*. Is there anything I haven’t said, several times already, about comic-book, video-game movies? I don’t think so, and since Bloodshot is another instance of the same I won’t have much to add here.
*. So: take one comic-book or video-game franchise. In this case it’s a comic book that debuted in the ’90s about a hitman who is infused with nanites that give him superhuman strength. Cast one action star. Vin Diesel, check. Throw in plenty of rapid-cut action sequences with lots of CGI work where the hero gets to show off his super powers. Finally: get a sequel in the works. Done and done.
*. There’s not much to add because Bloodshot doesn’t add anything, and I mean not one single thing, to the formula. Plus Vin Diesel, while not much of an actor, doesn’t even get a chance to project any charm (which is something he is at least capable of). His best moment here comes in a visit to his ex-girlfriend, and that only lasts for a few seconds. Meanwhile Guy Pearce is only passable as a villain who checks the boxes for being a rich techie CEO. Just kill him already.
*. The plot is actually a bit complicated, involving our hero (just what is his name anyway? let me check . . . Ray Garrison) being implanted with false memories along with the cocktail of nanites. A complicated plot, but in no way interesting. After the first couple of fight scenes I stopped paying attention to what was going on. But to be fair, those fight scenes, and some of the big stunts (especially a couple of the car crashes), aren’t bad. And they’re probably all you came for anyway.
*. I had to wonder why, given the fact that Ray can punch right through heavy bags, human bodies, and cement pillars, mere bulletproof glass should be some insurmountable problem. I mean, bulletproof glass doesn’t stop everything. I mentioned this point already in my notes on Savages. But maybe this is special glass made out of titanium nanites. Or, you know, something.
*. Ray (or Bloodshot) also has a remarkably casual attitude toward taking bullets in his new, superhuman state. This struck me as a bit odd given that being shot does drain his power supply somewhat so he shouldn’t just be charging straight into hails of bullets like he does. But then I suppose there’s no real point asking such questions of a movie like this.
*. Formula and cliché from start to finish. I had to laugh when the one character says “You don’t need a history to have a future.” That’s pure comic-book dialogue. Then I saw that somebody thought this was so clever that they put it on the theatrical release poster (changing “history” to “past”). Well, why not. If you like those kinds of lines then chances are you’re in the target audience. You’ll also want to stick around right to the very end, where our heroes leave us with the line “Who we were doesn’t have to define who we’re gonna be. We can choose. We all can.” Where would we be without the wisdom of comic books?
And yet…I’ve played video-games with much better plot and characters than this, and there’s almost certainly better comic books. Diesel’s desire to create franchises from dull movies is one of his signatures, but this one is as lame as his third XXX film; he doesn’t seem to get that you have to make a good original before launching a series; Last Witch Hunter, anyone?
Ha! Yes, good point. For movie like this I’m not sure they care so much about making the original any good. They’re just spinning the money wheel and hoping they get enough traction off of a first movie to turn it into a franchise. Given Diesel’s track record I suspect this is going to get a follow-up.
He loves to follow-up to films that you really wish he hadn’t made in the first place. XXX was fine, but he’s struggled to make any real impact with his Riddick universe too. Bloodshot was just a headache…
Yeah, I sort of liked the first Riddick movie but that series really tailed off. Fast and Furious just kept getting bigger and bigger, in a way that’s almost surreal.