Anytime Vin Diesel is headlining in a brand new action movie like his latest Bloodshot, a part of me just knows it will not be good, especially if it’s trying to set up a franchise that will fall to the ground. I actually like Diesel as an actor, but with something like the horrible The Last Witch Hunter or the xXx franchise, he should really just stick with Fast & Furious since we all know he’s awesome in those. I now get the feeling this will try its hardest to be great, and it failed without thinking twice.
What’s the Story: After he and his wife are murdered, marine Ray Garrison (Diesel) is resurrected by a team of scientists. Enhanced with nanotechnology, he becomes a superhuman, biotech killing machine – Bloodshot. As Ray first trains with fellow super-soldiers, he cannot recall anything from his former life. But when his memories flood back and he remembers the man that killed both him and his wife, he breaks out of the facility to get revenge, only to discover that there’s more to the conspiracy than he thought.
Bloodshot is one of those comic book movies I knew next to nothing about the character based on the Valiant Comics source material. That’s only because I don’t know any of the other characters from the other comics that I’m familiar with, so it’s a surprise to learn this is the first hero to get the big-screen treatment. Hearing about this before it came out sounded interesting enough to see how it would turn out. Back when I talked about the trailer when it came out, I said the vibe I was getting was that it looked like a dumb version of both Robocop and Upgrade. Every part of me wasn’t expecting this to be good whatsoever since nothing about it looked good. At least I didn’t get to pay to see this in the theater, but it still doesn’t make this worthwhile, does it? Well, this is meant to be the start of a cinematic universe, so absolutely not.
If you’ve seen the trailer, then you already figured out it showed everything it could, as Sony annoyingly does, and it really doesn’t lead to the surprises we come to be shocked by. It means us to be in Ray’s shoes in trying to figure out all the pieces when his mind is not being manipulated.
Like I said before, I believe Diesel is a capable action star when he’s working with anything that matches his skills to be cool. All that I saw from him is the same character he always plays. Does it work for him here as the title character? Not exactly. His performance throughout was fine, but the problem was I didn’t exactly care about this character. What I can honestly say is that he’s trying his best to make this movie entertaining, for better or worse. There were some dramatic scenes that didn’t work for me the more I thought about them after it was over, since he didn’t make me believe I was supposed to feel for him. He when even has a scene where he’s wearing a white tank-top, my mind went, “Oh, is he now Dominic Toretto?”
Out of everybody involved, Guy Pearce shouldn’t even be considered playing the villainous scientist, Dr. Emil Harting. A great of an actor he is, there was nothing menacing about his character when his portrayal was pretty generic. Eiza González has been getting a lot of attention lately. Only seeing her in only a few roles before this, she’s talented, which made me pause on why she’s in this. González plays KT, a former US Navy diver with enhanced lungs that develops this relationship with Ray that wasn’t fully bought, but she made the best of what her character was given. You also have Sam Heughan as this soldier with robotic legs didn’t have a good motivation as to why he has a grudge against Ray.
David S.F. Wilson makes his directorial debut with Bloodshot, which is clear when his direction was going nowhere and didn’t feel convective in trying to plan this story together that flows unnaturally, making it almost feel like over two hours. His first feature wasn’t impressive enough to be anticipating any big projects later on. It doesn’t help when the screenplay, written by Jeff Wadlow (Fantasy Island) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival), completely missed the mark with bad lines of dialogue that isn’t good enough to pay attention to, even the moments of painful exposition I couldn’t care about every time it’s on-screen. It also leaves you feeling this had no sense of tension or stakes as it tried to convince you this was supposed to be a cool sci-fi take on a revenge story.
Then you go into the action, and this has got to be some of the dullest, uninteresting sequences in a superhero movie in a very long time. They were poorly directed with bad camerawork anytime somebody is getting punched. At no point was it awesome witnessing Diesel killing bad guys. For this to be PG-13 was lame, where it should’ve needed gritty moments of violence to capitalize on the character. Nearly all of them either consist of horrible CGI, especially when it came to the third act, and slow-motion that doesn’t make them any better when we already know that he’s indestructible.
As stupid as this was, there wasn’t anything that made this the kind of so bad, it’s good action movie. A large majority of this was so boring when you know what’s about to happen, and when it was trying to be funny, it’s almost embarrassing. When you have Lamorne Morris, as a hacker named Wilfred Wigans, talk with an obvious British accent, that’s a sign that he’s going to be the comedic relief when there’s nothing hilarious about what he’s saying and he didn’t steal the show for me. You don’t make Winston Bishop unfunny, you morons. Something like this might’ve been cool if it came out in the 2000s, but it’s coming out now, and it will not impact society.
In the end, Bloodshot could’ve been sweet if a better team put to concept to better use, but it all ends up becoming a predictable superhero movie that’s forgettable in an instant. I don’t think anybody was even asking for a movie like this to be made. You don’t get your cool action or story in an outing that makes you feel for Diesel. Who knows how the rest of the year turns out if they don’t move around anymore comic book movies from its release dates, but it’s going to be hard topping this as the worst so far. Just give this a skip and watch something more enjoyable than what we got here. Like F9? Sure, but I’m still sad they have pushed it to next year.