Bloodshot is a comic book film that would have felt dated if it came out in 2011.
Ironically that was the year Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern came out. By that point Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was two-thirds completed and Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson were well under way in establishing the Avengers’ eventual domination of the box office.
When Green Lantern arrived in theaters it felt like a relic of the early 2000s method of superhero films with its throwback approach to dutifully telling the hero’s and villain’s origin, CGI that seemed to lack polish and a by the numbers story. It couldn’t compare to The Dark Knight, Iron Man or Thor.
There’s a certain deja vu in watching Bloodshot, based on the Valiant Comics mainstay. It feels like a film that could have been a game changer … had it been released in 2000. Twenty years later? There’s nothing special here or at least anything that hasn’t already been done so much better over the last decade.
That’s disappointing as Valiant has a stable of interesting characters from Magnuz Robot Fighter, Rai, X-O Manowar and Shadowman that would have benefited from a stronger entry into a potential Valiant Cinematic Universe.
Bloodshot’s faults aren’t with star Vin Diesel. He gets written off as a muscle bound one-note actor, but Diesel is an underrated performer, That said, the dude knows his wheelhouse and is happy to be a tail-kicking, gun firing hero with a knack for wearing tiny T-shirts.
Diesel plays Ray Garrison, a highly skilled soldier who gets killed in action. Thanks to breakthrough technology from Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), Ray gets resurrected and is now virtually indestructible.
This poses a problem as screenwriters Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer can’t figure out a way to come up with any credible drama for an unstoppable superhero.
The trailers did a massive disservice to the film by spoiling all the major plot points. It’s not just teasing some big moments of the film, but revealing all of the important parts of the story. That makes it a little harder to criticize the script’s shortcomings as some of them wouldn’t be so obvious from walking in cold with no knowledge of what to expect.
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Gonzalez is establishing a nice career and this film offers her a better showcase for her potential as the star of her own films. Lamorne Morris (New Girl) provides some much needed humor as an outlaw tech genius who helps Ray. The cast is very diverse and that’s probably not a coincidence that is a staple of Diesel films.
It feels like Director Dave Wilson, who has an extensive background in video games like BioShock, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Mass Effect 2, treated the action like another video game project.
The rag doll physics of the fight scenes have that video game look and there’s not a sense of actual weight to the characters thanks to some weak CGI.
Finally — and this is a big one — for the limited core audience that loves Bloodshot the comic character the film does the old school method of holding back the actual comic book look until the final act. Most of the movie is just Diesel playing Terminator 2 making Bloodshot come off more like a sci-fi film than a comic book movie.
Bloodshot doesn’t have enough heart to embrace its comic book roots and fails at being the next evolution in sci-fi action films.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures