North Texas Daily

The only thing ‘Bloodshot’ bleeds is mediocrity

The only thing ‘Bloodshot’ bleeds is mediocrity

The only thing ‘Bloodshot’ bleeds is mediocrity
March 25
19:00 2020

“They’ve been manipulating you. What you think is real, sometimes ain’t.”

After a psychotic killer executes him and his wife, U.S. Marine Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is resurrected with nanite technology by Dr. Emil Harding (Guy Pearce) of Rising Spirits Technology. Now armed with extensive regenerative abilities and super-strength, Ray eventually sets out to avenge the tragic deaths of his wife and himself. However, he finds that the past he’s recalling may be fabricated . . .

“Bloodshot” is Sony Picture’s latest attempt at jump starting yet another cinematic universe, this time with Valiant Comics. The gist of Valiant is that they found great professional and financial success in the ’90s, only to suffer massive decline after the ill-fated “Deathmate” crossover they did with then-incompetent Image Comics, later went through two reboots – one going south, the other on to great success. The Bloodshot character was a part of their ’90s lineup, but gained more prominence as part of their acclaimed 2012 relaunch, which put them back on the map.

The gist of Bloodshot is that he’s a rogue super soldier with regenerative abilities that may surpass those of Deadpool and Wolverine, as well as having plenty of combat skills. He’s an albino with red eyes, a red dot on his chest and a whole lot of guns. Yeah, that’s all I know.

So, how does this adaptation fair as an introduction to Bloodshot?

Welp, any enthusiasm I had definitely bled out by the end.

Before we get into that though, there are a few positives. For one, the acting is pretty good, with the standouts being Eiza Gonzalez as KT and Lamorne Morris as Wilfred Wigans. Despite some writing hiccups, Gonzalez does sell the role of a sympathetic henchwoman who can kick major butt in spite of not really having much in the way of cybernetic enhancements.

However, Morris as Wigans is by far the best part of the movie. A witty British hacker with a heart of gold, the movie always pick back up whenever he comes onscreen. Wigans could easily have been an annoying sidekick stereotype, but he considerably carries the film when he comes in about halfway through the movie. His banter with Bloodshot and KT had me cracking up a few times as well. I didn’t even know he was American until I looked him up on IMDb, that’s a really good accent he’s putting on! Despite being in such a bland movie, he may very well be one of my favorite new characters this year.

Those are maybe the two things I liked about this two-hour movie. Yeah, it’s not good.

The direction is boring, the writing as exciting as burnt toast and the action barely comprehensible.

The movie’s director is novice David S. F. Wilson, who worked primarily in SFX beforehand and directed the cutscenes for the “Force Unleashed” games. This is his cinematic debut and he probably couldn’t be any blander. Aside from everything being shiny, there’s not much innovation or distinctive style here. You’ve seen these kinds of action scenes before and they’ve been done way better.

The majority of the action, especially in the second half, is done with CGI versions of the actors. These replicas composite well into the fake environments, but they’re not believable at all. The trick with a movie like this would be to mix the CGI with physical actors to make it more palpable, which isn’t done here. The digital puppets are bland, too slick looking and get really blurry at times, negating much of the potential physical impact.

Another strike against the action comes early on — a fight between a pre-super Ray and two men in a bathroom which has maybe fifteen cuts in twelve seconds. In this movie, a two vs one fight in a small room is difficult to grasp. It sets the shape of things to come. Also, the movie establishes Ray early on as a tactical savant, decimating terrorists with skill and caution . . . which is thrown out the window in his first foreway as Bloodshot. He mindlessly charges people and throws them like he’s the Hulk, as if he weren’t a former Marine with combat instincts.

Honestly, I do think the film should have gone for an R-rating. The money shot of the first trailer was Ray getting his face graphically blown off, chunks flying, before being put back together through his nanites. Imagine if the filmmakers hadn’t taken dismemberment antics of the “Deadpool” movies and upped them to 11? That would have been awesome, but they don’t really do anything creative besides that facial gore.

The sub-standard directing is especially disappointing when one remembers that “John Wick” directors Chad Stahleski and David Leitch were initially set to direct but dropped out for unknown reasons. Sony could not have gotten a more boring replacement.

Then there’s the writing. Jeff Wadlow, who worked on the atrocious “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” and recent “Fantasy Island” reboot. The story here is overly cliche, the characters besides KT and Wigans dull and undeveloped and any cleverness was ruined by the trailers. The idea of a man being brainwashed to kill in the name of false revenge is incredibly interesting and the movie does do some really good foreshadowing . . . but it’s all ruined by the marketing and the movie itself being duller than a rusty knife. The twists aren’t much of a surprise when they’re in every trailer.

Vin Diesel is . . . Vin Diesel. I’ve liked the “Fast & Furious” movies, but he was not a good fit at all here. He has two volume settings — loud, gravelly whisper and is mostly stone-faced to the end. Also, Bloodshot’s cool comic book appearance? Pops up only near the end and once in the middle . . . because he gets hit with a bag of flour. He’s boring, as is the rest of the supporting cast. Guy Pearce clearly likes the role he’s playing and takes it seriously, but he has the character depth of a wet tissue. There’s the two other henchmen of his, one who has a grudge against Bloodshot because . . . he just does?

Then there’s this bit where Toby Kebbell does this really stupid dance set to the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” It’s meant to be unnerving, but it’s just . . . why?

This movie is going to video-on-demand due to theaters closing down, and my recommendation is to skip it and rent better films, like “The Invisible Man,” “Emma” or “Onward.” I would even prefer “The Hunt.”

“Bloodshot” is an infuriatingly inferior type of superhero movie I thought we were beyond by this point. It’s not even “so bad it’s good,” it’s just straight up incompetent. Watch something else.

My rating: 1.5/5

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

About Author

Will Tarpley

Will Tarpley

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad