Bloodshot Review: Pump The Brakes For The Killing Machine

Bloodshot is a middle-of-the-road thriller that doesn't delve as deeply into its comic backstory as it should, but there's potential if it becomes a franchise.
bloodshot review

Sony Pictures is hoping to launch a new franchise in Hollywood. They want to create a “Valiant Cinematic Universe” based on Valiant comics and starting with Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot.

The superhero film follows a soldier named Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) who was assassinated along with his wife, only to be brought back to life with superpowers by an organization called Rising Spirit Technology that wants to use him as a weapon. He cannot recall anything from his former life, but when his memories flood back and he remembers the man who killed his wife, he breaks out of the facility to seek revenge.

Unfortunately, he discovers that there’s more to the conspiracy and he’s being manipulated by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), who runs the RST program.


How Does Bloodshot Fare?

Bloodshot was Sony’s first choice out of all Valiant comics to bring to life on the big screen. It took a middle road that involved neither high-octane action nor fully in-depth story. Some of the problems facing this movie are the number of low-impact action scenes, and the generic story with less heart behind it than necessary.

It has the tropes which feel like a Vin Diesel kind of movie. He looked great as Bloodshot, so it was a good casting choice indeed. He plays a tough soldier and cool hero, meaning his fans are going to enjoy him a lot – but those who don’t typically enjoy him definitely won’t.

He takes on some impressive action sequences we haven’t seen from him before. Bloodshot has super strength, speed, and reaction time beyond the limits of a normal human. He can also heal instantly with the power of nanites in his veins; so he has an army inside him.

The first act of the film gets interesting only after he’s brought back to life. Until then, it will not grab the interest of audience. The opening feels like a story out of an older action movie, although the introductory fight for Vin Diesel is good and also a bit Michael Bay-ish.

The Villain Of The Piece

Toby Kebbell plays Martin Axe, a generic bad guy who kills Ray’s wife, only to be flipped on him later in the film in a very old plot. The story changes its gear starting from the introduction of RST, which helps to create technology that improves and enhances soldiers.

Everyone in this group are enhanced soldiers, which is where we get introduced to Eiza Gonzalez as KT, Sam Heughan as Dalton, and Alex Hernandez as Tibbs. The part where Rey remembers his past is done in a cheesy way, and then he escapes the facility to kill the man who murdered his wife. Too bad Doc Emil shuts his brain down and reprograms him to kill another man.

Thus, a lot of the movie’s events are a mind game played on Bloodshot by RST, and the tone is repetitive. At least until Lamorne Morris’s Wilfred Wigans appears in the second half of the movie. He is the quick and witty tech guy who helps Bloodshot and bring a new dynamic into play.

The third act of the movie falls flat, however. The final fight in the facility is not that effective, and the movie loses its grip as Ray teams up with his new allies to reach the ultimate big bad.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Bloodshot‘s story mainly rely on supporting actors Eiza Gonzalez, Guy Pearce and Lamorne Morris. Eiza Gonzalez suits nicely for this kind of roles. She’s a pretty badass women who knows her stuff very well in her field, but she gets only one action scene. Despite this, she serves her part well. Guy Pearce is strong as the bad guy and the manipulator of Bloodshot, but his character’s story arc is pretty routine. Talulah Riley plays Ray’s wife Gina, which is a small role that only serves as plot device.

Siddharth Dhananjay as a tech guy working at RST is decent, although his character’s attempts to be comedic relief in the movie didn’t work out. He is generally good and he needs to get more roles in movies. A few jokes are worthy of laughs, and overall the dialogue in the movie is fine.

The costumes are pretty cool as well, especially those of Dalton, Tibbs and KT – even if Dalton and Tibbs themselves are not that likable. Their main purpose in the story is to have someone powerful face off against the hero.

The action sequences are shot beautifully and choreographed well, but don’t have much impact in most parts. The convoy fight scene is a big exception, however. The final battle, on the flipside, is weak.

The VFX is solid for a majority of the movie, while the overall cinematography and lighting is decent. The red lighting and VFX on Bloodshot are done effectively. One scene in particular – referenced above and involving a crashed flour truck and an encounter with a convoy – is shot and choreographed very well.

This is director Dave Wilson’s debut movie. He is a VFX artist first and creative director of Blur Studio, which makes sense given the consistently good CGI throughout the movie. But he didn’t succeeded fully in transferring the potential of the source material to the movie. Furthermore, the score isn’t memorable and the screenplay is not top notch.

A big problem for this movie is that, even though it had a great premise to work with from the comic book, it didn’t explore much of the story onscreen. That being said, some people who enjoy action flicks in general will definitely enjoy this movie as a guilty pleasure. Fans of the comic may not be satisfied with the movie, though, as this is one of Valiant’s best-selling comics and had great potential as a feature length film. Still this movie is fun, and it has great CGI to complement Vin Diesel’s action scenes.

The future of the VCU is indefinite. Is this going to be a good start for VCU? Not so much. Will this movie gets a sequel? The box office performance will decide that. If Sony wants to make a sequel, let’s hope it will be better than this one and use more material from the comic.

Sony may try creating another movie based on different comic, as well. But given that Vin Diesel will reprise his roles as Riddick and Xander Cage in the future, not to mention how Lionsgate is creating the sequel to The Last Witch Hunter, it’s safe to say people love watching his movies regardless of critical opinion. Therefore, we can at least say Bloodshot 2 is a possibility.

Are you planning on watching Bloodshot in theaters? If you have seen it, Did you like it? Let us know in comments below.