Where do we start? Back in 2015, Sony and Valiant teamed up to launch a cinematic universe based on their vast array of comic books, starting with Bloodshot and Harbinger. Bloodshot was first up and it took them about 5 years to get the character on the big screen. After a lengthy process, Sony and Valiant finally drafted Vin Diesel to play the hero in live action. David S. F. Wilson was attached to direct and all things were pointing towards an easy shoot. After the first photos from the movie were released online, it was revealed that Diesel wouldn’t actually look like the comic book version of Bloodshot and that was a bit off putting to Valiant fans. A few reshoots and a Vin Diesel voice double later, Bloodshot has officially screened and I was one of the unlucky few in attendance.
Look, I’m not gonna sugarcoat this. There are terrible movies and then there’s Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot, a film that tries so hard to avoid falling into the tropes of comic book movies and ultimately puts itself in a place where it tries too hard to be an action movie. It’s like watching Michael Jordan play baseball – yeah, that’s cool and all but we don’t want to see that. We want to see you play basketball. But, that’s just the start of it. Let’s get to the core of Bloodshot’s problems. The story sucks. It’s convoluted and the editing doesn’t help its case. At times it’ll even feel like the movie is missing key scenes that would make it comprehensible and it will definitely leave the audience with more than a few questions.
Bloodshot follows a soldier named Ray Garrison, played by Diesel, who watches his wife get murdered and then is subsequently murdered himself. He’s brought back to life by the RST Corporation and imbued with nanotechnology that transforms him into a superhuman killing machine, but with one cost: his memory. Garrison begins to remember his past and seeks vengeance against the man who murdered his wife. As the story progresses, Garrison slowly realizes that things might not actually be what they seem and that’s the exact point where I believe the actors started phoning it in.
Vin Diesel delivers a career-low performance and I haven’t seen him this bad since The Pacifier. Picture Dominic Turetto, but as a superhero and without his family. His performance becomes tedious and very melodramatic to watch. Meanwhile, Eiza Gonzalez plays KT, a superhero in her own right. She has a special breathing apparatus and can probably kick your butt, but the performance she delivers is very flat. I personally don’t blame her for phoning it in, as there isn’t much to work with opposite Diesel and Guy Pierce. The standout of the film has to be Lamorne Morris’ Wilfred Wigans. The character is hilarious, brilliant and Morris delivers a British accent so good that you almost believe he’s from the U.K. If the rest of the performances weren’t so bad, I’d actually rewatch the movie just for him.
The villains of the film are stale, unimaginative and terrible people for no reason at all. Guy Pierce leads the fray as Dr. Emil Harting, the head honcho of the RST Corporation, and he’s kind of a dick. If you liked him in Iron Man 3, his performance in Bloodshot just might be for you. His lackeys played by Sam Heugan and Alex Hernandez are unremarkable. Heugan plays Jimmy Dalton, an injured Navy Seal that gets prosthetic legs from Harting, and Hernandez plays Tibbs, who lost his sight and gets a new way to see thanks to Pierce’s villain. Both actors were unremarkable and their characters had zero motivation in the movie. With the film’s lackluster story, performances and direction, I wouldn’t suggest this to my worst enemy. Bloodshot is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to superhero movies.
Overall Thoughts: There about a thousand things I’d rather do than watch Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot again, but I’ll give you three. I would rather watch a twenty minute montage of Henry Cavill’s upper lip in Justice League than watch Bloodshot again. I’d rather perform an autopsy than watch Bloodshot again. And last but not least, I’d rather watch kids do an “it’s showtime” set on the subway at 8am than watch Bloodshot again. It has some of the worst directing, writing, acting and CGI that I have ever seen in a comic book film. Lamorne Morris is the best thing about this movie and he deserved so much better. I can’t believe that this was allowed to hit theaters. We deserve better from Sony. We deserve better from Valiant.