To put it mildly, “Blade: Trinity” — the third and hopefully final installment in Wesley Snipes’ franchise about a half-human, half-vampire hunter of the undead — is a bloody mess.
The showdown between Snipes’ Blade and the father of all vampires, Dracula, is a deafening bore filled with unimaginative action and repetitive visual effects, and the characters — both dead and alive — are as stiff as real corpses.
Writer-director David Goyer piles on the decibels with a head-banging soundtrack and piles up the bodies, though only temporarily, since vampires expire in a flash of sparks and dust.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” applied a similar visual sparingly, so viewers did not grow tired of seeing demons implode when staked through the heart. But as in “Blade II,” hardly a moment goes by in the latest sequel without some vampire bursting into flaming residue, a cool effect the first few times but tedious and annoying by the 50th.
Goyer, who wrote the first two “Blade” flicks based on the Marvel comic books, musters the thinnest of muddled plots to hang the action on in “Blade: Trinity.”
Dracula (Dominic Purcell) is awakened from a long slumber by a band of snaky little vampires led by Danica Talos (a woefully miscast Parker Posey, who lacks the menacing stature to play one of the undead).
Apparently, Danica’s gang needs Dracula, now going by the streamlined name Drake, to reinvigorate the vampire blood line and lead the bloodsuckers to new glory.
First, they need to capture Blade for none-too-explicit reasons, so they frame him as a vigilante crusader and let the cops do the dirty work. But a band of vampire slayers called the Night Stalkers conveniently turns up to spring Blade and join forces with him in the fight against Drake.
Among the Night Stalkers are wisenheimer Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and stoic babe Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), daughter of Blade’s old comrade Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson, who makes a quick departure from “Blade: Trinity” and probably was thankful for it).
The movie lumbers from car chase to gunfire to explosion to hand-to-hand combat and back, the rapid-fire action photographed and edited gracelessly.
Snipes looks as silly as ever with his bizarrely sculpted hair, and one fleeting scene of humor and humanity he displays underscores the fact that playing an utterly detached, stone-faced bruiser for two hours is really dull to watch.
While no one is called on to do any acting, Purcell still comes up short. He’s possibly the least charismatic Dracula in screen history, looking more like a bouncer outside a shabby London club.