Two words: Vampire Pomeranian. But the rest of screenwriter-turned-director David S. Goyer's third contribution to the BLADE action-horror franchise (his first as director) never lives up to that witty, high-spirited idea. There's nothing beneath the flashy editing and self-consciously cool production design but a soulless adrenaline machine that's never scary and rarely engrossing. And when it is, it's for the wrong reasons: A viewer seriously wondering what rogue eggbeater got caught in vampire harpy Parker Posey's hair is a viewer seriously disengaged from the story. Half-vampire/half-human Blade (Wesley Snipes), the scourge of the undead community, is tricked into committing murder: He stakes a "vampire" who turns out to be human. With Blade tangled up in his own problems, terrifyingly coiffed termagant Danica Talos (Posey) and her minions — who include both vampires and human quislings — are free to pursue their evil plans for world domination unmolested. Danica's badly-thought-out scheme involves hauling the original Dracula (Dominic Purcell) from centuries of slumber so his effete descendents can be invigorated by their progenitor's pure, evil blood, which is undermined by the fact that Mr. Original Sin — who looks like an International Male model and calls himself Drake — despises the lot of them only slightly less than he despises the human race. As Drake rampages unchecked, Blade is broken out of prison by smart-mouthed Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), Danica's one-time sex slave, and Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), the comely daughter of Blade's crusty mentor (Kris Kristofferson). They head up a funky gang of bloodsucker-busting whippersnappers who call themselves the Nightstalkers and include a blind biochemist (Natasha Lyonne) who's cooking up a viral anti-vampire weapon called Daystar. Once the setup is established, the movie devolves into one long series of repetitive action set pieces that pit Blade and his buff young sidekicks against various configurations of bloody-fanged baddies, culminating in Blade's inevitable one-on-one with Drake. There's always something going on, but it's always the same damned thing. Marvel purists won't care for Goyer's reimagining of the Nightstalkers, a group assembled by Dr. Strange to stalk the undead and originally comprising Blade himself; detective Hannibal King, who was attacked by a vampire and, like Blade, is constantly at war with the urge to drink blood; and millionaire Frank Drake, Dracula's only living mortal descendant. But the problem isn't that Goyer messed with the mythology — it's that he couldn't think of anything interesting to do with it.
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- Released: 2004
- Rating: R
- Review: Two words: Vampire Pomeranian. But the rest of screenwriter-turned-director David S. Goyer's third contribution to the BLADE action-horror franchise (his first as director) never lives up to that witty, high-spirited idea. There's nothing beneath the flash… (more)