Written by David Holland
This is the third and final film in the Blade trilogy, and a few cancelled future projects later, the rights to the character have now transferred back to Marvel. Marvel has said that a new “Blade” is in development starring Mahershala Ali, but back in 2004 Wesley Snipes was still shooting the silver bullets. After stopping the Blood God and Nomak, Blade is now up against his deadliest enemy: Dracula himself.
This is the worst reviewed movie in the trilogy, but it still has its strengths. We see things go wrong for Blade – he loses Whistler (for real this time), gets captured by the vampires, and has to fight the progenitor of the vampire race. Then we get to see him interact with a new group of human hunters. In the previous film, Blade had to work with vampires, but now he has the Nightstalkers – Jessica Biel, Patton Oswalt, and Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds is basically full Wade Wilson in this movie, and I appreciate the levity he brings to this installment.
The Nightstalkers have new toys, including what is essentially a lightsaber, and the actors are good enough with them to make the fight scenes cool. Jessica Biel got so good with archery that, when told to aim for the camera she fired an arrow into a plexiglass-shielded camera and hit the exact, tiny, unprotected spot on the lens that destroyed the $300,000 piece of equipment. Ryan Reynolds’ skill with his sword, plus his profane sarcasm, led Marvel executives to send him a bunch of “Deadpool” comics and suggest that he might enjoy playing the character.
A few of the performances in this film are less than stellar. The relationship between Whistler and Blade has always been the heartbeat of these movies, and while I realize that Whistler’s death was supposed to push Blade emotionally, part of Blade’s personality is to never show any emotions. We never really get to see Blade process any of the things that are supposed to affect him, he just sort of keeps floating through. At one point Hannibal King suggests Blade see a therapist, and while it might be played for laughs, it seems like he might have a point.
Apparently there was a lot of drama on the set of this movie. Snipes and writer/director David S. Goyer did not get along at all. Snipes did not like many of the choices made for the movie, to the point that he refused to shoot some scenes. This means that Goyer had to use CGI and stand-ins in many scenes, and probably contributes to why some of the scenes just feel a bit wooden.
The plot also feels a little bit overdone. Vampires creating human blood farms was the plot of an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Actually, come to think of it, the superpowered vampire killer fighting Dracula was also an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Maybe what I really liked about this movie was that it reminds me of Buffy.
Like the other installments, there are fun action scenes but this installment doesn’t push boundaries with a horror feel or take any risks.