Bloodshot Movie Review: Valiant Comics' first feature film is ambitious yet mediocre
The film is let down by the lack of an interesting storyline and screenplay
Valiant Comic's venture into cinema had everything going for it. Marvel and DC have already made sure that the superhero genre is anything but a fad. Bloodshot is one of Valiant's most popular characters and has quite a solid backstory. And to play this character, they even roped in one of the most well-known action stars of this generation, Vin Diesel. Despite all this, the film is let down by the lack of an interesting storyline and screenplay.
Director: David SF Wilson
Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Guy Pearce, Lamorne Morris
Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe, Dinesh Shamdasani, Vin Diesel
Bloodshot follows the comic storyline to an extent — it is the story of a marine Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) who, after getting assassinated, is resurrected by a nanotech company owned by Dr Emil Harting (Guy Pearce). Ray is injected with millions of nanobots called nanites that give him powers of regeneration and meta-morphing. Though Harting tells him he doesn't "need a history to have a future," Ray uses his "second chance" to wipe out those who were responsible for the deaths of his wife Gina (Talulah Riley) and himself. But later, Ray learns that there's more to his new life than meets the eye. While the rest of the film, which deviates from the original content, sounds interesting on paper with its myriad twists, the supposed sci-fi thriller ends up being just a half-baked superhero origins story.
The best part about Bloodshot is the action, which is aplenty. Right from the mandatory chase through the streets of London, the film boasts some brilliant action sequences. For instance, to show how powerful Bloodshot is, there's a scene where he uses a concrete pillar as a punching bag. The first fight after Ray becomes Bloodshot and the lift sequence near the climax are some of the film's standouts. Vin Diesel, who maintains a stoic face throughout the film, makes up for the mediocre acting with his action prowess. The man has the perfect physique for such a role and in the climax where his skin turns pale, similar to the look from the comic, the actor looks the part to a T.
Debutant director David SF Wilson has previously handled VFX for films and games such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mass Effect 2 and BioShock Infinite, and unsurprisingly, the CGI for Bloodshot is phenomenal. Right from the basic VFX for the nanites to an extended reimagination of a docklands, Wilson aces it all.
But there are drawbacks too. The film lacks strong characters. Apart from Bloodshot, everyone is one-dimensional. Pearce's Dr Emil Harting is neither terrifying nor commanding, despite spearheading the entire operation. The most he does is threaten KT (Eiza González) by turning off her breathing apparatus — something his robotic arm allows him to do, akin to Cable from Deadpool 2. And while we're at it, the film reminds us of a lot of other classics — Frankenstein, Wolverine, Matrix, Assassin's Creed, and, of course, Robocop. The humour here is downright boring and the film fails to balance it well with the serious sequences. In one scene, Harting makes a 'joke' on cricket with his colleague Eric (Siddharth Dhananjay) who retorts that he's from New Jersey.
On the whole, Bloodshot is an enthusiastic entry to the superhero genre but fails to make an impact because of a middling storyline. And while we're talking about superhero films, it hurts to see that the makers did not include a post-credit sequence despite trying to build a new cinematic universe.