Review: Bloodshot

Bloodshot (2020)

Director: David S.F. Wilson

Writers: Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer

Starring: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, and Guy Pearce

Plot: A recently deceased solider is brought back to life after an experimentally government operation to fight crime.

Review: We are in a weird stage when it comes to superhero movies. Marvel Studios has wrapped up the storylines of most of their bigger characters and is approaching an unknown realm of their C-list. DC is struggling to find their footing with everyone but Wonder Woman. The Fox X-Men are dead. And, Sony is apparently going to keep making B-movies about all of the Spider-Man villains. What I’m basically trying to say is that by this point every big superhero is taken and now studios are starting to look for the lesser known characters to bring to the big screen. Mix that fact in with Vin Diesel’s seemingly huge ego and you get Bloodshot. It’s a weird one. I feel like it could’ve been good. Unfortunately, there’s just not really any stand out things to sink your teeth into here.

The main thing that makes the Bloodshot movie almost work is the plot. I really like this Memento-esque plot. It’s very cool. The fact that he has no memories and is a walking computer who can be manipulated or tricked into killing whoever his superiors want him too is a really neat take. It feels fresh to the superhero genre, almost the next logical step to the Wolverine idea. If the superhero genre is going to survive, it needs to do fresh original stuff like this. Unfortunately, the impact of this plot point was taken away by the trailers which basically spell out the entire plot. Now, maybe that wouldn’t be too bad, but the movie sets this up to be a big twist. It’s gotta be super disappointing for the director to see that. Oh well, it’s still a pretty fresh idea.

So, you’ve got a fresh viewpoint on the superhero movie and one of the biggest action stars on the planet. It should be relatively easy from this point on, right? Apparently not. The action in this movie is very underwhelming. There’s not a single memorable moment of badassery in the whole thing. There are a couple really uninspired, shaky cam action scenes. One takes place in the dark so we can’t really see much. And, one particularly groan inducing action set piece takes place on a monitor… in another city… using nothing about computer animated “heat signatures.” It’s really embarrassing. But, nothing compares to the final fight sequence which features so much CGI that I got Alita: Battle Angel flashbacks, but with early 2000s level effects. There is absolutely nothing exciting about having two computer generated muscle dudes flung at each other. We’ve seen it before. We’re bored of it. It’s really time for studios to learn that.

My final thought on Blooshot hurts a bit to admit, but I’ve got to be honest. Vin Diesel may have been the wrong choice here. There’s a reason the other superhero persona Vin has is a voice only role. Something about him just feels off. The character of Bloodshot presented here, as I said before, is very similar to Wolverine. Unfortunately, Vin Diesel is no Hugh Jackman. While you can constantly feel every bit of emotion Wolverine is going through as he plows his way through hoards of enemies, you don’t get the same out of Bloodshot. I do think Diesel is going for the same vibe. It just doesn’t work because he’s not quite up to the task. I love Vin. I think he works perfectly in the Fast franchise. The superhero genre just seems like a bad fit though. Believe it or not, I think casting a lead in a superhero movie is actually really difficult. You have to have action skills, acting chops, and charisma. I don’t quite think Diesel meets all three of those criteria. It’s sad but it’s true.

Vin, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry. I love a lot of your movies. I can’t wait for Fast 9! This one just didn’t work.

P.S. I know he’s not but I do feel really bad about what I said. I gotta be honest with myself and the readers though.

TL;DR: While I enjoyed how the plot was different than your typical superhero movie, I don’t think Bloodshot worked on an action or emotional level.

Score: 4/10 (Bad)

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