Bloodshot is a cinematographer’s work of art and a scriptwriter’s dumpster fire.
I was ready to walk into this movie and absolutely love it. It’s one of the films I’ve been eagerly anticipating since I first saw the trailer. And, truthfully, I didn’t dislike it. But if you’re going to see Bloodshot, you have to temper your expectations and allow yourself to drift into the realm of a pure action movie.
Starring Vin Diesel and Guy Pearce, Bloodshot is based on the best-selling Valiant Comics line (of the same name) involving a former soldier (Diesel) who is injected with nanites to promote super strength, rapid healing and various other super powers. Pearce plays the scientist behind the Diesel’s return from the dead and is quickly revealed to be the villain pulling all the strings behind the missions that Diesel is sent on.
Unfortunately, I’ve told you almost everything that takes place in the movie. Even more unfortunately, I didn’t tell you anything that you haven’t already seen in the trailer. The idea itself seems fascinating, but the writers apparently ended up suffering from issues of breadth within that concept. As a result, there are few (if any) surprises, twists or scenarios where you honestly believe the protagonist might not win. If you’ve seen the trailer and the Bourne Identity, then you’ve seen this movie. In addition, the setup portions of the movie pass so quickly that they made you feel as though the writers weren’t able to tell the entire story they wanted to.
There is, however, one area where this film truly shines. The photography is absolutely stunning. The cinematographer for Bloodshot was Jacques Jouffret and the art directors were Simon Lamont and Moray McGregor. I wanted to take the time to specifically call them out because the combination of practical effects, CGI and makeup combine to make some unbelievable shots that almost completely redeem this movie in my eyes. Certain fight scenes have some fun choreography and nice looking stunts. But where it really stands out is the use of color. During the action scenes, Bloodshot employs beautiful, vibrant imagery that is the essence of translating the print of a comic book into film.
Sadly, the beautiful shots interspersed throughout the movie cannot drag it into greatness. Although this is a fun action film (and the beginning of a Valiant Cinematic Universe for Sony), that’s all it could really achieve with the elements brought forth.
3 stars out of 5
Second review by Angele Colageo
For those who are not familiar with the comic book universe, Bloodshot is not a household name like Vin Diesel. However, he is the most popular character from Valiant Comics and is now Diesel’s first role as a comic superhero. This is intended to be Bloodshot’s origin story, hopefully doing well enough to begin a franchise.
Bloodshot, aka Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) was a marine that got killed in action, brought back to life through nanotechnology by RST Corporation. We see through his point of view as he completes his mission, returns to home base in Italy, and to his stunning wife Gina (Talulah Riley). They pack up, go on a vacation, driving down the Amalfi coast. Just as the trip begins, they are kidnapped and murdered.
Ray wakes up from the nightmare at RST, Dr. Emil Harting’s (Guy Pierce) project. He meets fellow soldiers at the lab: KT (Eiza Gonzalez), Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan) and Tibbs (Alex Hernandez). They each have their own upgrades, supplied by Harting. Garrison is the successful fruition of the nanotech that has been developed through the research labs with the intention to give soldiers back their function. His entire body has been infused with the nanobots, allowing him to survive any attack.
It’s always fun to watch a comic book character come to life. The various challenges they face as they discover their abilities and gain their purpose. In this film, the story is pretty straightforward and predictable until we get to the character’s awakening. The movie could have provided more definition in the storyline regarding the process that Garrison goes through. Repetition in the character’s mental development establishes the foundation, but it certainly could have been less subtle and done with a little more brevity.
I want to know more backstory of Ray’s relationship with Gina. It is good to know about the depth of the relationship to be invested in the storyline. The back stories of his fellow soldiers would give them more character. Of the three teammates, we get to know KT better than the other two. We do know Dalton is not a nice guy, but he is a good soldier. Tibbs is the wild card and we have no idea which side he would come down on.
There is a critical scene where CGI is applied, heavily. I believe that computer generated images are a great tool, but it is only as good as the ones who use it. At times, it seems that I am watching bad CGI from a video game, which is very disappointing. There are gaps in the film, that brings up questions. Such as being a bit more thorough with Garrison’s transformation. The film is a bit of a ride, a bit choppy as it if needed to meet a timeframe, but it could have given the audience more information to flesh out each character. However, it is an origin story and one could hope that the next film provides better answers.
Fans of the Bloodshot comic might really enjoy the movie, comic book fans too. If one is not familiar with that comic book universe, it may take one a little bit to ramp up. I enjoyed the movie, without full knowledge of Bloodshot, the CGI was lacking in certain respects. My viewing was in IMAX, which could have affected the quality. However, with those issues, I still enjoyed it for what it was.
3.5 out of 5 stars.