Dan's Review: Unimpressive "Bloodshot" is just another Vin Diesel Movie
Mar 15, 2020 10:39PM
By Dan Metcalf
Vin Diesel in Bloodshot - © 2020 Sony/Columbia.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, some suggestive material, and language.
Starring Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce, Lamorne Morris, Talulah Riley, Alex Hernandez, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Tamer Burjaq.
Written by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer, based on the “Bloodshot” comics by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton.
Directed by David S. F. Wilson.
Perhaps the greatest challenge for most action movie stars is a certain lack of versatility. Once you’ve seen Arnold Schwarzenegger utter a tough-guy catchphrase (“I’ll be back,” “Hasta la vista,” etc.) you’ve pretty much witnessed all their acting range, right there. Vin Diesel is one of those action stars; an onion with one layer without much appeal beyond being a stoic tough guy. His latest film Bloodshot reinforces this trend, granting him yet another vehicle that looks a lot like all his other films (Fast & Furious, xXx, Riddick).
Diesel plays Ray, a special forces soldier married to the beautiful Gina (Talulah Riley). While vacationing with his wife at an Italian seaside village, they are both captured and murdered by a shady character named Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell). Soon after his “death” ray awakens inside a lab where Dr. Harting (Guy Pearce) has resurrected him using nanotechnology. The new tech also gives him super-regenerative powers, making him almost invincible. Other enhanced soldiers live at the lab as well, including Jimmy (Sam Heughan), given new robotic legs, Tibbs (Alex Hernandez), given super sight, and KT (Eiza Gonzales), a beautiful former soldier given super immunity to chemical attacks. Ray can’t remember anything about his former life until one moment where he is reminded of what Axe did to him. Recognizing his new powers, Ray escapes the lab in search of revenge on Axe. After killing his former foe, Ray is suddenly “shut down” by Dr. Harting, reawakening once again in the lab, without any memories. A little later, he is given new memories with the same back story, only this time, Axe has been replaced with another villain. Ray soon discovers that all his recent memories are fake, intended to enrage him and kill Harting’s corporate enemies. With KT’s help, Ray must find a way to break from Harting’s control over him. Late in the game, another technologically gifted friend named Wilfred (Lamorne Morris) joins the cause, who also a foe of Harting.
Bloodshot isn’t a very forgettable and unappealing film, relying heavily on a lot of computer-generated special effects, mindless violence, and a lazy script. Diesel is his same old self, kicking butt and not much else. The plot and contrived conflict aren’t helped by a lack of any coherent meaning or sympathy toward the main characters, not to mention any semblance of chemistry or fun. None of the characters seem to be motivated by anything other than an excuse to get this movie over with, because apparently, Vin Diesel is all it has going for it. For a guy who only plays one note, Diesel’s schtick wears out pretty fast during the first 20 minutes of Bloodshot. If you can make it all the way to the end of the movie without dying of boredom, you’re a “tough guy” in my book.