'Bloodshot' (2020) Review: Bloodshot: The Movie: The Video Game.
An actor’s association with a part can be so severe, that they cease having a separate identity altogether. Robert Downey Jr may as well be billionaire superhero Tony Stark, and Vin Diesel has been Domonic Toretto for the last 2 decades. There have been other roles here and there, but the most impactful has been a tri-syllabic tree creature. Diesel’s face has no doubt been tied to his Fast and Furious role. So much so that to see him in ‘Bloodshot’ is initially disorienting. A state of mind that persists all throughout the 2 hours of sheer mayhem that is this movie.
With its cybernetic soldiers and bullets that seemingly operate through magic, ‘Bloodshot’ may as well be a video game set on auto pilot. At no point is the action supposed to give you a visceral satisfaction. There’s no illusion that these are people in peril as the visual effects are pushed to the limit, delivering impossible sights that fail to resonate. Clearly, director Dave Wilson’s experience as a Visual Effects artist is highly influential. There are even moments the camera lingers to show the process of constructing the imagery in excruciating detail.
Diesel is playing Ray Garrison aka Bloodshot, an unstoppable mercenary with nanobots coursing through his veins. He’s bulletproof, super strong, and the perfect soldier. The only thing he’s lacking is charisma. The film gives you a tragic backstory to assign to his actions, making up for his lacking personality. What is originally delivered as contrived is then passed off as clever, as the film establishes that the narrative up until this point has been intentionally cliched, in an effort to brainwash Diesel’s character into believing he is at the centre of his very own episode of Jack Ryan.
This is where ‘Bloodshot’ proper begins, as you get to know the other characters in the film and what the “reality” of the situation is. Lab technicians, fellow mercenaries, and Guy Ritchie as a talking god complex make up the rest of the cast. They range from acting excessively dramatic, to nervously quirky. Typically in a jarring manner. The film has a nervous tic and can’t go 10 minutes without winking to the audience. Eventually, you stop caring about what ‘Bloodsport’ is trying to say or how it’s saying it, shut down power to your brain, and enjoy the film’s visual tapestry of cgi action
The fact that the overwhelmingly basic revenge plot was made so by design might have made up for the film’s apparent laziness, but when paired with a second half of vfx battles that would make ‘Transformers’ blush, it hardly seems that tongue in cheek. The movie Bloodshot is no better than the cliches it points out in the beginning. Yet as action film’s go, you could do worse. It’s excessively fake, as a whole it’s much longer than it needs to be. Perhaps watching it on streaming is the best way, allowing you to shut ‘Bloodshot’ off whenever you’ve had your fill of it.
Rating: Catch It On Cable.