM

algreen99

AL Green

David Goyer should stay away from the directors chair. Co writing a batman movie with Nolan? Yes. Directing his own movie? NO. The Ipod bits was vomit inducing. Dont know why Goyer made her *a human* able to go hand to hand combatant with vampires whom are obviously way stronger than humans. The only good thing about this movie is that they killed Whistler in the beginning.

May 27 - 07:28 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I hated the fact that Whistler got capped again. You don't treat Kristofferson that way man, you just don't.

May 27 - 07:42 PM

algreen99

AL Green

They should have never brought him back for part 2. They way he went out in part 1 was perfect.

May 27 - 08:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yeah, I agree there. The whole bringing him back in 2 felt incredibly contrived.

May 27 - 08:35 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Its always weird re reading something I wrote and noticing the typos. Oh well.

May 28 - 01:29 AM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I didn't mind them bringing him back (though they didn't need to), but the way he died in "Blade: Trinity" made his resurrection in "Blade II" seem pointless. Why revive him just to kill him again? This movie blew chunks all over the audience.

May 28 - 08:42 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

This piece of shit was so bad that it's physically painful to watch. Also - I fucking hated Reynolds in this movie, he was the most annoying character in the recent memory for me, probably since Jar Jar Binks assaulted my senses back in '01... like that work buddy you have that always thinks he's funny, but in actuality grates on everyone's nerves. This was back before Reynolds became a credible actor in my eyes.

May 27 - 07:41 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Could not agree more. His jokes truly got tedious. Buried was not enough for me. The guy just cant shed his vin wilder persona in my opinion. It always comes through for me.

May 27 - 08:24 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Phantom Menace came out in 1999 Watcher.

May 27 - 09:21 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yes, but I didn't watch it until '01. All the negative buzz basically made me skip it, but then I relented when it was on TV.

May 28 - 01:17 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

I knew it.

May 28 - 09:58 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I really liked Buried. Ending pissed me off, though!

May 27 - 11:58 PM

algreen99

AL Green

I loved the premise of Buried. Reynolds was my problem. Half the time I was like wow, they locked Vin wilder in a casket. But hey thats just me.

May 28 - 01:34 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

At least you remember Van Wilder green, whenever I see Reynolds I can't help but think of the scrawny dimwit from that Tv show he did "two guys and a girl". Whenever I see a Green Lantern promo I can't help but think that his muscles are CGI too and at one point or another he'll drop some lame one liner and recorded laugh track will sound.

May 28 - 12:12 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I hated the fact that Whistler got capped again. You don't treat Kristofferson that way man, you just don't.

May 27 - 07:42 PM

algreen99

AL Green

They should have never brought him back for part 2. They way he went out in part 1 was perfect.

May 27 - 08:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yeah, I agree there. The whole bringing him back in 2 felt incredibly contrived.

May 27 - 08:35 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Its always weird re reading something I wrote and noticing the typos. Oh well.

May 28 - 01:29 AM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I didn't mind them bringing him back (though they didn't need to), but the way he died in "Blade: Trinity" made his resurrection in "Blade II" seem pointless. Why revive him just to kill him again? This movie blew chunks all over the audience.

May 28 - 08:42 AM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

It's certainly among a long list of Marvel's worst. I found Punisher Warzone to be the most unwatchable though.

May 27 - 07:42 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Punisher Warzone was truly terrible.

May 27 - 09:15 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Definitely one of the worst movies ever based on a comic property. It was like they read Garth Ennis' comic-books, and decided they wanted to take the extreme violence from those, except take it to ridiculous heights, take out his great writing, and throw a really shitty story in, too. Not to mention the production values are absolutely bottom of the barrel. You can clearly tell The Punisher is holding a doll and not an actual child when he blows one guy's face off. It is a laughably bad movie.

May 27 - 11:54 PM

algreen99

AL Green

They should have never brought him back for part 2. They way he went out in part 1 was perfect.

May 27 - 08:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yeah, I agree there. The whole bringing him back in 2 felt incredibly contrived.

May 27 - 08:35 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Its always weird re reading something I wrote and noticing the typos. Oh well.

May 28 - 01:29 AM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I didn't mind them bringing him back (though they didn't need to), but the way he died in "Blade: Trinity" made his resurrection in "Blade II" seem pointless. Why revive him just to kill him again? This movie blew chunks all over the audience.

May 28 - 08:42 AM

algreen99

AL Green

Could not agree more. His jokes truly got tedious. Buried was not enough for me. The guy just cant shed his vin wilder persona in my opinion. It always comes through for me.

May 27 - 08:24 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Phantom Menace came out in 1999 Watcher.

May 27 - 09:21 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yes, but I didn't watch it until '01. All the negative buzz basically made me skip it, but then I relented when it was on TV.

May 28 - 01:17 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

I knew it.

May 28 - 09:58 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I really liked Buried. Ending pissed me off, though!

May 27 - 11:58 PM

algreen99

AL Green

I loved the premise of Buried. Reynolds was my problem. Half the time I was like wow, they locked Vin wilder in a casket. But hey thats just me.

May 28 - 01:34 AM

Manuel G.

Manuel Granados

At least you remember Van Wilder green, whenever I see Reynolds I can't help but think of the scrawny dimwit from that Tv show he did "two guys and a girl". Whenever I see a Green Lantern promo I can't help but think that his muscles are CGI too and at one point or another he'll drop some lame one liner and recorded laugh track will sound.

May 28 - 12:12 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yeah, I agree there. The whole bringing him back in 2 felt incredibly contrived.

May 27 - 08:35 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Meh . . . still better than the TV show.

May 27 - 08:48 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Oh yeah, forgot about that POS starring Sticky Fingaz....so awful *shudder*.

May 27 - 09:09 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

My favorite part was that they made vampire ashes a drug! Funny shit right there!

May 28 - 12:01 AM

woundedmakers

Steven Bada

Once again, Matt proves that he knows what he's talking about, and the other guys prove that they're morons.

May 27 - 08:55 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Hey at least this time they gave us more then a few sentences. lol

May 27 - 09:16 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Oh yeah, forgot about that POS starring Sticky Fingaz....so awful *shudder*.

May 27 - 09:09 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

My favorite part was that they made vampire ashes a drug! Funny shit right there!

May 28 - 12:01 AM

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