Did you know that there are actually three different Marvel cinematic franchises in which Ryan Reynolds appears? Before he donned the famous red body suit of Deadpool (2016), before he was an early version of Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), he was Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity (2004). Please do not take that as a recommendation to see Blade: Trinity. If it is trademark Ryan Reynolds quips you seek, watch literally any of his other movies. Take your pick. See any film but this one. I would even go so far as to choose X-Men Origins: Wolverine over it, though he is not in that one for long. There is not much that makes sense in Blade: Trinity, from the shape-shifting original vampire Dracula or Drake or whatever (Dominic Purcell), to the title character (Wesley Snipes), who is the Mary Poppins of vampires, practically perfect in every way. The key word there is “practically,” as in not quite perfect. In that “not quite,” there is an entire universe of suck that is this movie, and the entire Blade franchise, no pun intended.
As with all these films, Blade: Trinity needs that next level vampire for (spoiler alert, I guess) the title character to eventually defeat. This is Dracula, but instead of finding him in Transylvania, a group of bloodsuckers led by Danica Talos (Parker Posey) travel to a temple in the Syrian desert (which is later referred to as Iraq, but whatever). There they awaken Dracula, who, it seems, prefers to be called Drake, and is none too pleased to aroused from his slumber. Why has he decided to take a dirt nap for the last couple hundred years? Who knows? Who cares? Not the screenwriters, apparently. We are told that Danica and company want Drake in order to deal with Blade, who has been going about his regular business of killing every vampire that he can punch, shoot, or stab. He is joined in his ongoing war by Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), the brains with the gimpy leg behind the operation. As it turns out, the vampires have other, highly placed, human allies, mostly in law enforcement. When, while hunting other bitey fellows, Danica films Blade killing one of their so-called “Familiars,” the tape is handed over to the authorities. This makes Blade into public enemy number one, and his and Whistler’s hide-out is raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the ensuing shootout, Whistler is killed and Blade is captured. Our hero is sprung from captivity by other vampire hunters, one of which is Whistler’s long-lost daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel), the other being the aforementioned Hannibal. They call themselves the Nightstalkers. Cool name, bros. Anyway, Blade is just as dubious of them as I hopefully sounded in that previous sentence, but their knowledge of vampires and how to defeat them ends up impressing him enough that he sticks with them. They also have developed a virus they call Daystar, the brainchild of their science people, which could wipeout all vampires including Blade. The key is Drake, on whom the Nightstalkers have clearly done their homework. If they could mix Daystar with his blood, as the original vampire, it would trigger the necessary epidemiological chain reaction. This will be no easy task as on top of being immensely strong and fast, Drake can also shapeshift and go about in daylight like Blade. The first of these special abilities proves to be a problem for the Nightstalkers. While Abigail and Blade investigate a vampire blood bank, which is an entire warehouse of people kept in a coma while their blood is harvested (and which they summarily shut down, killing them all!), Drake pays a visit to their headquarters disguised as Whistler. For reasons, he kills everyone, and takes two hostages. The first of these is Hannibal, who used to have a connection to Danica. The other is Zoe (Haili Page), the daughter of the blind Nightstalker scientist Sommerfield (Natasha Lyonne). I guess this is meant to draw in Abigail and Blade? Well, it works. In the midst of taking a beating (this happens to Hannibal a lot in this movie), Abigail and Blade burst in and free him. Blade is there, of course, to take on Drake. Yet, Abigail has a surprise for the proto-vampire. In the midst of their struggle, Abigail sneaks up on their duel. With the mighty Blade seemingly defeated and about to be done in, Abigail fires the arrow containing the Daystar virus. Drake, who by this point is in Super Saiyan monster mode, catches the projectile, snaps it in half, and throws it contemptuously to the ground. Blade takes this opportunity to grab the business end and jam it into Drake’s inflated abdomen. This releases the virus, which pours out of him and infects all the vampires in the vicinity, killing all of them. It looks like it takes Blade as well, and the FBI appear in the chaos and cart away what looks to be Blade’s body. However, on the autopsy table, the cadaver shifts into that of Drake, which is the original vampire’s gift to the person he had just been trying to kill. Makes total sense, I know. This allows Blade to continue fighting his war, whatever that is now that all vampires are dead. The end.
Hopefully, from reading the synopsis of Blade: Trinity, if you made it that far (and thank you, if so), I will have already instilled enough of what does not make sense in this film. It is not a point I want to belabor. Instead, I would like to talk about one little glimmer of sunshine in an otherwise dark and insipid world that is this franchise, and that is the character Zoe. At one point, she walks in on Blade taking the serum he ingests in order to keep his instinctual desire to drink the blood of humans in check. She goes on to ask him why he does this, to which he replies that there is something bad inside of him. With the innocence of her age, she follows this up by wondering why he cannot just be nicer. Great thought, kid. Of course, Blade has to go and ruin it all by saying that the world is not a nice place. There are two ways of looking at life: you can see it as the you-know-what show as Blade views it, or you can look for the positives. God sees both sides, but he concentrates on the good. There is a reason why reconciliation is a reality, because the ultimate good is to achieve a place in Heaven with him, and He wants us to walk the path to reach that goal. Speaking of Heaven, when Zoe is captured by Drake, they have a conversation. Drake wonders whether she is afraid to die. She responds with a simple no, saying that if she dies she will go to Heaven. Amen, kid. Being the bad guy that he is, Drake comes back by claiming that God and angels do not exist, which is a load of crap. It is always remarkable to me that people can countenance the existence of evil, but then stop short of wanting to believe in its absolute opposite, that being God. If only we could all see the world more like Zoe, perhaps there would be fewer Blade movies.
My praise of Zoe in Blade: Trinity should not be misconstrued as a reason to see the movie. Nor, again, should you think, well, Ryan Reynolds is in it, how bad can it be? Go back and rewatch the end of Deadpool 2 (2018) and you will see that even he acknowledges that he has done some stinkers. Given enough time at the end of that one, he probably would have found a way to make fun of Blade: Trinity. Here is hoping Marvel does better with Mahershala Ali in the role. Until then, avoid the ridiculous action schlock that is this franchise.