Directed by: David S.F. Wilson
Premise: Based on the comic book. A soldier (Vin Diesel) who was killed in combat is resurrected with nanotechnology. The company manipulates the soldier’s memories in order to control him.
What Works: Bloodshot is a standard sci-fi adventure and it is reminiscent of the comic book movies that were released in the 1990s like Spawn and Blade. The tone is similar to those films and it has a comparable scale. In a way, that’s refreshing. Bloodshot is not part of an extended franchise, the scope of the film remains immediate (no one is trying to save the world), and it runs less than two hours. This is a simple, one-shot piece of action entertainment and it mostly succeeds in what it’s trying to do. Bloodshot includes a few impressive action sequences. The standout set piece is a shootout in a tunnel in which Diesel’s character puts his new powers to the test. The filmmakers use light and color well and the design of the movie resembles the style of a comic book. Bloodshot begins as a routine sci-fi action picture but there is a reveal about halfway through the film that changes the story and Bloodshot includes some interesting reversals that punch up the material. At this point, the filmmakers add some humor that is self-aware without being obnoxious. Bloodshot also manages a few poignant moments that make Diesel’s character vulnerable in an emotional way. Although this is not pursued meaningfully in the story, the emotional detour is enough to make this super soldier an accessible character.
What Doesn’t: Bloodshot is a dumb movie. It’s not insultingly stupid but there is quite a lot in it that is silly or not thought through. In several instances, the body of Vin Diesel’s character is completely destroyed and yet he is able to reassemble himself for a new incarnation. This exemplifies the key flaw of Bloodshot. The movie has no stakes. This is the kind of comic book adventure in which the hero is invincible. Whenever he is injured the nanotechnology repairs his wounds almost instantly. As a result there is nothing at stake and that eliminates any possibility for tension. The story also lacks any concrete goals. Diesel’s character isn’t fighting for anything tangible and so the action scenes are a lot of stunts and special effects with very little drama.
DVD extras: Outtakes and bloopers, featurettes, deleted scenes, previews.
Bottom Line: Bloodshot is a competent sci-fi action picture. There may not be enough character or ideas to build a franchise around it but Bloodshot is a perfectly adequate piece of popcorn entertainment.
Episode: #804 (June 14, 2020)