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Bloodshot – Movie Review

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Bloodshot – Movie Review

Rating: D (Very Bad)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Sony Pictures

Watching Bloodshot, one is almost reminded of the loud, absurd and moronic action movies that once starred the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sylvester Stallone. It’s just a bunch of over-the-top action scenes loosely tied together by the thinnest of plots. In this case, we have Vin Diesel playing his usual grunting hero being placed in a ridiculous situation explained away by technobabble and mumbo-jumbo. There is not an ounce of intelligence in this script and that sort of lowest common denominator entertainment would be fine, if the result was entertaining. Unfortunately, it’s hard to care about anything that happens on screen.

The premise for Bloodshot is intriguing enough at the start, as Guy Pearce’s scientist continually wipes and recreates protagonist Ray Garrison’s memory for his own benefit. However, the plot goes to waste rather quickly. First-time feature director Dave Wilson’s background has mostly been in video games and he’s not a bad choice to helm this project. Garrison is almost like a video game avatar as he restarts and hunts down bosses. However, the action sequences have been edited and cut in a way that makes it hard to appreciate the fighting and special effects. The movie is throwing so much at you and none of it impresses.

The other principal problem is that Garrison is not an interesting character. It’s hard to care about him as the movie throws any sort of necessary development out of the window. Even when he learns the truth about his predicament, he’s still a violent brute who stomps around, punching and shooting people and saying short, unmemorable lines. Guy Pearce does do a passable job of playing the scientist in charge of Garrison, but the script mostly gives him expositional lines and a lot of his scenes are spent staring at screens. He’s also eventually paired with an IT expert who mostly exists as the comic relief, but he’s not given the funniest material to work with.

Bloodshot even feels the need to add another tech guru, played by Lamorne Morris in a British accent, but despite the zingers he’s required to say, he’s mostly just another character we don’t care about. The special effects that show Garrison being injured and then healing himself are sort of neat, but the novelty wears off quickly. Once we get to the big climax, the film is just throwing effects at you and trying to keep the audience entertained with its silliness. However, this isn’t fun silliness akin to something like Hobbs & Shaw. This is the dull kind of silly.

There was some potential in its story of a man trying to piece his memories back together, but the execution doesn’t sell it. Bloodshot is mostly just a series of action scenes edited in that annoying quick-cutting style. There is no bite or satisfying moment in the movie and the attempts at humour, either from Diesel when he says a one-liner or the comic supporting characters, don’t land at all. There is nothing wrong with watching a big action spectacle that requires no brains to enjoy. However, you still need that entryway into the story and characters, so you hope things work out for them in the end. Very little about Bloodshot sticks.

Stefan Ellison

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