Bloodshot Movie Review – ‘Imperfect But Still Good’
Starring: Vin Diesel, Guy Pierce, Eiza Gonzales, Sam Heughan
Script by: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer
Director: Dave Wilson
Spoiler warning – This review will contain spoilers for the movie Bloodshot.
Confession time. I do a podcast called Get Valiant, all about Valiant Comics. I write a lot about Valiant and I just like about damn near everything they do. How does that affect me viewing Bloodshot and writing a review? Well, I thought it fair to state my background before diving into the latest Vin Diesel action movie.
Bloodshot is the story of Ray Garrison, a soldier killed after a hostage rescue. In the ordeal, his wife is also killed. He’s given a new lease on life with Rising Spirit Technology, an organization that’s retrofitting broken soldiers into something bigger and better. Ray himself is equipped with nanites that enhance his actions and healing. As he’s been resurrected, he remembers slivers of detail as to who killed him and his wife, leading him on an assault on the very man and his associates….only to be rebooted, with another target programmed into the same exact scenario. We find that Ray has been rebooted numerous times to clean up RST’s past employees. By the time he finally cops to what is happening, he’ll have to fight his way through whatever super soldiers RST has placed in his way.
What I liked:
Bloodshot appears to be very loosely based on the first 6 or so issues of Valiant Entertainment’s Bloodshot from the 2012 launch. Bloodshot feels more like a sci-fi movie and less like a superhero movie. The actions sequences in Bloodshot are some of the more enjoyable moments. I was quite particular of the first main “Bloodshot” fight scene where a semi truck carrying flour was used to clog a tunnel. I felt the scene really showcased what the title character could do. Rough, brutal action. The movie has quite a few good action scenes and personally, I didn’t feel like there was any real boring moments within the movie. As far as the acting goes, I just enjoyed the absolute hell out of Lamorne Morris, whose character Wilfred Wigans was scene stealing throughout the movie and brought a lot of good humor to the movie. I didn’t have any problems with the acting but that character really stood out. And while I’m not giving high praise to Vin Diesel, Guy Pierce or Sam Heughan, I thought they did a fine job in Bloodshot. Last but not least, the visual representation of Bloodshot’s healing ability was good, especially in the movie’s final battle.
The story, by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer, feels like an independent film and not some massive blockbuster, almost intimate and complete in its scope. For some of us who have followed the character’s travels to the screen, Bloodshot was once a part of a 5-movie plan involving another Valiant property, Harbinger. Those plans were gone once Harbinger was no longer at Sony. That said, the movie doesn’t set up anything else. There’s nothing about this that even hints at thoughts of a Bloodshot 2. In world where there’s always a mid-credit or end-credit bit, it’s quite nice just to have the movie be all about that one movie. With Bloodshot, there’s no pointless scene of Ray Garrison looking at a computer full of characters that won’t play into anything happening with the movie, like Batman V Superman. That said, I do hope to see much more Valiant on the big screen. The character base is too cool not to be made into movies.
What I didn’t like:
Fans of the character of Bloodshot would describe him as being white, as in, the color white. Red eyes. In the movie, you get that for one moment, near the end. The CGI isn’t the greatest. I do feel that as far as this type of movie goes, it probably didn’t have the budget for better CGI, which is unfortunate. The fact is, this type of movie is going to need a lot of special effects. I thought there were a few times where the camera work took me out of it. Also, I think only once in the entire movie did I hear any mention of “Bloodshot” which made it feel like they were not trying to fully grasp the comic book roots of the character. One last thing that bugs me about this, and I’m not sure who the blame goes to on this, is that for a character like Bloodshot, who comes from this great comic book universe, there’s not a single hint that anyone else on his level even exists there. Nothing. It’s a huge disappointment. Again, there was previously a plan to tie into the Harbinger series and I’m sure it was the new corporate owners of Valiant botched this up. Aside from Ax, who pops up for a few minutes, we don’t even get anyone from the comics that was tied to Rising Spirit. While casual moviegoers aren’t going to care, those of us who have been there for the character since Bloodshot #1 in the 90s are going to wonder a lot of “what ifs…” when it comes to this movie.
I think Bloodshot is worth a view. As such a huge fan, it’s imperfect in bringing the character to the screen, but it’s good in a lot of places. It’s unfortunate that the movie was released during a global pandemic and COVID-19 is going to crush all movies at the box office. However, I still felt like going to the movies and Bloodshot was a great way to just forget about all the problems going on with the world. Vin Diesel offers up a good portrayal of Valiant’s nanite-powered soldier. Go see it, because if nothing else, someone should be at the movies this week.