And so comes the Trilogy Trilogy comes to an end, and I figured as it’s currently the box office age of comic adaptations, to look back on the series that kick-started Hollywood’s 14 year-strong love of Marvel. Blade Trinity is the first incidence of Marvel’s unhealthy relationship with disappointing threequels for damn fine, virtually critic-proof franchises, as both Superman III and Batman Forever had established prior (fuck you DC). Yes, if the first film is a dragging but absorbing origins tale and the sequel the darker, more character and action focused story that builds upon the existing cannon while taking it to newer extremes, the third in a franchise is the misguidedly ‘funny’, lower guidance rated bastard spawn set to undermine the status quo and drag an otherwise damn fine series of films to an undeserved low that’ll make you seriously consider if a complete DVD (or 3D BluRay holograms straight into your brain if your reading this in retrospect) collection is worth it in the long run. So with the tone already set lower than a child’s birthday party in Joseph Fritzl’s basement, let’s begin.
Part 1: Sun-suits and Set-ups
As all good vampire [‘vampire’ is going to crop up so often, you may as well make a drinking game out of this retrospective] movies should start, we are treated to a narration by Ryan Reynolds as he outlines to these living with their heads in the sand for the last 2 centuries that Dracula, lord of darkness and nightmares, is a bit of a meanie – he also throws in a few trademark expletives and allusions to how big a deal Blade is. Thanks Ryan. We cut to the other thing all really good vampire (take a shot) movies need; a bunch of vampires walking around on a beautifully sunny day in the middle of the Syrian dessert – in fully protective AIM sun suits of course. Already the alarm bells are hammering, not just because no movie should ever begin with Ryan Reynolds lecturing anyone about anything – if the vampires had access to this kind of technology (you know, clothes) then why are they still completely reliant upon familiars and backroom deals with power players, rather than going on a 24/7 rampage. Any vampires reading this should ignore my ramblings and take no note of that last sentence. The vampires of AIM enter a pyramid and one particularly fat bloater manages to fall through the floor into the tomb of Dracula, which is convenient really as it saves them having to dig like a bunch of archaeologist dandies. Dracula kills the poor unsuspecting vamp (that counts, take a shot) and emerges from his tomb of several layers of loose sand. Parker Posey and Triple H reveal they have been vampires all along, explaing a lot about their prevailing media careers.
Parker informs him that the time of the vampire revolution is nearing; all that stands in their way is an old man and a tax-dodger. Cue a remake of the intro to Blade II!… I mean; cue Blades explosive entrance that just happens to be at a warehouse with motorcycle riding vampires. Blade uses a lot of fancy new toys that are incredibly effective and so won’t be used beyond this point for the sheer sportsmanship of it, and gives chase to the fleeing vamps across a busy highway in the Blademobile, finally killing his way to a spectator-drawing face-off with the last-man standing – literally. Turns out this guy was no vamp, only a ‘familiar’ posing as one, and this whole set of coincidences was set-up to lead Blade to a public shooting, solidifying his public image as a deranged psychopath. Posey is sat conveniently on high filming the event and passes on the footage to the authorities, who’ve now no grounds to refuse acting on Blade, despite them being in the back pockets of the vampire elite since Blade 1997. With a case of public manslaughter and 1000s of hypothetical killings to his name (as there are no such thing as vampires apparently), Blade tops Osama Bin Laden on the public enemy list and the entire city police force is dispatched to find him, which is perfectly rational for a man who has only essentially been connected to the murder of a single person.
Parker Posey seeks an audience with his holiness of blood fiends, who is being kept in the honeymoon suite vault of dankness. From the shadows, the telltale signs that the final revels of his true form will be over the top, Dracula feasts on his umpteenth cadaver as he slowly regains strength. Parker informs him that the vampires have grown weak at the cost of their global dominance and that with his blood they can once again walk in the sunlight – which is never ever addressed again during the next hour-30. Dracula understandable doesn’t seem to give a toss, for he has plans of his own (also never again to be mentioned), and one more thing; call me…Drake. Drake. The fuck!?
