Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David S. Goyer|
|Produced by||Peter Frankfurt
David S. Goyer
|Written by||David S. Goyer|
by Marv Wolfman
|Music by||Ramin Djawadi
|Edited by||Conrad Smart
Howard E. Smith
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$128.9 million|
Blade: Trinity (also known as Blade III or Blade III: Trinity) is a 2004 American vampire superhero action film written, produced and directed by David S. Goyer who also wrote the screenplays to Blade and Blade II, and also produced by and starring Wesley Snipes in the title role, based on the Marvel Comics character Blade. It is the third film in the Blade film series. The film grossed over $128 million at the U.S. box office on a budget of $65 million. The adventures of Blade continue in 2006's Blade: The Series.
A group of vampires look for the hidden resting place of Drake, also known as Dracula—the genetic "father" of their species. They find him in a Syrian ziggurat tomb, although not before, in a moment of blood lust, he kills one of them. The vampires capitalize on Blade's reputation as a serial killer and frame him for the killing of a familiar. During the ensuing manhunt, the FBI locate Blade's latest hideout, and, during the siege, Abraham Whistler dies. With his mentor gone and surrounded by human authorities, Blade allows himself to be captured and arrested.
After both medical and interrogative sessions prove futile, the police prepare to hand Blade over to a group of medics, who are, unknown to them, vampires. He is rescued by Hannibal King and Abigail Whistler, Abraham's daughter, both of whom belong to a group of vampire hunters called the Nightstalkers. King and Abigail reveal that the vampire Danica Talos, who once temporarily turned King into a vampire, has located Drake. Because he is the first of their kind, Drake is invulnerable to sunlight. Talos hopes Drake is powerful enough to kill Blade and make the rest of the vampires into daywalkers as well.
The Nightstalkers believe the vampires are too numerous to kill individually, so Sommerfield, their resident chemical specialist, has created an experimental bioweapon dubbed Daystar, an airborne virus capable of killing every single vampire in the world on a molecular level.
In their first confrontation, Drake tests Blade by drawing him away from King and Abigail, incapacitating King in the chaos. Although physically superior, Drake shows an affinity with Blade, as they are both unique to their race and "honorable warriors" by choice. While Drake converses with Blade, he uses a baby that he has taken hostage as leverage. Drake considers all humans unworthy of his notice and holds his own followers in contempt. Blade and Abigail learn of the vampires' planned "final solution": blood farms where brain-dead humans are harvested for their blood. Blade shuts down the victims' life support in an act of euthanasia.
The two return to find all the Nightstalkers but King and Sommerfield's young daughter, Zoe, dead; Drake uses the two survivors to lure Blade into combat. A posthumous recording by Sommerfield reveals that she has perfected a small quantity of the Daystar virus, but it requires the blood of Drake and may kill Blade. Meanwhile, King is chained and tortured by Jarko Grimwood and Asher Talos for information about Daystar. When this fails, Danica Talos, tortures King by pressuring his covered wound with the tip of the high heel of her shoe. She also threatens to turn King into a vampire again and force him to feed on Zoe.
Blade and Abigail arrive and fight the Talos' underlings and the building security force. After freeing both King and Zoe, Abigail kills Asher, King kills Grimwood, and Blade engages Drake in a sword battle. In the end, Blade impales Drake with Abigail's Daystar arrow, which releases the virus into the air, killing all the nearby vampires, including Talos. As Drake dies, he praises Blade for fighting with honor and tells him that through Blade, the vampire race will survive. Dying, he offers Blade a "parting gift"; he also warns him that, "sooner or later, the Thirst always wins".
From here there are multiple endings:
- Theatrical ending: As Blade fought honorably, Drake gives him a "parting gift" by transforming his dying body into a replica of Blade's. The FBI retrieves the body of who they think is Blade, and thus call off their manhunt. Just as they begin the autopsy, Blade's body reverts into that of Drake's. Hannibal's voiceover tells the viewer that Blade is still alive somewhere, finishing the last struggles of the war; having rejected Drake's hopes of prolonging the vampire race, Blade's war will never end.
- Unrated ending: The body retrieved by the FBI is Blade's, but he's not really dead. Drake's body is nowhere to be seen, hinting at his survival. At the morgue, Blade sits up abruptly, attacks the FBI agents, and appears ready to bite a nurse on the neck. The ending is ambiguous as to whether Blade has retained his humanity or given in to his vampire thirst as Drake predicted. This is the ending seen on the director's cut of the film, and commentary on the DVD indicates it was the ending director Goyer intended.
- Werewolf ending: The Daystar virus circles the globe and wipes out all vampires. Blade walks off into the sunset, his long battle finally over. The final shot is of the Nightstalkers battling a new enemy: werewolves. This version of the ending was used in the novelization of the film and is included on the DVD as an extra.
