“Bloodshot” is the kind of big, loud, in-your-face trash that Vin Diesel specializes in. It’s not good – at least in terms of traditional film standards – but it is entertaining. Perhaps the best compliment it can be given is this: It’s better than it has any right to be. If crazy action mayhem is your bag, by all means, go for it.
Diesel plays a soldier named Ray Garrison. To rescue a hostage in Mombasa, Kenya, he breaks down doors and single-handedly kills at least 10 bad guys with precise aim. Then he gets to the room where the hostage is held by one guy. Instead of shooting the bad guy in the head with the precise aim he’s already demonstrated, they chat. Ray gets shot. That’s on him. Characters acting logically isn’t a necessity in movies like “Bloodshot,” but man would it help.
Ray recovers, and vacations with his wife Gina (Talulah Riley) in Italy. A few goons attack him in the bathroom, and I swear to you, dear reader, the only reason this scene is in the movie is so we can see Diesel use a guy’s head to break a toilet. Ray is taken hostage by Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell), held in a meat locker, and killed. Roll the opening credits.
Fear not, director Dave Wilson would never actually kill off his star this early, even if it is his feature film directorial debut. Ray is resurrected with no memory, but now has super soldier powers that include infinite strength and instant healing. The man who made it happen is Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce); the other super soldiers are Tibbs (Alex Hernandez), Dalton (Sam Heughan), and KT (Eiza Gonzalez). After a shot of Wild Turkey Ray’s memories come flooding back (usually the drink has the opposite effect), and he embarks on a quest to do what comes naturally when given a second chance at life: kill a lot of people. And I mean, A LOT.
About a third of the way into the 109 minute running time there’s a twist that will not be revealed here. Suffice to say it shapes the rest of the movie, and makes it better. The action has a little more purpose and is always entertaining, and you’re left to wonder (not too hard) how Ray will get out of his predicament. It’s clever in a way you don’t expect, and as a result the movie becomes more fun.
It also helps that the action scenes are top notch, including one inside a tunnel that features a lot of flour, and a cool elevator sequence toward the end. These are full of well rendered visual effects, and are shot and edited in such a way that the action is easy to follow. That doesn’t always happen in slam-bang fare such as this, so credit should be noted when it does.
Yes, “Bloodshot” is ridiculous. You can’t write the words “Vin Diesel super soldier” without thinking that. Sometimes, though, ridiculous is okay. With all that’s happening in the world right now, this might just be the kind of mindless fun you’re looking for.
Did you know?
The “Bloodshot” comics on which the film is based have sold more than seven million copies worldwide.