Ray Garrison, Vin Diesel’s character in Bloodshot, is a distant relative of the Terminators. A dead soldier returned to life, Ray has a new bloodstream made up of insectlike robots that quickly heal his wounds. He can punch through concrete. He can have his face blown apart and keep shooting while it reassembles. Directed by VFX whiz David Wilson, the ﬁlm fails to rejuvenate its hoary theme: whatever your past, you can choose who you want to be.
There are some half-decent set-pieces – one ﬁ ght in a collapsing lift-shaft works well – and a fun turn from Lamorne Morris as a tech nerd who could hold the key to Ray’s survival. But with Diesel on autopilot, Bloodshot feels dead on arrival. It would have been exciting if the movie wrapped up with Diesel sporting a more comic-book inspired look as he entered a larger world of “powereds.”
As it stands, it looks like the only plan is for more shots of Diesel and Gonzales in tight shirts at sunset. Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heiserer’s screenplay tries to write creatively around the ﬁ ghts, so that at least the stakes are clear. But ﬁ rst-time feature director Dave Wilson comes from the world of video game trailers and it shows.
Too often it all feels like frantic button-mashing, rather than an engrossing bit of physical storytelling. The supporting cast of Guy Pearce, Toby Kebbell, Eiza Gonzalez and Lamorne Morris all ﬁ ll out their performances like people waiting for the cheque to clear, There's so much about 'Bloodshot' that could potentially work but doesn't through to a failure in creative decision-making. All said and done, perhaps Diesel would have risen to the larger challenge if given the chance. Diesel may look faster and ‘furiouser’ than ever but he’s not especially Valiant.
What’s good: Some action scenes will entertain you.
What’s bad: A cliched and boring tale.
Watch or not: Strictly for Vin Diesel fans!
Director: David Wilson
Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell