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Blade Trinity

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I’m reasonably fond of the sort of movies that the “Blade” films are, and yet when I saw “Blade II” I had no memory of “Blade I,” and when I sat down to watch “Blade III” (titled, for no reason, “Blade Trinity”), I realized I had no memory of “Blade II,” either. I recall only a lot of thick mythology, confusing action scenes, and barrels upon barrels of blood. In terms of specifics such as plots or characters, I am lost. So I am hurrying to write my review of “Blade Trinity” as fast as I can, before it slips out of my mind forever and even my scribbled notes become useless.

Blade, played again with over-much coolness by one-time celebrity Wesley Snipes, is a human-vampire hybrid who has devoted his life and his considerable array of weapons to the destruction of his nocturnal half-cousins. He is aided by Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), a scraggly old coot with a knack for technology; in the new film, they are joined by Whistler’s long-lost daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel) and a man named Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), who spent five years being a vampire before being rescued by a serum that turned him human again.

King has a personal reason for fighting vampires. That reason, as it is with so many men who want to fight vampires, is that his ex-girlfriend is one. She is Danica Talos (Parker Posey), and it was she who converted him in the first place. It is also she who has reawakened the world’s first vampire — Dagon, Dracula, whatever you want to call him — to help the vampires wage war against Blade.

The “Blade” films are based on a dark comic book series and have been written by David S. Goyer, who also directed this third film. As such, there is a certain consistency in tone, the ongoing presence of vulgar wisecracks, the abundant violence. “Blade Trinity” is Goyer’s first major stab at directing, and he does seem to have an eye for decent action sequences.

But the first half of the film is bogged down by Snipes’ dull performance as Blade, a character who seems less interesting the more time we spend with him. Parker Posey gets some campy laughs as the evil, Ivana Trump-esque Danica, but I think she goes over the top, a tendency to which Posey is not normally prone, but oh well. The one who gets it exactly right is Ryan Reynolds, whose Hannibal King character is viciously, snarkily funny, oozing the same wise-acre attitude of a thousand other action-flick supporting characters but doing it much better. Part of it is that his dialogue is written well — I wish I could tell you the funniest thing he says, but it’s so crass I don’t even want to THINK it — but part of it is also his smart-aleck delivery. I said in my review of “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder,” in which he starred, that if he ever got some good material, he’d probably be really funny. And here we are. I do so enjoy being right.

“Blade Trinity” is not a comedy, but its funny parts are more memorable than its action-horror parts, which are competent but unremarkable. I cannot tell what fans of the series will think, because as I mentioned, I am not a very good fan myself. Most of the film has drained from my memory already, as if sucked out by some fanged, malevolent force.

B- (1 hr., 45 min.; R, abundant harsh profanity and vulgarity, a lot of strong violence.)

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