Bloodshot (2020)

According to the internet (so you know it’s credible), Bloodshot is supposed to be the start of a new cinematic universe. This one will be based on Valiant Comics properties, none of which I’ve heard of. Bloodshot does not make for a good first impression to the company’s characters. The film, which would have felt generic in the early 2000s, comes and goes without leaving any sort of lasting impression, which is funny given how much of it deals with memory.

Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is a U.S. Marine (this is, unfortunately, not a Pacifier sequel) who, along with his wife (Talulah Riley), gets murdered. He wakes up without his memories but is told that he was killed. He has been revived by Dr. Harting (Guy Pearce) and injected with nanites—nanomachines that will repair any injury he gets and also give him superhuman strength. He’s Wolverine without the claws, is the best way I can put it. He also slowly recalls his memories and begins to seek vengeance on the ones who killed him and his wife, assuming those memories are, in fact, his memories.

The plot, as you might expect, doesn’t end there. Conspiracies and corruption and evil and all that fun stuff pop up. It plays out like a low-rent version of Total Recall, lacking any of the intelligence and world-building that the 1990 movie had and instead playing out like an uglier version of the 2012 remake—but weaker even than that. It has almost nothing when it comes to characters, the actors have so little to work with that it’s painful to watch them blankly inhabit the screen, and even the action lacks creativity. It turns out Wolverine’s claws add a lot.

Bloodshot lacks suspense, too, which is the biggest issue with its action scenes. Even when Garrison gets to fight other augmented individuals, it never truly feels possible for him to lose. The Marvel movies suffer from this, too, but it feels like even more of a problem when (1) the character has regenerative powers and (2) that’s almost all we know about them. The Marvel characters get plenty of development in non-action scenes, while this guy has nothing of significance in that area (by design or not, it makes it really hard to invest in him).

I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of anything good about Bloodshot and I’ve come up pretty much empty. If there are no strong characters, a predictable plot pilfered from prominent movies, and lackluster action scenes with no stakes, then what else is there? The CGI is noticeable and not especially good (the film only has a reported $45 million budget), the editing is choppy, the cinematography is bland—the whole thing feels like a cynical and generic production that has nothing interesting about it. Most of it is bad and the rest is bland.

If Bloodshot really wants to kickstart a cinematic universe, it needed to do a lot more legwork and leave a lot better first impression. The film is as banal as can be. It feels like a generic action movie from the ’90s that—actually, no, that statement works on its own. It brings nothing to the table and can’t even satisfy a desire for junky B-movie action.

Conclusion: Bloodshot is so bland it doesn’t even work as a trashy B-movie.

Recommendation: If it’s between seeing Bloodshot or staying home, you should stay home.

  • 2/10
    Rating - 2/10

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