Sometimes bloody, sometimes bloody awful, Blade Trinity, the third instalment in Wesley Snipes' vampire chronicles, knocks the franchise out for the Count as veteran series scripter David S Goyer slides into the director's chair. Snipes is back in black as the fearless vampire hunter Blade chasing the legendary Dracula (chubby-faced Dominic Purcell) in a tale that seldom goes for the jugular but quite often nips the funny bone. It's billed as 'The Final Hunt' - and for Blade's sake, you'll hope so.
This time around, the stakes (pun intended) are higher as Blade is busted by the FBI, then busted out of custody by a group of newbie vampire hunters called The Nightstalkers. He needs their help to beat the real Dracula - who's just been resurrected in the Syrian Desert - but he ain't amused by their smart-assed leader (Ryan Reynolds) or their dumb name: "You sound like rejects from a Saturday morning cartoon."
"MORE RAMBLING THAN SLICK"
Blade's not the only one with a stony face: hardcore fans of the series may find themselves wondering what's left to love. More rambling than slick, this just about works as a showcase for the superbly brutal martial arts scenes but softens the blows with some bizarre humour that pirouettes on the brink of self-parody. Undead Pomeranian dogs, goofy one-liners from Reynolds ("I eat a lot of garlic, and I just farted"), and Parker Posey as a vampire vamp tottering around in ridiculously high heels seem like sacrilege not comic relief. Only Jessica Biel's curvy archery student manages to hit the mark - and that's as eye-candy totty.
The original Blade and its sequel mined a techno Goth fantasy realm that blended samurai movies and a blaxploitation vibe with the adrenalin rush of full on vamp rage. In comparison this 'Final Hunt' loses the scent, leaving its laconic anti-hero literally holding the baby. Dumb fun for sure, but Blade Trinity? Nah, this is just Blade Blunted.