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It's on again: but this time the war on vampires takes on greater urgency, when Blade (Wesley Snipes) discovers that from the ancient sands of the Syrian desert, the vampires have dug up the eons old Dracula, the original vampire whose DNA is pure enough to withstand sunlight, now simply Drake (Dominic Purcell) in a new effort to extend their hold over humans - they have also set up large-scale blood farms, to ensure an eternal supply. But Blade has two new protégés, Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), and the daughter of his mentor, Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Abigail (Jessica Biel), with an arsenal of weapons and a network of safe houses which leads to a climactic face-off with the super-vampire Dracula and his extensive, powerful ranks.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The original Dracula, as you will recall, was a Count, a blood sucking aristocrat literally living off the peasants and other lower classes. He had to live by night... The pervasive power of this imagery has fed many versions, but has changed over time, with recent manifestations portraying vampires as multitudinous: eg Underworld and Van Helsing. There are thousands of them. If the aristocracy is no longer the villain, it's tempting to suggest that in this final (?) and third chapter of Blade, the vampire masses do not represent the peasants revolting and feeding off the middle classes, but Islamic terrorists.

The vampires in Blade: Trinity can assume other identities (read: infiltrate Western communities) and harvest their blood. They are merciless (a baby and a little girl are at risk in the film), violent, with no remorse, and no purpose except to rule the world (read: to rule the world). They are also evangelistic in a sense, transforming some humans into either their collaborators or their peers (read: intent on converting us all to Islam, and using 'moles').

Blade, as played by Wesley Snipes is a ready symbol for America's martial character as World Marshall, a conflicted soul who has within him the very seeds of the vampire (but contains it with the help of a special chemical). His fight (the war on terror) has much at stake, since the all powerful Drake, dug out of the Middle East desert (read: Osama bin Laden) has been resurrected (read: World Trade Centre attack) for the final showdown against humans.

Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) has the smarts and dry humour that typifies the British, while Abigail (Jessica Biel), with her efficient, alternative but high tech bow and arrow could represent Australia's role.

The target market for Blade:Trinity, while probably wider than the audience for Blade I & II (neither of which have I seen), is unlikely to be counting off the imagery while enjoying the spectacle. But it's worth a thought that writers are influenced by the real world, even without necessarily being conscious of how. (I like the disbelieving FBI when faced with the notion of vampires; isn't that sort of arrogance what let terrorists through the safety net?)

The things you find under the cloak of a vampire actioner ... but on the surface, the film is stylish without losing its focus, and the gadgets, the settings and the characters all jump to life (as it were) in the cool domain of the extreme scenario.

As an action thriller, Blade: Trinity stands up on its merits, this time directed by the writer who scripted all three films, David S. Goyer. Pro wrestler Triple H turns in a (literally) solid role as a beefy vampire with metal Interesting casting (using actors best known from indie films), good performances (especially Ryan Reynolds and Parker Posie as villainous vampire, Danica Talos) and a sharp screenplay well executed, makes this instalment engaging.

The title implies completion and closure, but we can never be sure. Unless of course it's another, perhaps unconscious Christian symbol in the film's inner iconography.

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CAST: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Mark Berry, John Michael Higgins, Callum Keith Rennie, Triple H, James Remar

PRODUCER: David S. Goyer, Lynn Harris, Wesley Snipe

DIRECTOR: David S. Goyer

SCRIPT: David S. Goyer (characters by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gabriel Beristain

EDITOR: Howard E. Smith

MUSIC: Ramin Djawadi, RZA


RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2004

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