Review: Bloodshot

Vin Diesel stars in Bloodshot, a superhero film based on the Valiant Comics character. The character debuted in the early 90’s and the film feels like it’s from the same era.

After U.S soldier Ray (Vin Diesel) and his wife are murdered, Ray wakes up in an experimental lab with no memory of who he is. He’s met by Dr. Harting (Guy Pearce) and told he’d been brought back to life through the use of advanced biotech and nanotechnology – he has super strength, agility, and can heal himself. He can also hack into databases, search the internet, and teach himself how to fly a Gulfstream jet.

Ray is introduced to other wounded warriors that were saved by Harting’s mad scientist ways. KT (Eiza Gonzalez), Jimmy (Sam Heughan), and Tibbs (Alex Hernandez). Each of them has a unique set of advanced abilities.

While having drinks with KT, a song triggers Ray and he suddenly remembers who murdered him and his wife. He turns into the Terminator as he hunts down the man that killed his wife. He looks the man straight in the eyes and kills him….or did he? The more time Ray spends with Harting, he learns things aren’t what they seem to be.

Vin Diesel does what he does best in this film. He’s perfect as a emotionally numb man on a mission and a guy that solves every problem with extreme violence. Diesel as Ray is just Terminator with a tank top and a dad bod. He’s mumble dialogue covers up a shaky script and the cringe-worthy heartfelt moments that are sprinkled in. However, the sound design when he throws someone through a cement wall is perfect.

The true star of the film is Lamorne Morris as British tech nerd Wilfred Wigans. Every scene with Morris is so hilarious, it only leaves you wanting more. He’s the only character with a level of humor and seriousness that matches the tone of the film. KT and Harting are a little too serious and Jimmy is the predictable older sibling that hates the new kid. Morris shines as a silly character in a film drowning in ridiculousness. He’s really the best thing in this movie and it’s not even close. I’d watch an entire movie about his journey from child prodigy to where he is in this film.

Bloodshot would’ve been better as an action comedy than a straightforward action film that has Diesel scowling for 90 minutes when he’s not flopping like a fish on a futuristic bed. None of the action is memorable or interesting. They never explain how he can hack into everything. None of it makes sense and that’s why the film is flooded with scenes of Vin killing people in slow motion.

Eiza Gonzalez has the best action scene and we only get to see her in action one time. Seriously? We have to watch Vin throw people through walls multiple times but not a badass martial arts fight? It was a huge waste of her talents. Ray’s big showdown at the end feels like a scene left on the cutting room floor at Marvel Studios. It’s an uninteresting end to a film that should’ve been a lot of fun.

Even with its flaws, Bloodshot is mildly entertaining. If they would’ve leaned into the humor more, the movie would be a lot more entertaining.  Had Bloodshot come out in the early 90s or early 2000s, it would’ve been a massive hit. The premise and storytelling feel too dated to make the story or its characters interesting. I know Sony was hoping to build a franchise, but Dad Bod Terminator might be one-and-done.

Grade: C