A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Blade Trinity

July 3, 2011

Blade Trinity

I haven’t seen this movie all the way through. I don’t recall exactly why. I bought it years ago and started to watch it at one point, probably some evening when I had the night off, but I only got about a half hour in. As we started watching tonight I was somewhat concerned that after the last two nights I would be somewhat Bladed out. Although I enjoyed Blade II with its cool look and slick action the actual plot and characters felt tired to me (maybe because the same plot was done better with Underworld.) So my vague memories of not having been able to finish watching this movie with my Blade fatigue gave me pretty low expectations. As a result I was actually pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie.

What’s odd about this movie is the way it attempts to blend irreverent humor and serious dark happenings in the Blade universe. The plot starts out fairly grim. The vampires, unable to defeat Blade on their own, have started a public relations effort to discredit him. They set him up to be captured on film staking a human familiar so they can characterize him as a delusional psychopathic killer and enlist the help of the FBI in capturing him. Very shortly they do go after Blade, with the help of a vast SWAT team. Whistler bravely goes about erasing all the incriminating evidence on every computer in the lair (which for some reason makes the computers explode) and ultimately blows up the entire warehouse, giving his life in the process, in an attempt to give Blade time to escape. Blade does not escape, though. Faced with the death (again) of his partner, mentor and father figure Blade is paralyzed with rage and is quickly surrounded and captured.

Of course it turns out that some of the police holding Blade in captivity are vampire familiars (including an unnecessary criminal psychologist who I think is supposed to be a reference to the psychiatrist in Miller’s Dark Knight Returns.) Several vampires turn up in the interrogation room with the intent of dragging Blade off to their base for no purpose that is made clear. (To torture him? To dissect him? It doesn’t really matter I suppose.) At the last minute Blade is rescued by Whistler’s vampire-hunter daughter Abigail and her wisecracking pal Hannibal King. Here the dark tone of the movie starts to clash with its more upbeat and comic-bookish underpinnings.

What’s strange is that the movie is so self-aware about its uneven tone. Most of the levity comes in the form of Ryan Reynolds – comic book movie superstar – as King. He and Abby belong to a kind of amateur vampire hunter club that call themselves the “Nightstalkers.” If that sounds like something out of a comic book that’s because it is. King makes many cracks about how juvenile he knows his group must sound to the legendary vampire hunter Blade, but that doesn’t stop him from giving goofy names to their ammunition and team mates. Indeed King, as with many of the characters played by Reynolds, seems incapable of taking anything seriously. This is a strange contrast in this particular movie which is generally gritty and dark, and even clashes with the details of his own past – him having once been a vampire himself before being cured. On the other hand I have to admit that as much as he doesn’t fit into the movie King is my favorite part of it. Without him it would be unceasingly downbeat what with Whistler’s death, Blade’s capture, the return of Dracula (who like Blade can tolerate sunlight) and the eventual invasion by Dracula of the Nightstalker base of operations. I don’t think that I would have wanted to watch this movie without King in it.

As Abigail we have the very capable Jessica Beil, who we have more recently watched in The Illusionist. She kicks all kinds of vampire ass from the very start of the movie using her recombinant bow and “UV Arc” lightsaber. Speaking of which, I have to say that the Nightstalkers do have all the coolest toys. Their armaments may have goofy names (thanks to King) but that doesn’t stop them from being cool as all get out. I can see why the producers of this movie thought they might be able to create a spin-off franchise from the Nightstalkers.

In general I have to say that I really enjoyed this movie. it doesn’t have the visual flare of the second movie. it doesn’t have the same level of fantastic fight choreography and hip direction as the first movie. But it has its own style, and it has an awful lot of Ryan Reynolds. That pretty much works for me. It’s a shallow, simple, popcorn action flick – which is just fine and was more than I was expecting when I put it in.

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July 3, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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