Blade: Trinity (also known as Blade III and Blade III: Trinity) is a 2004 American superhero film written, produced, and directed by David S. Goyer, who also wrote the screenplays for Blade and Blade II, and is the third film in the Blade trilogy. The film stars Wesley Snipes, who also produced, in the title role based on the Marvel Comics character Blade, alongside Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Kris Kristofferson, Dominic Purcell, Parker Posey, and WWE wrestler Triple H.
Vampires investigate an ancient tomb in the Syrian Desert, which they believe belongs to Dracula, the first vampire. To keep Blade from interfering, they frame him for the murder of a human familiar. FBI agents subsequently locate Blade's hideout and kill his mentor and friend, Abraham Whistler. Demoralized, Blade surrenders and is arrested.
The vampires' familiars have arranged for the authorities to turn Blade over to them. He is rescued by Hannibal King and Abigail Whistler, Abraham's daughter, who invite Blade to join their band of vampire hunters, the Nightstalkers. From them, Blade learns that Danica Talos, an old enemy of King's, has revived Dracula, or "Drake", with the goal of using his powers to cure vampires of their weaknesses. As the first of the vampires, Drake's DNA is untainted and he is able to survive in sunlight. The Nightstalkers have created an experimental bioweapon known as Daystar, capable of killing vampires at the genetic level. However, they need a purer blood source to make it effective. As Drake is too powerful to kill via normal means, they hope that the virus will kill him and, with his blood in the mix, ensure the rest of the species is wiped out
Eager to test Blade, Drake isolates him from the Nightstalkers, as he considers them unworthy of challenging him. He explains that all humans and vampires are inferior in his eyes and that he intends to wipe them from the Earth. Abigail finds evidence of Drake's true plan: a network of farms where humans are drained of their blood for vampire consumption. Told the humans are all brain dead, Blade deactivates the farm's life support systems.
Returning to the Nightstalkers's hideout, they find all of them dead except for King and Sommerfield's daughter Zoe, who have been taken captive. A recording left by Sommerfield, Daystar's creator, reveals that Drake's blood is needed to render it effective. King is tortured by the vampires for information, but refuses to talk, even when they threaten to feed him Zoe's blood.
Blade and Abigail arrive and free the captives. Drake eventually bests Blade in single combat and prepares to kill him with his own sword. Abigail fires the Daystar arrow but Drake catches it before it strikes him. He drops it to the floor by Blade. At the last second, Blade stabs him with it, triggering a chemical reaction that kills Danica and the rest of her followers. As Drake slowly succumbs to his wounds, he praises Blade for fighting honorably, but warns him that he will eventually succumb to his need for blood, thus creating a new type of vampire.
From here there are several different endings:
- Theatrical ending: Using the last of his power, Drake disguises himself as Blade. The FBI recover the body and declare Blade legally dead, allowing him to continue his war against vampires.
- Unrated ending: Blade faints and is captured by the FBI, while Drake's body is not recovered. Seconds before his autopsy, Blade awakes and attacks a nurse. It is not clear whether Blade has become a vampire as Drake predicted, or if he is simply thirsty for blood. This is the ending seen on the director's cut of the film, and commentary on the DVD indicates it was the ending Goyer intended.
- Werewolf ending: With Daystar having exterminated the vampire race, Blade formally retires from hunting. King and Abigail reestablish the Nightstalkers and turn their attention to a new foe: werewolves. This version of the ending was used in the novelization of the film and is included on the DVD as an extra.
- Wesley Snipes was very uncooperative during production and none of the shots of Blade in the film are of him, instead they are done by a stunt double. This was because Snipes stayed locked in a trailer smoking weed because he refused to work with white people. He would only come out to do close ups.
- Anticlimactically kills off Whistler (again) in one of the first scenes, even though a lot of the first act of Blade II was dedicated to undoing his death from the first film.
- Dominic Purcell is seriously miscast as Dracula.
- Too many characters.
- Confusing and underwhelming story that ignores the events of Blade and Blade II.
- Goes for a more comedic tone due to Ryan Reynolds’ secret rewrites and ad-libs, which feels out of place next to the previous two movies. For example, there was going to be a vampire Doberman but he was replaced by a vampire Pomeranian.
- The Nightstalkers, who are based on an actual Blade spin-off comic, come across like a bunch of vampire hunter wannabes instead of their highly competent comic counterparts. Even Blade himself calls them a bunch of losers.
- Abigail Whistler, while otherwise a pretty decent character, has a bizarre and annoying quirk of listening to pop music on her iPod during fight sequences, in a blatant bit of product placement.
- Despite the fact that it was established in both previous movies that not all vampires are willing converts, the Nightstalkers come up with (and eventually deploy) a virus intended to kill every single vampire on Earth, and yet the audience is expected to root for them to essentially commit genocide.
- The ending was altered due to test audiences disliking the original ending, which implied that Blade finally gave in to his bloodlust. However, both versions of the ending are nonsensical for the same reason - the narration says that Blade continues hunting vampires, even though the entire vampire race was explicitly wiped out.
- Too much boring filler and several pointless subplots that go nowhere.
- One of the vampires is played by WWE wrestler (and current head of creative for NXT) Triple H.
- It has good songs (such as "Fatal" by RZA) and a decent soundtrack.
- Hannibal King is a cool and entertaining character with some great one-liners, even if he's a bit out-of-place in a Blade movie.
- The idea of Blade fighting Dracula is pretty good, despite the terrible execution.
- Some good action scenes, such as the opening car chase, though not as good as the first two Blade films.
- Dracula's monster form is well-designed and has a menacing look, even if its severely underutilized.
- "I was born ready, motherfucker."
- For the scene where Abigail shoots the Daystar Virus at Dracula, Jessica Biel perfected her aim that the arrow landed directly on the camera.
- Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson both hated the film, feeling that too many new characters were added to the Blade universe, and Blade did not need any sidekicks besides Whistler.
- An earlier idea of David S. Goyer was to not only include Hannibal King, but also Rachel Van Helsing from the Tomb of Dracula comics. But then, Goyer heard about the Van Helsing movie and decided against it, and created Abigail Whistler in Rachel's place.
- Colin Farrell turned down the role of Hannibal King.