Latest Blade film brings back unwanted memories of Dracula On My Doorstep
We just got back from BLADE: TRINITY, and it was pretty much what was expected: add a couple of young sidekicks into the mix and hope it stirs up the usual formula into something new. Unfortunately, it feels like the sort of market manipulation you expect from a bad TV pilot: let's put some younger faces in the cast to draw in the youth market. Which might not be so bad if the faces were interesting, but in this case the two newcomers look as if they wandered in from a sitcom by mistake.
Two things did surprise us about the film. The first was that, yet, again, the story deals with vampires hoping to become uber-vampires. Isn't that what Deacon Frost wanted in the first BLADE film? And isn't that what the artificial virus was supposed to do in the second BLADE film? I mean, that makes three BLADE films running off the same plot device -- couldn't screenwriter (and director) David Goyer come up with something different this time?
The other thing that surprised me is that anyone could so badly miscast the part of Dracula. Obviously, if you're going to introduce a character like that, the whole point is to present Blade (Wesley Snipes) with a truly worthy protagonist. To do that, you need an actor who cuts an impressive figure on screen, but that doesn't happen here.
Instead, we get some muscle-bound weightlifter-looking type who walks around with his shirt opened to his waist, showing off his muscles and the chains he wears hanging around his neck. Maybe it's supposed to look cool, but it brought back strange unwanted memories for this viewer -- which, for better or worse, I will share with you now.
About ten years ago, I rented a nice old-fashioned apartment in Beverly Hills. Apparently, the previous tenant was a prostitute -- or at least a very popular girl -- because my door bell would ring at three in the morning, and looking out the peephole of my front door, I would see these would-be party animals with awkward foreign accents of indeterminate origin, their shirts open to show off their chest hair and the gold chains danging from their necks. They were a pretty annoying bunch (for some reason they seemed reluctant to believe that I didn't know where the previous tenant had moved), but they never once made me think of vampires in general or Dracula in particular.
So it was a particularly unpleasant surprise to see that BLADE: TRINITY's conception of Dracula looked pretty much like those pathetic losers hanging around my doorstep, wondering what ever happened to "Natasha." Except that the guy in the BLADE movie looks much stronger. But strong isn't enough when you're supposed to be the overlord of all vampires.
Anyway, BLADE is a disappopinting and mostly pointless sequel. It's fun to see Wesley Snipes back in character, but it's not so much fun to see him partly sidelined by the co-stars. If they make any more BLADE movies, let's hope they imagine a more interesting story and put the lead character back squarely in the spotlight.