BLOODSHOT Spoiler-Free Review; "[It] Fails To Bring Anything New To The Superhero Genre"
After a brief run in theaters, Bloodshot is now available on Digital, but does Valiant's attempt at launching their own shared cinematic universe succeed? Simply put, absolutely not! Here's our verdict...
Bloodshot is meant to be the first in a series of films set in Valiant Comics' version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but if this is a sign of what's to come, it might be a world best confined to the pages of the comic books. After a lengthy development process which began way back in 2012, this movie proves to be neither worth the wait nor a promising opening chapter in a new franchise for Fast & Furious icon Vin Diesel; in fact, all it really does is reinforce that outside of that series, the actor simply may not be leading man material. In fact, with no post-credits scene, Sony Pictures might as well have concluded the film with a disclaimer that they have zero interest in ever making a sequel.
Delivering pretty much the exact same performance we've seen from him in every other action movie he's ever starred in (Bloodshot could be anything from XXX to Riddick and The Last Witch Hunter, albeit with a different name), Diesel mumbles his way through a series of terrible lines and does little to make Bloodshot a character you'll particularly care about. The script is an absolute stinker, and while it introduces a novel concept/twist shortly after the first act concludes, things quickly devolve from there with a clichéd tale of revenge and an unbearably annoying sidekick in Lamorne Morris' Wilfred Wigans. His English accent might just rival Don Cheadle's in the Oceans movies for how utterly terrible it is.
Guy Pearce delivers a mostly decent performance, but he's not exactly at his best, and it's mind-boggling to see Fantastic Four star Toby Kebbell lending his talents to yet another mostly terrible superhero movie. The worst offender, however, is Sam Heughan as his two-dimensional villain proves to be a complete and utter bore. Much of that can be blamed on the script, but he fades into the background and isn't remotely memorable. On the plus side, Eiza González definitely makes the best of a bad situation and manages to stand out from the crowd in a largely thankless role. The actress has already made an impact in movies like Alita: Battle Angel and Hobbs & Shaw, and her big screen future is looking undeniably bright...providing she can move on from films like this!
The only other area Bloodshot does excel in is in terms of action scenes. Those are well-choreographed, exciting, and often both inventive and a lot of fun. It's also where Diesel really shines because when it comes to mindless action scenes, the actor is undeniably at his best.
First-time director David S. F. Wilson struggles to hold it all together, though, and things become a massive CGI blur in the final act (which definitely isn't a good thing when the VFX so often looks like a video game cutscene). However, there's a tunnel sequence early on which is downright awesome and goes some way in redeeming that. Oddly, the only character who appears to have had a sizeable amount of money spent on them is Bloodshot himself, as the other CGI-enhanced heroes and villains tend to be a little hit-and-miss. The weirdest thing about Bloodshot is how dated it feels, and given how scared it appears to be of embracing the source material, it's almost as if it was meant to be released in 2005 before randomly resurfacing now.
Despite some enjoyable action scenes, Bloodshot fails to bring anything new to the superhero genre, and Valiant's wannabe MCU is already off to a disappointing and disastrous start (Vin Diesel, meanwhile, needs to stick to Fast & Furious).