Digital Review – Bloodshot (2020)

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You know that feeling you get when you’re sitting down to watch a movie, it begins and the world and concept open up before your eyes, its story, narrative, and ideas making you nod your head in approval as if to say “I like this” and then, like a huge bucket of ice-cold water, your brain kicks in and make you think: “False alarm”.

Yep, that’s how you will feel whilst watching the first twenty minutes of Bloodshot, the new action extravaganza starring Vin Diesel that’s a tantalising concept in the foreplay but an ultimately hollow and drab experience that makes you wish you hadn’t bothered in the first place.

Based on the comic books of the same name, Diesel stars as US Marine Ray Garrison who is one of the best in the business. Sent in to help oversee an extradition mission in Mombasa – which he does successfully – Garrison sees this as his final job for a while as he hopes to settle down for an extended break with his wife Gina (Talulah Riley).

No such luck, as you might expect, as the couple is kidnapped in the dead of night by mercenaries who seemingly have an invested interest in the previous mission and take steps to rectify certain mistakes. With both seemingly killed, Garrison awakes to find he has been reanimated by a high-tech outfit who have used cutting edge nanotechnology to bring him back to life – but what of his wife?

So far, so action-centric, oozing-machismo action spectacular but, frankly, that’s not a lot to write home about. Everything about Bloodshot seems half baked and only slightly thought through – languishing in development since 2012, it feels like a film that has had way too many cooks involved during those eight years with story and characters lost in a sea of ideas that never come together, made even harder when trying to adapt a comic-book with a plethora of story strands and narrative.

David S.F. Wilson, making his debut as a director, tries to inject some of his video game work to proceedings with some inventive action set-pieces but as soon as they end and people start to talk again, it slows to a ponderous halt. Diesel, who has never been most charismatic lead, tries valiantly to inject his unique action man persona to proceedings whilst Guy Pearce seems to be having a ball, but it’s all too little too late sadly as this one will just barely keep your attention for its strained, noisy and lazy run time.

★ 1/2

Action, SciFi | USA, 2020 | 12 | Digital | 11th March 2020 (UK) | Sony Pictures Releasing | Dir.Dave Wilson | Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce, Talulah Riley