Bloodshot Review – Vin Diesel kicks a lot of ass to have his revenge, setting up an epic knockout but never quite lands the final blow.
I have to begin my Bloodshot review with the disclaimer, I have not read the comic. Which has its merits and faults, but I felt I should let it be known that I am not in any way influenced by the source material. I’m strictly going to be reviewing it based on the movie. Might lose some nerd cred, but I watched the movie before you, so eat it. Also, scroll to the end if you want to know if this has an after credits scene or not.
Bloodshot is the story of Raymond Garrison (Vin Diesel) a soldier killed in action brought back to life by technology. This technology runs through his veins, hence the moniker Bloodshot, and grants Garrison incredible regeneration abilities, meta-morphing, and the ability to interface with technology. Basically, he’s the perfect soldier. The downside to this technology, Garrison’s mind is programmable. Garrison has his mind and memories wiped and altered countless times until finally, he realizes what’s going on and makes it his mission to find out who he really is and get revenge on those who did this to him.
Bloodshot is a fun and well-paced action movie that doesn’t quite land the kill shot. While it is enjoyable, and I believe worth the watch, it just doesn’t go deep enough. The concept of manipulating a soldier’s memories to have them do what they do best isn’t a completely unique concept. However, in Bloodshot’s case, it’s as if Dr. Frankestein was personally programming his monster to eliminate his ex-business partners. Which opens up very interesting dynamics that sadly, never get fully fleshed out. Leaving us with a 1-dimensional bad guy with no grand scheme or motivation and a hero who is 10 parts muscle to 1 part brain. It becomes predictable and, while enjoyable, does not leave much of an impact. It feels like the movie took a very safe direction and also cut out the meaty parts of the characters’ stories. The strands of compelling characters are undoubtedly there, but never get pulled. Which is disappointing because the cast does great with what they’re given, and you can feel there is a lot more and just don’t get it.
Vin Diesel brings his usual adrenaline-inducing performance to the role of Bloodshot. Diesel is undeniably good at playing an unbeatable badass. However, I do not feel his character’s dramatic moments land as well as his action moments. I don’t feel it was Diesel’s performance, but something about the presentation just doesn’t give it the gravitas you’d expect on someone who discovers everything he knows is a program to have him kill people. It lacks the subtle touches that give Diesel’s Dom character in the Fast & Furious franchise his dramatic depth. Guy Pearce was not given enough to do. His character is one dimensional and does not give Pearce the room to make a compelling villain. Pearce does well in what he is given, but the story just doesn’t give the villain anything to make a lasting impression. Just another rich bad guy using technology in ungodly ways. Elza Gonzalez, as KT, does a serviceable job as Bloodshot’s first friend with a tragic and inspiring story. But nothing about the part really gives Gonzalez the opportunity to shine. Minus her fight scene, which was undeniably badass. The rest of the roles just seem to populate the world, without really fleshing out the world. The two henchmen, played by Sam Heughan and Alex Hernandez, were just a step above nameless thugs. They were given a glimmer of personality, Heughan being a dick and Hernandez seemingly the dedicated but moral soldier. It just never amounts to anything. Same goes for Toby Kebbell, who despite getting to somewhat play two versions of a character, doesn’t get enough to make an impression. However, the one performance I feel I have to shout out is Lamorne Morris as Wilfred Wigans. Morris pulls off a pretty good Britsh accent and gets to display his comedy chops. But despite his best efforts, Morris’s Wigans is also another 1-dimensional character that provides unfulfilled potential.
The best and the worst part of the film are the action scenes. The first Bloodshot shoot out uses a crashed semi hauling flour and around a dozen soldiers. It is a masterful use of slow-mo that is brilliantly enhanced by the particle effects of the flour. It was a gorgeous battle scene that does a great job showcasing Bloodshot’s abilities. But as incredible as this fight was, the major climactic battle was the opposite. Mainly, the CGI was jarringly lesser quality and ruins the suspension of disbelief. It also greatly lowered my Bloodshot review score. Which is more upsetting considering how great it is up until that point. The first Bloodshot fight is a cinematic work of art, the final fight is almost cartoony looking in comparison. It’s like the CG artists and the camera operators phoned it in.
Bloodshot is a fun and enjoyable action flick that doesn’t live up to its own potential. It is a safe action flick, that I hope will be enough to set up a franchise, if not the Valiant Cinematic Universe. However, the 1-dimensional characters, faltering climax, and weak resolution do not inspire confidence. The pieces are all there and the potential is glimpsed and hinted at, but it never delivers. I think the best way to describe Bloodshot is like reading a comic book and skipping all the captions. You get to see all the characters and their actions, but never get the full context behind them. My Bloodshot review gets a 2.5/5
Bloodshot releases March 13, 2020. Get your tickets now! Bloodshot does not have an after credits scene.
Bloodshot is a fun and enjoyable action flick that doesn’t live up to its own potential. It is a safe action flick, that I hope will be enough to set up a franchise, if not the Valiant Cinematic Universe. However, the 1-dimensional characters, faltering climax, and weak resolution do not inspire confidence. The pieces are all there and the potential is glimpsed and hinted at, but it never delivers. I think the best way to describe Bloodshot is like reading a comic book and skipping all the captions. You get to see all the characters and their actions, but never get the full context behind them.