Licking his wounds, Blade shows an uncharacteristic remorse for his action, ultimately leading him to question his morals and even sanity. Nah, he just says ‘fuck it’ and struts around as usual. Understandably pissed with the turn in recent events, Whistler (Blade’s mentor who died in Blade, and became a dead vampire in Blade II, but now isn’t anymore) give some expositional rant about how he won’t be around to mother his presumably not biological (this is debatable – with science!) son, mentioning there are other vamp hunters out there which gives a clear segeuway into this film being the first ever Marvel Team-Up, beating the Avengers by 8 years – only with characters we neither know, care about, and who detract focus from the main star of the show, like if Impossible Man and Howard the Duck shanghaied the Fantastic Four….although…. Anyway, no sooner has Whistler dropped a bombshell of ‘some other people also want the vampires dead’ do we flit over to a bag lady being stalked by a bunch of junkies rapist baby-killers who may or may not be vampires – either way I endorse Jessica Biel killing them armed with only a gas grenade, a bow and arrow, and a lightsaber. It’ll be a comfort to Blade to know this as Whistler explodes himself during an FBI raid in order to prevent the cops from gaining vital info on vampires; their weaknesses, positions in power bases, and more over THAT THEY EXIST AND PROVE BLADE ISN’T SNOOKER LOOPY. Having his best friend die and be arrested really puts another crimp in Blade’s otherwise fine day, and he goes somewhat catatonic. The FBI agent leading the interrogation is actually a familiar and decides that a few hours without either blood or stabilising serum (leaving Blade both weakened and unable to ride a bicycle) means Blade isn’t going to find some way to kill him horribly and tells him of the impending rise of the vampires; “you ain’t got shit on the English guy from the last film” rasps Blade. Later that day Posey, HHH and their gang of merry men come to torment Blade, rather than say KILLING HIM, and get their asses handed to them by Ryan Reynolds, here played by Hannibal King. We know this character will be important because Posey does what anyone facing imminent death would do and shouts out the full name of the attacker. They run from the room (Parker ‘Pussy’ and ‘hhh’, more like) so Blade can be freed and fed serum by Whistlers daughter, who is hot;
“Whistler never married”, groggily slurs Blade
“He hung around with men nearly every hour of the day; what else do you think he did in his downtime than see hookers?”, replies Abigail Whistler, or just Whistler, as Blade projects onto her so heavily that it’s astounding she doesn’t go blind from direct eye contact.
“I always just assumed he was gay”
“Well, he wasn’t. He raised me in the few hours of the year he wasn’t with you and created the totally awesome B-team: The Nightstalkers, who were going to be in the previous film, but then Reynolds made a crack about his weight and we had to sit it out until the underwhelming third instalment”
“Does this mean I gotta share screen time?”
Ryan makes some quip that’s not as funny as he or the filmmakers think and the band make their escape past the legion of security guards and regrouped vampire legions. Blade splits the scene so it’s up to Ryan’s jabber-jawing and Whistler Light’s ability to bend physics to her will from there on. Blade meet back up with them on the outside using a mesmerising display of peak physical fitness and jarringly noticeable CGI; “Damn, thought I could give you the slip until the 4th film”. Police surround them but fortunately a van blasting its non-regulation music obnoxiously loud is ALLOWED through the cordon to pick them up with relaxed slowness while the gun-toting cops stand there and desperately try to remember which finger pulls the trigger. Once all the Scooby gang is inside the police suddenly recall their training not to let dangerous fugitives escape and open fire on the conveniently bullet-proof van as it speeds off into the night as, like heroes, they run away.
They arrive at the docks where a single inept looking man is standing guard at the anti-vamp check point, exiting from the car.
“Hey man, I just wanna say thanks for agreeing to come with us and giving us the opportunity to show you all the cool toys we have in our super secret base”
“You assholes locked the van doors.”
“Yeah, we’re gonna be great friends. Bestest friends foreverz!”
Resisting the urge to run like his franchise’s integrity depends on it, Blade accompanies Legs and The Mouth inside where he is introduced to the rest of the super team; Dr. Nerd, Blind Lass and Daughter Girl, the Basket Ball Duo, and I think there was a dog too. “Oh my god…” breathes Blade brokenly. With such a stellar team in place the forces of darkness don’t have a chance, which isn’t as sarcastic as it sounds because we then get to see Dracula or ‘Drake’ as he now likes to be known (…….) walking the mean streets and taking in the world that got itself in a god-damn hurry. Lured in by the vampire display in a sex shop (the fuck!? And this was a world before the Twilight craze deformed the high street) he enters to discover vampires have become a world-wide phenomena. For some reason the positive cultural impact of vampires enrages Drakeula so he kills the apathetic clerk – seems she ain’t so apathetic when it comes to her death – kids today, go figure. Back at base the team suit up and prepare for action. It’s time to go a-hunting.
Part 2: And now a Word from Our Sponsor
INT: Car – day: A beautiful woman/celebrity for status appeal enters car and sits in silence for some seconds. After a time two men (also celebrities) enter the passenger and driver’s seats. The girl takes out a pair of white headphones – cut to close up of headphones being placed in ears. MAN 1 turns to look at WOMAN
MAN 1: Whoa dude, I been living under a rock for some time and have no idea what an MP3 player is – what is that crazy contraption she’s using?
MAN 2 turns to look back at Woman, then back to Man 1
MAN 2: What, you ain’t never heard of iPod? They’ve been single handedly destroying the high street music market for years now. That thing there is just a way to listen to music outside. What of it? – we’ve been able to do that since the Sony Walkman back in the late 80’s.
Close up fan-wank shot of iPod nestled provocatively between Woman’s legs. She rocks her head and mouths orgasmicly.
MAN 1: Can we have our sponsorship check now?
MAN 2: Hey, could be worse; you could be flogging shoes like will Smith in I. Robot.
CUT TO BLACK:
Having now sold out harder and faster than a new Harry Potter book bound in Emma Watson’s panties, Blade and his band of merry men go familiar hunting, like some grizzly scavenger hunt until finally they find a guy with information that leads them to the corrupt FBI agent who so savagely cock-slapped Blade earlier. PAY BACK BITCH! The trio of armed and hardly inconspicuous celebrities storm the building, having overcome the whole security force of one over-weight pensioner, discovering that the informant is already dead and Drake is waiting. Lolz. Ryan tries to take on Drake and is gravely wounded (mega lolz) but unfortunately not to the face or jaw (*sad face*). With her priorities clearly set in the wrong direction, somewhere in region of Neptune, Diet Whistler goes to help RYAN FUCKING REYNOLDS instead of helping Blade track down the living nightmare described earlier as the “original evil” whose destined to destroy the world. Kicking himself that New Line didn’t buy the rights to some more useful partners like Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Hell even Power Man, Blade gives chase through a series of apartment blocks – a scene not too unlike the intense on from Se7en, if Se7en were a laid back teen rom-com. Cornering Drake on a room, Blade and Drake discuss their conundrum, heritage, morality, life, death, the Chelsea Flower Show, then Blade selfishly decides to choose saving a baby over stopping Drake getting away. THERE WON’T BE ANY BABIES IF HE WINS, DIP SHIT. Egg on face, Blade returns to his team of retards and they haul ass – “no rush guys, I’ve run half the city and back and they still haven’t sent security up here”.
Fortunately not every member of the Super Best Friends is a complete moron; while Ryan was getting his ass kicked, Blind Lass was perfecting a be-all/end-all cure to the vampires. Hurray! See the vampire virus has been passed down to every vampire since Dracula first came about, and as the originator – blah blah blah contrived DNA nonsense, basically if he is injected with this serum then dead they’ll all go. Unfortunately as Blade is half vampire he may also die – maybe. You know what, I take back what I said earlier – they’re all morons. Desperate to be get some distance from Ryan’s incessant monologues, Blade and Whistler piece together the intel and track down the vampires’ ‘final solution’ – who has ‘holocaust’? Well you’re wrong, unless the Nazis planned on using the Jews for wall ornaments, for inside they discover row after row of air-packed people in comas and drip feeds being drained of blood drop by drop. “My god, that’s almost a sensible and humane solution to both races problems” says Whistler, but Blade is already trashing the place, and thus man kinds’ peaceable solution of living with vampires and freeing up hospital beds was ruined. Thanks.
