(In theaters, December 2004) Sigh. As a big fan of both prequels, I guess I’m the only one to blame for my heightened expectations for this third instalment of the series. But after the high standards set by Stephen Norrington and Guillermo del Toro, director David Goyer (who, shockingly enough, also wrote all three film) seems only too happy to deliver the kind of by-the-number B-grade film we see all too often on straight-to-video shelves. Wesley Snipes seems bored by the undead material, or annoyed that the spotlight is off on two younger vampire hunters. Indeed, Jessica Biel has the requisite moves and Ryan Reynolds steals the show with motor-mouth action, but neither of them can do much to rescue Blade III from the doldrums. The dumbing-down trend of the series’ writing continues unabated in this third film, what with a hand-to-hand fighter forgoing her sense of hearing for trip-hop, one of the most boring Draculas in recent memory, useless characters and lame gags all around. Alas, whereas the first two films could rely on some dynamic action, David Goyer’s first effort merely wastes CGI dollars and recycles Hong Kong action moves with no flair. How bad is it? Well how about this: Françoise Yip is in the movie, but her total screen time is measured in seconds. Outrage! See this film out of a sense of duty if you must, but don’t expect much. A sequel is doubtful; maybe it’s better that way.