Bloodshot Review: Valiant Comic’s first cinematic venture is a careless, bloodless bore
While Marvel and DC have been the big names in bringing their characters and stories to the big screen, Valiant Comics is looking to taking a slice of the superhero pie by bringing their characters to a cinematic universe of their own – starting with Bloodshot.
The film follows Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), a talented but over-confident soldier that is killed by an unknown assailant that also kills his wife Gina (Talulah Riley). However, Ray is resurrected by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), researcher at the mysterious RST labs, and given enhanced abilities beyond his wildest dreams. Nanobots that now make up his blood allow him to not only unleash incredible strength on anyone that stands in front of him, but also instantly heal his wounds no matter how drastic. As Ray begins to gain his memory back, he decides to use his power to exact revenge on those that killed him and Gina. Things don’t exactly line up though and Ray begins to see that he might be a pawn in someone else’s game.
Not really knowing a whole lot about Bloodshot or really any of Valiant’s comics, it was already quite an uphill battle for Bloodshot to make a strong impression. Unfortunately, Bloodshot barely makes any impression at all and is one of the most completely lifeless comic book movies I’ve ever seen.
It actually blew me away how the characters have zero personality and the performances either come off phoned in or half-hearted. Garrison is completely one-note with his think with his fists mentality and there’s no real complexity or character arc to his story. His narrative is essentially about him eventually being able to control his own fate, but even when he’s let off the leash it never feels like anything changes. Diesel surprisingly doesn’t feel like a good fit here, even though he’s played guys like Garrison before, and whether it’s a tough fight sequence or a dramatic personal moment, he adds no complexity and no likeable traits to make audiences care about him – especially since he doesn’t seem to have any flaws.
There’s almost no effort to make anything of the side characters and they all are easily forgettable. Eiza Gonzalez’s KT has nothing unique or interesting about her and her whole turning good arc is totally predictable and unsatisfying. Pearce defines phoning it in here as he literally looks like he’s trying to get through each scene as fast as possible. He’s easily one of the most forgettable antagonists in comic book movie history and the other minor antagonists, like Sam Heughan’s Jimmy Dalton, are barely memorable outside of a handful of moments. The only character that attempts to bring some fun to this film is Lamorne Morris as tech-wizard Wilfred Wiggins as he’s a decent comic relief. Honestly, even while most of Morris’ jokes don’t hit, he certainly makes the most of the film’s lazy and uneventful script.
The dialogue is absolutely atrocious with how many awful quips and recycled genre lines it shoves into each scene and the story, as a whole, is just really boring. The story is devoid of genuine surprise and outside of how they show the reveal of RST’s intentions for Ray, there’s nothing to connect to or hook your attention. Every slow moment feels like an excuse to have something happen between the action sequences and even when the action finally gets going, it’s a total letdown.
There’s no creativity in the action sequences and it’s evidently clear how bad this film wanted to be rated R instead of PG-13. From the overuse of slow-motion action to egregiously bad CGI, the action in Bloodshot is both bloodless and an absolute mess. There’s never anything to get your heart rate jumping and the attempts to push the boundaries of the film’s PG-13 rating are pitiful. They barely want to play around with the goriness of Ray getting parts of his body blown off and being slowly put back together. It’s actually a major wasted opportunity because seeing Ray smile or do something with his slightly dismembered or disfigured self could’ve been a lot of fun and implemented some much-needed dark humor. Although, it doesn’t seem like anyone is trying to do much of anything in this movie and instead the action fits right in with everything else in just being forgettable.
Bloodshot is a bloodless bore that’s devoid of any fun, creativity, or originality and easily one of the worst comic book movies of recent time. We’re at a point where the superhero genre really needs fresh new entries that stand out and look to reinvent the formula. Bloodshot isn’t interested in that at all and instead just starts Valiant’s cinematic universe at rock-bottom.