Blade: Trinity’ needs a transfusion like Keith Richards needs a fix

“Blade: Trinity”

New Line Cinema

Directed by David S. Goyer

Written by David S. Goyer

Starring Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Paul “HHH” Levesque, and Dominic Purcell

Rated R/ 106 minutes

Opened on Wednesday, Dec. 8

Two out of five stars

Ben Zalkind

Staff Writer

Sandwiched between histrionic slow-motion action sequences and an astonishingly inane premise crouches Wesley Snipes, a badass in the classic sense of the word.

Yet, not even he can possibly salvage a movie so slavishly dedicated to its predecessors’ mood that it inadvertently parodies itself.

“Blade: Trinity’s” vestigial carrion remains wheeze into existence a second-rate-no, third-rate, overstated horror-comedy, desperately grasping at lost visceral grittiness.

In short, the “Blade” series’ robust heart has deteriorated into a cold, black smoker’s lung.

But it’s not a total bust. “Blade: Trinity,” directed by David Goyer (who wrote all three “Blade” films), offers an unfathomable body count, and delivers an unabashedly stupid, harmlessly entertaining vampire flick.

Besides, nobody expects Blade to deliver a soliloquy or quote Nabokov. Blade fans (generally) ravenously crave hardcore action, cool weapons and above all, an icily berserk Wesley Snipes massacring vampires and “familiars” in an ensanguined blitz.

“Blade: Trinity” fulfills each of these requisites. Really, who could ask for anything more?

Well, how about a decent story? “Blade’s” plot fabric is too tenuous to even qualify as film fluff, or movie negligee.

Blade (Wesley Snipes) is captured after killing a human posing as a vampire. Humans leave a trail; vampires pulverize.

In the police interrogation room, he meets a few “familiar” (vampire associate) cops who allude to the re-emergence of Draco (Dracula), the original vampire.

Enter rogue vampire crew. Led by the filthy Danica Talos (Parker Posey), they rouse Dracula (Dominic Purcell) from his tomb, and contrive a vampire “final solution,” whatever that means.

Mere minutes after Blade enters interrogation, he is unfettered by a ragtag group of vampire hunters, the Nightstalkers.

Rewind a little-Blade’s mentor and armorer, Whistler (played by Kris Kristofferson, perhaps the most grizzled man who ever lived), is slaughtered during an FBI bust. Blade’s heart cracks like an eggshell.

As it turns out, Blade’s agile savior Abigail (played by a surprisingly dull Jessica Biel) is Old Man Whistler’s illegitimate daughter. Bah?

Her partner, so to speak, is the profoundly obnoxious Hannibal-that’s right, Hannibal- King (played by Jason Lee wannabe Ryan Reynolds). Before joining the Nightstalkers, he was a vampire, slumming around with the likes of Danica and sucking (blood).

Whistler, inexplicably, cures him, and now Hannibal just hangs around shirtless, cracking lame jokes and occasionally incinerating vampires.

Anyway, back to Blade’s rescue. The Nightstalkers save Blade from his captors just in the nick of time, and on the way back to their base, they tell him of a virus concocted by Sommerfield (played by Natasha Lyonne), the Nightstalkers’ blind (yes, without sight) techno-guru.

This biological weapon, properly discharged, will destroy all the vampires in the world. But there’s a catch-Dracula’s blood is the missing ingredient.

So, Blade and the gang pursue Dracula and his precious essence, periodically battling Danica and her buffoonish henchman (played by goonish WWE wrestler HHH).

“Trinity’s” acting is generally atrocious. Excepting Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson, the entire cast gave overwrought, frankly ludicrous performances.

But “Blade: Trinity,” as mentioned before, isn’t about characters or acting, or necessarily story. Perhaps the greatest scene takes place at a “blood farm.” Evidently, the swaths of vampires (of whom most people are unaware) are tired of hunting live prey, and opted instead to stockpile street people in abandoned warehouses, or blood farms. It probably wasn’t supposed to be funny. Never mind.

No complaints with the pyrotechnics or special effects. “Blade: Trinity” drips aesthetic bliss, and the Nightstalker weapons (courtesy of Patton Oswalt’s woefully minor character) are far out.

To summarize: “Blade: Trinity” is dumb. Rent the prequels, or wait for it to carve its way into the dollar theatres.

Oh, don’t worry. You won’t have to wait long. Conservative guesstimation-three weeks.

[email protected]