- Wesley Snipes as Eric "Blade" Brooks
- Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Whistler
- Jessica Biel as Abigail Whistler
- Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King
- Dominic Purcell as Dracula / Drake
- Parker Posey as Danica Talos
- Callum Keith Rennie as Asher Talos
- Triple H as Jarko Grimwood
- Natasha Lyonne as Sommerfield
- Haili Page as Zoey Sommerfield
- John Michael Higgins as Dr. Edgar Vance
- Mark Berry as Police Chief Martin Vreede
- Patton Oswalt as Hedges
- James Remar as FBI Agent Ray Cumberland
- Michael Anthony Rawlins as FBI Agent Wilson Hale
- Eric Bogosian as Bentley Tittle
- Ron Selmour as Dex
- Christopher Heyerdahl as Caulder
Reportedly, series star Wesley Snipes was unhappy with the film's script and original choice of director. David S. Goyer, who had written all three films in the franchise, was then selected to replace the original director of the film, which Snipes protested. Snipes reportedly caused difficulty during filming, including frequently refusing to shoot scenes, often forcing director Goyer to use stand-ins and computer effects to add his character to scenes. Co-star Patton Oswalt alleged that Snipes would spend much of his time smoking marijuana in his trailer, and that he had become violent with Goyer after falsely accusing him of racism. It has also been alleged that Snipes refused to interact with Goyer or his co-stars, and would instead communicate with them through his assistant or the use of notes. Snipes also allegedly referred to co-star Ryan Reynolds by the term "cracker" on one or more occasions.
In the DVD special features Goyer talks about how cities are often multilingual. For example Blade: Trinity is shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where signs are in English. Goyer decided to use the Esperanto language and flag as part of the fictional city where Blade is set. The Esperanto flag is shown twice, at the entrance to the Police headquarters after Blade is rescued from jail, and in the rooftop scene where Drake threatens to drop a baby over the edge. Background elements such as signs and advertisements include Esperanto translations. Hannibal King is at one point seen watching the Esperanto language film Incubus on television, with one reviewer unkindly remarking that first time director "Goyer's grasp of directorial fundamentals (such as when to tilt the camera and when to shoot in close-up) is about as strong as Shatner's fluency in Esperanto." The film's director of photography Gabriel Beristain makes a cameo appearance as the one-eyed newspaper vendor who talks to Whistler in Esperanto and discusses the public perception that Blade is a menace to society.
The film's American box office take proved disappointing, at only $52 million. Internationally it was somewhat more successful, pulling the film's overall gross to $129 million, matching the first Blade's take but coming behind Blade II, which grossed $150 million worldwide.
In 2005, Snipes sued New Line Cinema and Goyer, claiming that the studio did not pay his full salary, that he was intentionally cut out of casting decisions and filmmaking process, despite being one of the producers, and that his character's screen time was reduced in favor of costars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel.
The film has gained a mainly negative reception, earning a rating of only 26% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 157 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes included the film at 76 out of 94 on a countdown (from 94 to 1) of "worst to best" comic book to film adaptations.
Roger Ebert, who gave Blade 3 stars out of 4 and Blade II 3½ stars, gave Blade: Trinity only 1½ stars, writing: "It lacks the sharp narrative line and crisp comic-book clarity of the earlier films, and descends too easily into shapeless fight scenes that are chopped into so many cuts that they lack all form or rhythm."
- Russo, Tom (2005-04-26). "Blade: Trinity (2005)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- David S Goyer. 'Nightstalkers, Daywalkers and Familiars: The World of Blade: Trinity.
- António Martins, (16 March 2004). "Flags of the World, Blade Trinity, Unnamed City in the USA". Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Nick Schager (July 6, 2004). "Blade: Trinity, Film Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2009-10-27.[dead link]
- "Blade: Trinity (2004)". Box Office Mojo. 2005-02-24. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- "Blade (1998)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. 1998-10-16. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- "Blade II (2002)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 2011-01-07.
- Shprintz, Janet (2005-04-20). "Snipes throwing legal blade at 'Trinity' team". Variety. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Blade: Trinity (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Comix Worst to Best". Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- Blade :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews
- Roger Ebert Blade II : Reviews
- Roger Ebert Blade: Trinity : Reviews
- The Player Wesley Snipes Interview - Comic-Con 2015
- Snipes "In Talks" With Marvel About Blade Reboot - IGN News
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- Official website
- Blade: Trinity at AllMovie
- Blade: Trinity at the Internet Movie Database
- Blade: Trinity at Metacritic
- Blade: Trinity at Box Office Mojo
- Blade: Trinity at Rotten Tomatoes
- Blade: Trinity at Marvel.com
- Blade: Trinity script at HorrorLair
- Blade turns Ten. Interviews with the cast.