New Line held a test screening for David Goyer's Blade: Trinity last night in Los Angeles, and we've received both a positive and negative review of the film. Here's the positive review from 'D Dub' which does contain many spoilers, so you may not want to read it if you'd like to go into the theater fresh this December. Remember, some of the things mentioned may change as this was a test by New Line...
Hey guys, I caught a screening of Blade: Trinity last night at the Bridge in LA, and I have to say I was pretty damn impressed.
The story? I think its been pretty well covered in earlier reviews, but just in case not everyone caught it before, it goes like this (SPOILERS, obviously):
We start out with some voice over about blood or something silly (more on this later) then we get a shot of Iraq. A helicopter swoops in and drops off some high tech military looking cats. They climb up this huge staircase into some type of ruined temple. Once inside we find out these are all vampires searching for someone. The vamps are led by Danica (Parker Posie). Suddenly, quicksand spills down and one of the vamps leans his gets yanked in. He pops back up spouting blood like a fountain from where his head used to be. Out of the hole, an armored hand lunges up and then this nasty bastard pops out all decked out in some old school knight-age armor. His mouth opens and we see a flash of fangs then....
Intro our hero. First let me say Blade kicks a lot of ass in this film. And the new weapons are delicious. First one we get to see is this whip-thing with a dagger on the end. It's not really a whip - it's retractable. Best I can describe it. Next we jump into a sweet car chase that ends in Blade accidentally killing a human. "Set your ass up," the victim says. On the roof Danica watches with her handy Rodney King cam.
The Feds get this tape and a lead on where Whistler and Blade are hiding out. Whistler tells Blade he's getting sloppy, and he can't do this alone.
Enter the Night Stalkers. Abigail (whose intro I'll just let y'all enjoy when you see it -- fyi: she probably has the best weapons & she's smokin hot) is Whistler's daughter. And Hannibal King (played by the ever funny Ryan Reynolds) used to be a suck-head but took the cure, and now he kills them.
Blade's boathouse gets bum-rushed by the feds and Whistler goes out with a bang. Once Blade is taken in, we find out the head of the FBI is a familiar. There is a hilarious scene where Dr. Vance gets all talk-therapy on Blade. "When you drink blood, do you find yourself getting sexually aroused?" Blade's reactions to his questions had us dying. We then find out Vance is a familiar too, and they are transferring Blade over to the vampires. The NS break up the party and rescue blade.
Back at their "honeycomb hideout" as King likes to call it, they fill Blade in on the arrival of Dracula, aka Drake. Apparently they've dug him up for some vampire "endgame." Drake taunts Blade into a foot chase and leads him up to a rooftop with an infant hostage he snags along the way. Drake tells Blade that next time they meet Blade will die by his sword.
We find out that the NS have something called the Day Star Virus that they are going to use to off the entire vampire race. The only problem? It will probably kill Blade as well. The NS get ambushed and most die. King gets kidnapped, so Abigail and Blade crash the vampires central HQ and the final showdown begins. Blade and Drake dance a little sword swinging tango and..
The end? I'll get to that in a second. But first, let me tell you what I absolutely loved. RYAN REYNOLDS steals the show. This guy is so damn funny, it's unbearable. And it doesn't hurt the movie at all. It really juices it up. He and Blade have this animosity going on that is priceless. Blade is such a badass that when you hear Hannibal King tossing one-liners Blade's way, you flinch for King. I thought Blade was gonna slap him silly. The only suggestion I have is: there are some instances where less would be more with King. Sometimes I felt, okay that's one too many jokes in a row. Don't get me wrong, Vamp Wilder cracked me the F-up, but they could cut a joke or two out. Also, there is this weird jump when Danica says she's going to turn King back to a vampire. He suddenly - for the first time in the whole movie - goes completely serious. She's cracked King's armor, and it's a great scene. It's very believable. But, we cut to something else and when we come back - King's back to cracking jokes. That felt weird. However, I wouldn't sacrifice the "cavalry" bit that occurs right after. Funniest moment of the film.
A lot of the action is exactly what you'd expect and more from a Blade film. The car chase was beautiful. Blade is ruthless on these vamps. The EFFECTS were surprisingly tight. We were prompted that this was a "work in progress," but I didn't notice anything missing. The ashing is the best I've seen from any of the Blade films. There's this one scene where Abigail shoots a vampire, he ashes and his fried skull lands on the hood of a car with a THUMP. In other scenes, we watch skin zip off and then skeletons sizzle and ash. Tasty stuff like that abounds.
THE DRACULA MONSTER -while we unfortunately don't get to see enough of it - is horrific. He's like a towering, thorny, horned, pumped version of the skinless dude in Hellraiser with an Aliens-Predator hybrid mouth. The vampire dogs were also pretty sick. There's a funny bit when King has to battle it out with them.
