Friday, December 17, 2004


A thoughtful analogy for Blade: Trinity.

Pretend you grew up with poodles. Your family had a couple, one after the other, and they were great dogs. The first one was an awesome puppy, and though it declined in its later years, it was a great dog. The second one was a super awesome fantastic dog that could beat up tanks with its bare hands.

So when you get out on your own, you of course want a poodle. You go out, seek out the breeder who bred the first one, even, and pick out your puppy. And it's all cute and lovable and awesome, and so you invite your friends over to see it. When your friends get there, the dog goes up to each one of them, one at a time, and sticks his nose right in their crotches.

Not only that, but he sniffs and licks and rubs his head around and generally looks like he's getting off on it. And your friends laugh and laugh, and they say your dog is teh ghey and imply that you are less of a man for having a poodle that eats balls. And no matter what you try, you can't convince them that your other two poodles were great and that this one, for some reason, insists on licking balls.

That's Blade: Trinity.

You see the trailer, and you think, "Ooh, Blade is cool. I liked the second movie a lot! Also, Jessica Beale or whatever is really hot." Therefore, the movie must be great, right? But then you go in, and you sit down, and the first "awesome" thing that happens is one of the last. Then Parker Posey, an actress with a long history of improv and black comedy, completely snarfs her role as a "scary" goth vampiress.

And you think, "God damn, this puppy is licking balls, and I can't stop it."

It gets worse. Because improbable blue gadgets are apparently cooler than FUCKING VAMPIRES, Blade: Trinity has a gadget for every situation. They have bullets that explode with sunlight, silver-plated stakes, and even an arrow that contains a disease that only works on vampires. The explanation? "And this blind beauty over here is River Field or whatever. She's just as badass as the rest of us. Explain whatcha got, River?" And then River says, "This puppy here will blow up a vampire like it's a sock full of dynamite on Christmas," and that's it. Then you know that the ultimate first father of all vampires, who is so perfect that he never needed to evolve, is destined to be destroyed by some punk girl with a bow and arrow. It's all good though, because Dracula is crap, too. It's good to see the director's retarded European cousin getting work.

Dracula, the most powerful vampire who ever existed except the other vampires in the movie, has the power to change his shape into whatever the most plot-appropriate form is at the moment. Rather than turn into a rat or somethiing to infiltrate the good-guy hideout, he takes the form of a dead friend of the good guys. They're not likely to freak out at that, right? Then Vlad the Impaler has a little girl at his whim, and she insults him, and he apparently just walks off. Sweet. Also, the world is full of tons of unnamed vampires who can be dispatched by punching them with the proper swagger. Of course, Dracula has no power, supernatural or otherwise, over these vampires, and there's no telling why Parker Posey wanted to raise him in the first place. Though, I have to admit, Dracula is pretty awesome in his True Form. Someone designing that form was thinking, "In the first Blade, the vampires had two jaws and were kinda scary. The second blade, they had three jaws and were really scary. We'll give Dracula... like, seven jaws! Take that!" Unfortunately, all he really does in that form is throw Blade around and skulk in the costume-flaw-concealing shadows.

The movie has its cool parts, wirth watching for a Blade fan. Like Triple H and his pomeranian. Parker Posey's brother in the film does surprisingly well. And Blade himself is a badass on the Wesley Snipes scale. He slings blades around and punches women like no one else in the business.

But then, man. That dog keeps licking balls. Combat scenes are often blurry and difficult, with punching noises occurring when no punches are being thrown. The ultra-cool "Blade vs. the FBI" plot gets hot and then tossed out when Blade solves the problem by beating up a bunch of nameless FBI dudes. Kris Kristopherson staggers around going, "I'm not gonna lose you again, god damnit" and shooting shotguns at scores of FBI agents only seconds after he tells Blade not to kill humans. Oh, and every single word, except the three lines Blade says himself, of the film is exposition. Here's an example:

BLADE: And who are you punks, who came to save me last scene?

JASON LEE IMPERSONATOR (JLI): We are the "good guys," Blade. Also, I used to be a vampire, this here is Whistler's daughter, the nerd makes magic bullets, and the blind woman's cute daughter has no idea how bad this movie is.

BLADE: I see. You think you can help me? You kids?

HOT CHICK: I'm not just an incredibly hot woman. I'm also super badass at all types of fighting and can kill eighteen undead vampires with my bare hands and exploding babies.

BLIND GIRL: Oooh, I just hacked into God's computer with my blind hacking abilities. Look at the information on my screen, which I can understand even though I can't see or read it.

NERD: These puppies make every vampire in the world blow up just by you wishing for it to happen. But we only have one, so make sure you use it only at the end of the movie.

BLADE: I'm still not convinced.

And so on. Then you get to the end fight:

DRACULA: Ah, Blade, I see we are here fighting with swords.

BLADE: I am here to kill you or to die, or both. Unfortunately, the "Blade could be killed too, and so he should decide whether eradicating Dracula is worth losing his own life and make a valiant sacrifice" plot is wasted, because we solved it by not addressing it in the least.

DRACULA: You have honor, Blade. But I will kill you by punching you with fists.

BLADE: .....

A great battle ensues, then the Hot Chick shows up, like all hot chick sidekicks, shoots an arrows that misses, and then Blade gets the final blow.

No matter how badass an enemy is in a Blade film, there's always the uber gadget. The Earth itself could turn out to be a vampire, eating cities by the hundreds daily until Blade shows up, and Blade will fight some dudes with his sword and then use the uber gadget on the Earth to defeat it. How much tension can there be in a plot when, no matter how awesome the villain is, you know that Blade will come up with some sort of silver-coated UV laser garlic spray to defeat it?

Damnit, this puppy just won't stop licking balls.