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Bloodshot (12A)

Cast: Sam Heughan, Eiza Gonzalez, Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, Talulah Riley, Toby Kebbell
Genre: Action
Author(s): Eric Heisserer, Jeff Wadlow
Director: Dave Wilson
Release Date: 11/03/2020
Running Time: 109mins
Country: US/Chi
Year: 2020

Marine Ray Garrison is shot dead during a mission and he regains consciousness in the care of Dr Emil Harting. The pioneering medic has brought Ray back to life using nanotechnology, augmenting the Marine's strength, agility, speed and healing capabilities on the battlefield. Rechristened Bloodshot, Ray wages top-secret war alongside other enhanced killing machines including KT, Tibbs and former Navy SEAL Jimmy Dalton.


LondonNet Film Review
Bloodshot (12A)

Vin Diesel trades the high-octane thrills and spills of the Fast And The Furious series for dull, plodding futuristic carnage in an action-packed thriller based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name. Director David S F Wilson answers a need for speed from the lacklustre opening frames, employing jolting, frenetic camerawork that reduces fight sequences to a bewildering blur of bodies in motion. Gravity-defying set pieces, including a three-way fight atop plummeting skyscraper elevators, are undermined by unconvincing visual effects, which draw unwelcome attention to the replacement of real-life actors with digital avatars in the heat of combat…

Vin Diesel as Bloodshot in Bloodshot, directed by David SF Wilson. Photo: Graham Bartholomew. Copyright: 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Screenwriters Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer struggle to articulate the emotional arc of the lead character as he uncovers a grand conspiracy connected to the death of his beloved wife. Diesel delivers clunky dialogue in his trademark growl and flexes biceps with swagger but fails to pluck a single heart string. Numerous antagonists are distinguished by their blandness and the only supporting performance that registers above the digitally rendered din is Lamorne Morris as an eccentric computer hacker called Wilfred Wigans. His hilariously strangulated English accent, which acquires a Cock-er-ney twang mid-sentence without warning, downloads to our memory banks for all the wrong reasons.

Gung-ho Marine Ray Garrison (Diesel) celebrates the successful extraction of a hostage in Mombasa by spending quality time on the Amalfi coast with his wife Gina (Talulah Riley). Marital bliss is shattered when terrorist Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell) holds the couple hostage to extract vital intelligence from Ray on the Kenya mission, then executes both prisoners. The military donates Ray’s body to Dr Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), a pioneering scientist at Rising Spirit Technologies, who uses cutting-edge nanotechnology to augment the Marine’s strength, agility, speed and healing capabilities with millions of microscopic machines coursing through the bloodstream.

Ray is reborn as Bloodshot, a relentless killing machine programmed to undertake secret missions alongside technologically enhanced Navy swimmer KT (Eiza Gonzalez), Army marksman Tibbs (Alex Hernandez) and Navy Seal Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan). The body count mounts and Bloodshot experiences disorienting flashbacks to Gina’s terrifying ordeal at the hands of Axe. The former Marine deviates from protocol to avenge his wife, incurring the wrath of Dr Harting, who considers Bloodshot a valuable but ultimately dispensable asset: “He’s a dead soldier. America makes new ones every day.”

Bloodshot flatlines at the same time as Ray and never regains consciousness. Stunt sequences quickly become repetitive and the film’s reliance on digital might to get our pulses racing ultimately sends us into a soporific stupor. Wilson’s super-powered origin story should leave us craving a second chapter but 109 minutes of achingly predictable skulduggery is more than enough for two lifetimes.

– Kim Wu


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