TRIPLE H surprised me. He's funny and reminds me a lot of Deacon Frost's sidekick in the first film. PARKER POSEY is hilarious. She struts in like a slutty,trashy, spazoid vampire queen. A buddy of mine didn't dig her, but I totally ate her performance up. When she and King were in scenes together, they play off each other nicely.
HUMOR: I guess that is the main surprise in this film is that it's so damn funny. It's a good surprise. The scares are there, the gore is there, the ass kicking rules, the soundtrack is hot, and so the added humor is a bonus. Oh, and Ryan Reynolds might get the most laughs, but the funniest line of the entire film is said by Blade, and I won't give it away cause when he says it the crowd went nuts. I'll just say it's classic Blade.
Now with all that said, the one thing I hope-hope-hope (fingers crossed) they change is. THE ENDING. I saw one guy in front of me raise up his hands like "what the..." and i saw a few heads shaking. I don't know if they're gonna change it or what, but it involves some weird dying exchange between Blade and Drake that just comes out of left-field. I think it can work, but they need to set it up much better. Also, the voice-over (at the beginning and end) absolutely must go. It is not needed and it does nothing but insult our intelligence. We got what they were shooting for without hearing it.
Hopefully the filmmakers get enough feedback from those yellow response cards they had us fill out and they'll change the ending, because other than that beef, Blade: Trinity was one funny, gory, bass-thumping, ass-kicking, vamp-ashing hell of a ride.
Scooper 'Mook Murdoc' also sent us the following review, which is on the negative side and also contains spoilers...
I was also present at the Blade: Trinity Screening and I had the polar opposite opinion of the film. From a filmmaking standpoint and comparison to the first two is where I will make my stand...
Goyer is not ready for the big time. He directs one smaller film(ZigZag) and thinks he can jump into the ring with the likes of Norrington and Del Toro? Think again. He is a capable writer but the action/thriller/horror genre is definitely not his forte. The shots are weak and without scope. Remember Joel Schumacher's terrible Batman & Robin flick? How every other shot was an aerial tracking shot of the villians lair? Well, this movie is worse. Aerial of the Vampire loft then back to dolly shot of Blade's waterfront hideout... then back again to the aerial shot of the loft etc. This movie is an erratic mess. Blade One had feel and an indie urban look to it. Del Toro's Blade II was well, a Del Toro colored and lit movie. Goyer tries to repeat Norrington but with a cleaner modern look. He fails. It ends up looking like a slick "shot in Canada" tv movie of the week(ala "Paycheck"). His cuts are choppy and without confidence. The lighting is so bad in the "Nightstalkers rescue Blade" sequence that it physically hurt watching it. Seemed that every time a close-up cool action shot was taking place the overhead lights (which were strobing on and off) were darkest obscuring Abigail's face or King's etc. It was amateur compared to the first two. As for story/plot...I strongly feel that the script was written with directing in mind. Goyer keeps everything tight and the scope small (very small)...like something he knows he can handle. The stakes are not high enough in this film. The opening intro of Drake is cut too fast and choppy to get a real sense of horror or shock. The vampires who free him a lame decadent stereotype vamps that were batter done in the first film. There is not great Vampire clan or elders calling the shots...it's like the guys from the "Without a Paddle" movie went and dug up the most evil of evil. They are incompetent villians to have managed this feat. The intro of Blade was the best thing the movie has. The action sequences in this scene are good but not great. Not greater than previous efforts. But definitely the highlight of the film. That's where things go south for me. The police are after Blade then after one swift rescue the police disappear til the very end of the film. The Nightstalkers are throw away characters (the peripheral ones that is) and are easily plotted out. No care or effort went into any of these characters. And Drake...lame thick Eric Bana wannabe with a caesar haircut going around killing goths sort of makes Stephen Dorf actually menacing. The big third act sequence has all been done before. Blade wades through several nameless faces to fight Drake. Extremely disappointing sequence. Not even close to the first two film's climaxes. Jarred Nomak is clearly the best villian Blade has faced. He put way more fear into me then Drake. The humor in this movie is way too much. A little goes a long way, Mr. Goyer. Hanibal King is nothing but a series of one liners with great abs. Blade would never align himself with this guy. The humor element turns the whole franchise into the realm of Matrix like disappointment. Praise be to Jessica Biel for playing a tone to story perfect character. Abigail is a welcome addition to the movie, but Natasha Lyonne and daughter...c'mon, it was completely laughable. All in all it is clearly the worst Blade film in the trilogy. The ending has no resonance upon leaving the theater. What's the point of needing him after what develops in the end? I expected so much more from the guy who wrote the first two and Batman Begins. Be it ego or just wanting to try something new...this film should have been placed in the hands of a director that could have done justice to the script. Oh, that-yea...the script did not work either. Would have rather seen the Vampire Apocolypse-Blade Messiah version. Stick to writing Mr. Goyer.
Mook Murdoc-awaiting the onslaught of Hatorade
Source: D Dub, Mook Murdoc
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