Adam takes a look back on one of his favourite action trilogies for no apparent reason.
After re-watching the Blade trilogy recently, I decided to do a very timely retrospective about why I enjoy it so much, because this website is all about bleeding edge stories and breaking news. Blade II was one of the first comic book films I saw and really responded to. My Dad and I rented it from Blockbuster (remember when that was a thing?) when I was about 14 on a weekend when my Mum was away visiting her folks, and as an 18-rated film that really reflects my Dad’s approach to parenting (he also bought me Doom II when I was about 7). We both loved it.
So I obviously watched them out of order, but I got hold of Blade very soon after so lets start there. I am of the opinion that the first Blade film has one of the best opening scenes in any film. It opens with some clueless moron being lured into a secret club which turns out to be full of vampires. The sprinklers start spraying blood all over the revellers, and their intended victim is knocked to the ground. Things are looking bad for him as he crawls through the blood, when he arrives at a pair of unblemished boots. Everyone backs off from this newcomer, as the camera pans up to the only man who has ever managed to wear sunglasses indoors without looking like a d**k. It being fairly clear that this is our titular character Blade (Wesley Snipes), we are then treated to an excellent action scene in which he dispatches half of the clubgoers with a dizzying array of fantastic weapons, including a badass sword and a throwing glaive. Even if the rest of the film was s**t it wouldn’t matter.
We are soon introduced to several other characters, including Blade’s friend and mentor Whistler (played for some reason by country singer Kris Kristofferson) and the big bad Deacon Frost who is trying to turn himself into a vampire god. The film culminates with another pretty decent fight, with some now pretty shonky looking special effects (it was 1998 admittedly) and an excellent victory line of “Some motherf*****s are always trying to ice skate uphill”. Everyone should check out the alternate scene in the DVD extras “La Magra”, in which Blade basically fights a blood tornado with Frost’s face occasionally poking out to taunt him. They claim it is unfinished, but I can’t think of any “finishing” that would make it not s**t.
Blade II came out in 2002, and starts off again with a great couple of scenes, one with Blade hunting down vamps to discover the whereabouts of Whistler, and another setting up the threat of the film,“Reapers”, which are a new breed of vampires who hunt other the normal kind and have faces that are a terrifying combination of the Sarlac and very aggressive female genitalia. The vampires panic and recruit Blade to help them kill the reapers for reasons, teaming him up with a squad trained to hunt him that includes Ron Perlman and Danny John Jules which is excellent. Blade also picks up a new tech sidekick played by Norman Reedus, long before he became a one man zombie killing machine. Shockingly they betray him, even though he says “You obviously… do not know… who you are F*****G WITH!”. Also somewhat predictably, the vampires plans go to s**t because they were idiotic anyway, Blade takes a swim in a pool of very thin blood and once again kicks all sorts of ass (throwing a suplex into one of the fights for good measure). The special effects are considerably better, but seem to be overused in the last fight and don’t quite look right, but it is still a fun smack down.
Blade Trinity then came out in 2004. Despite some issues with plot holes (and a weird scene introducing a really cool weapon that is never used in the film), I saw it a couple of times in the cinema. 17 year old me thought it was a brilliant film, and to be honest 25 year old me still enjoys the hell out of it. The film opens with another hunt, with Blade getting filmed killing a human. The FBI rock up and arrest him, then he gets sprung by a group called the Nightstalkers. The only two properly fleshed out members are the ones on the posters, Jessica Biel playing Abigail Whistler (sponsored by Apple) and Ryan Reynolds playing Hannibal King. Reynolds gets a lot of flak for some of the poor films he’s been in, but he is the best part of this film (also one of the only good things in the Green Lantern film, and before the film goes to shit he plays a great Wade Wilson in X Men Origins: Wolverine). Consistently funny, has a great brawling fight with Triple H (who is not terrible in this) and he delivers with excellent venom what remains my favourite ever insult – “you c**k-juggling thunderc**t!”. The films plays out with Blade fighting Dracula (or Drake, whatever) because why not, when asked “are you ready to die?” responds with “I was born ready motherf****r”, then we get a keep fighting the good fight sort of ending. Definitely the weakest of the three, but a very easy watch.
So there are some thoughts on a trilogy that I have always had a lot of time for. They may be a bit cheesy and predictable, but they are brilliantly stylish and violent vampire flicks that were some of my favourite action films growing up, and even now I think they are incredibly fun to watch.