I know you’ve probably seen The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, but have you ever seen The Godfather Part III? Because I hadn’t until just recently. And you know what, even though Blade: Trinity and The Godfather Part III couldn’t be any more different from one another when it comes to subject matter, in a lot of ways, I kind of think that Blade: Trinity is The Godfather Part III of superhero movies, and that’s okay.
Now, I’ve already talked about the first Blade movie and its sequel, and rightfully gushed about both of them. But I’m not going to do that for Blade: Trinity, and if you’ve seen it, then you already know why. There’s a reason why nobody looks back upon the Blade trilogy and compares it to other great trilogies like Back to the Future or The Lord of the Rings. If anything, a closer comparison would likely be the first Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire, or, if you’re a cinephile like myself, then The Godfather trilogy, and I’m about to explain why. Oh, and minor spoilers up ahead.
It’s Much Weaker Than The First Two Films
I just mentioned the Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire as a comparison to the Blade trilogy, but to be frank, the first Spider-Man movie is good, the second movie is phenomenal, and the third movie is just kind of meh when compared to the first two films. But if you look at Blade, the first movie is amazing, the second movie is amazing, and the third movie is like a divebombing airplane. And in a lot of ways, I think many people would say the same about The Godfather trilogy, where the first two movies won Academy Awards for Best Picture, while the third movie lost to Dances With Wolves.
And it’s probably the dip in quality that people remember most about both Blade: Trinity and The Godfather: Part III. In their genres of comic book films and gangster movies, respectively, pretty much anybody will tell you that the first two movies are some of the greatest films in their respective mediums, while the third movies feel more like afterthoughts. Or, even worse, a cash grab. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The Plot Is A Little Silly This Time Around
The first Blade pit the daywalker against comic book mainstay Deacon Frost, an alpha vampire played by Stephen Dorff. It was an origin story, but it still felt fresh since it was a hard-R rated superhero film. Plus, it was just really fun and funny. The second Blade upped the stakes, pairing Blade with other vampires to take on even stronger vampires. Some (like myself) even feel it’s superior to the original. And the third movie has Blade going up against Dracula (Or “Drake”). That might sound like the ultimate showdown, but the execution is severely lacking.
Blade gets framed for murder, and then there’s some bioweapon that’s supposed to be super effective against vampires, but it requires “pure” blood. And then there are these two new characters who aren't very good (more on them soon) and these blood farms and vampire dogs, and it’s all just really lame and feels much sillier than the first two. And this is similar to The Godfather: Part III, which was once a very personal family drama for parts 1 and 2, but somehow ended up with a plot concerning the Pope. Yeah, both films kind of just went off the deep end for part 3.
The New Characters Aren't Very Engaging
Remember the Blood Pack from Blade 2? Blade had to work with them, but he was also fully in command, letting them die if he felt they outlived their purpose. But in Blade: Trinity, we get two new characters in Hannibal King, played by Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Whistler (Whistler’s daughter), played by Jessica Biel, and they’re both terrible. They make up what’s called The Nightstalkers, which are from the comics, but they’re uninteresting as hell and they take up way too much screen time. In other words, they don’t add to the story like the Blood Pack did. They take away from it instead.
The Godfather Part III has the same problem. Yes, Michael Corleone and Kay Adams-Corleone (played by Al Pacino and Diane Keaton, respectively) return, but the rest of the cast is almost completely new, and most of them pale in comparison to characters like Fredo, Tom Hagen, or Sonny. And then, you have Mary Corleone, who was infamously played by Sophia Coppola. Many people say that she destroys the entire movie with her terrible performance. And while nobody in Blade: Trinity is that bad, nobody in Blade: Trinity is that good, either.
Blade Is Just Not As Interesting This Time Around
You would think a story about Blade vs. the vampire of all vampires would pull the most out of his character, but it doesn’t. In fact, Wesley Snipes just seems downright uninterested this time around. Sure, the action is pretty good in Blade: Trinity, but everything else around it feels like it lacks urgency, and it’s mostly because Wesley Snipes doesn’t really seem like he cares all that much anymore. He also doesn’t seem to be having any fun this time around.
In The Godfather Part III, Michael Corleone is intentionally tired. He’s in his 60s and is contemplative of all the terrible things he’s done in the past. This is more of a redemption story than the first two films. But in making the movie this way, it also kind of drains the character of his personality, which is intentionally sad, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it interesting or inspired.
Still In All, Blade: Trinity Is Not a Terrible Movie
I know I’ve been ragging on Blade: Trinity this entire article, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s not a terrible movie. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance or Dark Phoenix bad. It’s more like X-Men: The Last Stand or even Spider-Man 3 bad. In other words, if Blade: Trinity is on TV, I’ll still watch it. Just while constantly looking at my phone and not really paying attention, which is honestly how I watch most TV.
And this is just like The Godfather Part III. Because if there was no Godfather Parts I or II, then I’d likely just place it somewhere alongside movies like Donnie Brasco or Carlito’s Way. You know, just decent films in the medium that I don’t love and I don’t hate. But because The Godfather Parts I and II do exist, and because Blade 1 and 2 do exist, then it’s kind of hard not to see the third movie as a colossal misstep in both series.
But what do you think? My friend Justin actually really likes Blade: Trinity. Are you like my friend, Justin? If so, sound off in the comments section below.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.