Five minutes into the film you already have a successful hostage operation followed by a reunion where Vin Diesel strips off his army fatigues to reveal a wife beater. Bloodshot clearly knows what it is – a Vin Diesel star vehicle designed to launch a franchise involving a man in a muscle shirt and his tale of vengeance.
This movie has also decided to be a generic mediocre origins story. “You’ve already ripped off every movie cliché there is. I think “Psycho Killer” and a dancing lunatic in a slaughterhouse is plenty. No more ideas from you,” said Dr. Emil Harting, hinting at what Bloodshot has in store for its audience.
Ray Garrison wakes up in a laboratory of a mad scientist (complete with a robotic arm and gloves) with no memory. After the designated hot chic is introduced, a quick tour of the facility, and some nanotechnology mumbo jumbo, he finds out that his once dead body is filled with nanites. This robo-blood gives him superhealing and superstrength abilities. After his memory gets triggered, Garrison remembers his wife’s murder and avenges her (it’s in the trailer). Basically, he’s the new Universal Soldier Robocop plagued with wormed-over tropes.
There is a Memento kind of twist here that could be used to prevent Bloodshot from being a complete derivative. But the writers behind this film has no intention of adding a new shine to this Frankenstein story, so it turns to empty statements of autonomy. “Your best version of me! Not mine!,” shouts Garrison when he finds out his not in control of his second existence. The movie is filled with cardboard characters with cheesy lines, including a comic relief IT genius who’s always eating at the wrong moment and an arrogant jerk with robot feet.
It doesn’t help that the action scenes are dull. Bloodshot Hulk smashes his way throughout the contrived plot, punching and tossing henchmen out of the way with slow-motion carnage in between. This is combined with obvious CGI and fanboy-pleasing sexy shots.
Without being surrounded by ridiculous action and cast chemistry, it becomes more evident that Vin Diesel is a semi-jacked up, monotonous, flat slab of an everyman. The movie is confident that it can get by with his stoic shtick and fails to recognize that this needs an over the top movie to work. More importantly, MCU has changed the superhero game. If you don’t have a big-budgeted blockbuster movie with a ridiculously attractive lead, you need ingenuity.
Bloodshot is a boring and forgettable comic book adaptation that missed the 90’s. Missing it now is no loss.
Bloodshot is a perfectly generic mediocre movie that offers nothing beyond wormed-over tropes and 90's comic book cliches.