What Went Wrong - Blade: Trinity
By Shalimar Sahota
April 3, 2013
In November 2004 it emerged that Snipes was not doing any promotional press for Blade: Trinity, instead flying off to Bulgaria to go shoot another film. He didn’t even record a commentary track for the DVD release with his director or fellow stars.
Blade: Trinity had a production budget of $65 million. It opened at the US box office on December 8, 2004. Whereas the previous two films in the franchise reached the top spot upon opening, Blade: Trinity landed at #2 with an opening weekend take of $16 million, the lowest of the franchise (at #1 was another opener, Oceans Twelve). As a comparison, Blade opened to $17 million back in 1998, while Blade II peaked with an opening of $32.5 million in 2002. Blade: Trinity finished up with just $52.4 million at the US box office. Overseas it earned $76.4 million. A combined worldwide total of $128 million was okay, but less than what the previous films earned.
The first two films had mixed reviews but with Blade: Trinity, many critics were not best pleased this time around, clearly singling it out as the weakest of the trilogy. A few also noted how the film was a glorified advert for Apple iTunes, with Biel’s character seen using the service more than once.
Blade: Trinity does have a decent opening and as usual Blade makes a grand entrance. Goyer cited how he wanted to drag Blade more into the real world. This explains why we see him being discussed on TV, making the front page of some Weekly World Bulletin, as well as getting arrested! It’s quite amusing seeing Danica walk into a police station and tell Blade, “I am such a fan. I like your tattoos.” But after that the film just goes downhill. It’s quite ridiculous seeing Blade, Hannibal and Abigail actually escape from a police station, despite being surrounded by police cars upon exiting the building and not a single car decides to give chase!
Introducing the Nightstalkers allows the film to bear some resemblance to the world of the comics. Seeing Hannibal King pass Blade issue #1 of Marvel’s The Tomb of Dracula: Lord of Vampires is a great touch (given that it’s the comic book series in which Blade was introduced). But why introduce a whole bunch of characters when you’re going to kill most of them off anyway? Out of the five Nightstalkers, three are killed. The vampire villains are no better and come across as rejects from an early draft. Danica Talos, Asher Talos (Callum Keith Rennie) and Jarko Grimwood (Triple H) look like they belong in a cartoon rather than an R-rated action film. Following their botched attempt at claiming Blade at the police station, Jarko jokingly pulls an arrow out from his eye while Danica is so upset that she kicks a fellow vampire in the head.
Dominic Purcell delivers a un-Dracula-like portrayal of Dracula/Drake. The post-produced bass-heavy voice works but apart from that, he’s just weird. Ashamed of what vampires have become, he calls them shadows of their former selves. He has no real reason to help Danica with killing the Daywalker. He could just kill her and her group for waking him up and leave them all behind. But he helps them anyway. I can’t really fathom why; probably out of boredom? Basically, the big bad doesn’t serve much of a purpose since he doesn’t even want to be there in the first place, nor does he have any kind of grand scheme himself. Also, during their first encounter, why the hell is Dracula running away from Blade? I mean, this is supposed to be Dracula, the strongest vampire there is.