Yet another ‘swing and a miss’ by Sony studios, Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel, is a high octane flop. Stealing themes and nuances from several successful sci-fi/superhero franchises, this film feels as Frankenstein’s Monster as its leading character. It’s a Matrix-Wolverine-RoboCop-Terminator hybrid that never fully decides what it wants to be. I had pretty low expectations going into this screening, and I have to say it was more entertaining than I had expected. Bloodshot is another run-of-the-mill Vin Diesel action movie and if you enjoy his previous work, you’ll probably have a good time.
The story follows Ray Garrison, a skilled soldier that is killed and then resurrected by a genius scientist, replacing his blood with intelligent nano-bots. Giving him superpowers of regeneration, super strength, and artificial intelligence. His memory is erased and he can’t remember anything about his past until a moment in the lab triggers a hidden memory of a mad man killing his wife and then Ray himself right after. He goes on a rampage and uses his newfound powers to hunt down this madman and bring him to his demise. You then come to find out that this memory was fabricated by the team that resurrected him and this wasn’t the first time he had been “awoken”. A revenge plot turns into a deeper revenge plot and Vin Diesel avenges his vengeance.
This film was built for action and luckily they are able to deliver some pretty entertaining fight sequences. The only saving grace of this film are the Special-Fx, and the team behind them did a fantastic job of delivering what was asked of them. The nano-bot regeneration sequences look really cool and help the believability of the film. There are a couple running sequences that looked completely un-believable, but for the most part, the special fx were successful. This film has an obsession with slow-mo sequences, and a lot of work was put in to make sure these action sequences look even cooler in slow-mo. There is a lot of dust and smoke in almost every action scene that allows the slow-mo option to pop. These particle enhancements help to make the slow-mo look cool, but then also muddy up the scene when it switches back to real-time.
It came as no surprise to me to find out that the Director of Bloodshot, Dave Wilson, is a rookie film Director. Most of his career up to this point has been working in the video game world, helping to direct cinematic cut scenes and trailers for high profile games. He is very talented at leading a team of visual effects artists to create eye-popping action sequences, but his storytelling abilities need a little massaging. There were several moments where I was able to notice glaring holes in the plot and the emotional stability of the characters was less than desired. He didn’t seem to be able to inspire any emotional performances out of his actors. They all deliver pretty one-dimensional offerings. There’s one scene in particular where Vin Diesel’s character is in utter dismay and yet there is no evidence of this in his facial expression. This could also just be the limitation of Vin Diesel’s acting abilities in general, but I’ve seen better performances in his Fast & Furious franchise. I’ll be curious to see if Dave Wilson is handed the reins to another directing role or if he’ll move back into the special fx world. I think that with more practice and experience, he could eventually become a very successful action film director.
I don’t think this is a film that anyone needs to rush to the theater to see, but if you’re looking for a crazy action movie then Bloodshot will fulfill your desires. They definitely set this one up for a sequel or possible franchise at the end, but I’ll be surprised if this story gets another leg.