Sneaky bastard that he be, Drakeula has found the Fortress of Solitude and has killed everybody in Blade and Abigail’s absence, apart from one defenceless little girl who, no shitting, hides just out of his reach until he leaves. Upon their return they discover Ryan has been kidnapped, so it isn’t all bad. Drake also left Blind Lass strung up in a spider web/crucifix, which must take less effort than say flicking a switch as he doesn’t delete the video files of the vampire death cure and its application. Between sending Blade on the last espionage mission resulting in smash-times and Drake’s inability to prevent a vampire genocide by up-ending and building, it’s hard to see which of the two races will lose first – notice that wasn’t ‘win’ as clearly both sides are too stupid to rely on the odds of them winning so must rely on their enemy fucking up before they can.
Part 3: You wrote in a Vampire Pomeranian?
Blade and Abigail Whistler prepare to make a whole lot of undead things dead.
“You realise this is a trap; they know once we go there we’ll have to rescue Ryan Reynolds, right?” Blade drawls between banging his head off the desk.
“But we have to deliver the cure and finish off Drake before it’s too late. Besides, look on the bright side; he might already be dead” responds Whistler.
Ryan isn’t dead. Even if he were I find it hard to believe it’d shut him up. No, rather than leaving the remaining team broken and demoralised, Parker Posey has decided to keep Ryan as a pet and transform him back into a vampire again, forgetting that it just gives added incentive to begin the siege of Tower Dracula much faster than had they not taken hostages. On the mark, Blade and Whistler storm the building and kick the shit out of everybody. Reynolds kills HHH but is then attacked by reaver vampire dogs – remember the uncontrollable reaver ubber vamps from Blade II who carried a virus that’d wipe out the vampires in a matter of weeks? Well some mook decided to restart this bloody stupid experiment, but this time removing that pesky rational human element and instead create a race of reaver dogs that’d have even less compassion when chowing down on their former masters and exacerbating all the problems put to rest by Blade II’s conclusion. For this alone the vampires deserve everything that’s coming to them.
Blade takes on Drake, who tries to woe Blade over to his side as technically he’s more pure than all his blood sucking descendants “Ooooh no. No, no, you don’t understand; I’ve been sidelined in my own franchise, and if it weren’t for you it could have all ended on a high in 2002. Your ass is MINE!” Drake finally reveals his true form; Dracula, who looks like a cross of Power Rangers Lord Z, Predator, the cast of Dead Space and a concept sketch the artist never stopped drawing. However, disappointment is not a new thing to Blade by this point so is failed to be stunned by Dracula’s hideous visage and leaps into a ground smashing battle that fails to replicate the drama or intensity of his previous climactic fights with Nomak or Deacon Frost, if only for the fact that drake is actual an alright guy struggling with the dichotomy of his races fall from grace and humanities crawling to a legitimate position of power that he finds almost commendable – most of this is lost in translation due to all the CGI and snarling. Actually, so far Drake has come across as a far more likable character than Blade in all three films, for his rationality and seeking a way for vampires and humans to coexist –however this makes him a pussy and Blade is cool wrapped in leather, so fuck peace and hello genocide! Drake is injected with cure, perplexingly causing all other vampires in the area to rot away, which the film takes much glee in – making us watch as they scream in agony while their flesh disintegrates from their writhing contorted bodies…..Justice?
Wolf Whistler and Reynolds arrive at what the vampires will refer to as Ground Zero, where Blade has succumbed to the vampire cure, only without all the rotting – that’s just for extras and villains, not B-list actor protagonists. Apparently they hand him over the police (possibly for the cash as now they’re out of a job) as Blade is next seen on the butcher’s slab being prepared for harvesting. However he isn’t dead after all – like the lack of rapid decomposition and way the story has done nothing to earn such an awesome ending (there was even a proposed ending that where Blade becomes a werewolf hunter, but with Underworld planned New Line’s next pet project this was unfortunately pulled) -, and he kills his way out of the morgue and heads on for pastures greener, presumably while ranting “They made me work with fucking talentless hacks!” He’s last seen on a motorbike getting as far away from the proposed Hannibal King/Whistler spin-off as he can;
“Years building up a successful solo career that launches the beginning of the comic book film revolution, and I get this as my send off picture? Hell with this, I’m not paying my taxes any more!”