Not Enough Diesel: Bloodshot Review

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Bloodshot is a misfire…pun intended. It has all the aspects of a bad videogame movie: too much talking and generic characters, and not enough of what we want to see – action, explosions, and Vin Diesel punching people in the face. 

Based on a 90s comic book series, Bloodshot is about Ray Garrison, a soldier who is killed along with his wife while being held hostage. It is worth mentioning the obvious Reservoir Dogs influence on the hostage-taker’s introduction – sorry Toby Kebbell, but no one will ever match the coolness of Michael Madsen’s Mr. Blonde. 

However, due to a scientific miracle a la “Mass Effect 2,” Garrison is brought back to life by the Rising Spirit Tech corporation. When he wakes up, he is introduced by the company CEO, Dr. Emil Harting played by a smug Guy Pearce, to a band of mercenaries who also have been given back their lives one way or another by the corporation. This band of misfits includes a former U.S. Navy diver who can breathe underwater (Eiza Gonzalez), a soldier whose lost limbs are replaced by some sort of spider suit (Sam Heughan), and a sniper with super vision (Alex Hernandez). These characters and their abilities all appear interesting on paper, but the extent of the badassery they can conduct is hardly explored – save for Sam Heughan’s best imitation of Doc Oc in the film’s climax. It doesn’t help they are all dully one-note. Eiza Gonzalez, who impressed in Baby Driver, feels wasted as the sympathetic romantic interest. 

It is shortly explained thereafter the reason Garrison can breathe once more is advanced nanotechnology which gives him the strength of Captain America and bullet immunity. Once again, sounds great but I wanted – no needed – to see more. As soon as Garrison’s memory returns to him, he goes on a vendetta against his and his wife’s killer – nothing can stop him. But as Garrison brutishly pursues revenge and tests his powers, not everything is as it seems on the surface so stay tuned…or don’t because it’s not really worth your time. 

Also, Lamorne Morris plays a character who helps Garrison later in the film and is kind of funny as a bumbling scientist. 

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

What makes an entertaining action film a la the Mission Impossible series or last year’s Hobbes and Shaw led by Diesel’s Fast and the Furious co-stars, is consistent and evenly spread action; I should never be bored watching an action movie, and there were times when I was bored watching Bloodshot. The film could’ve benefitted from giving more missions and challenges to Diesel’s protagonist, we all know the actor is certainly up to the task. Near the end of the film, there is an awesome elevator sequence where Diesel fights a guy mid-freefall – there needed to be more of that. 

Bloodshot has strong visual effects, watch as Vin Diesel’s face is blown to bits only to quickly restore itself through the power of nanotechnology, and is the perfect vehicle for its star if he ever wanted to do a quasi-superhero film (but isn’t that what the Xander Cage movies are for?). Unfortunately, the film is nothing more than a wannabe melting pot of Matrix, Memento, and RoboCop. 5.5/10

Author: Teddy Frederick

Movies have been my passion since I was a young teenager. I had realized how much I loved going to the theater and watching something on the big screen, and I wanted to feel that sensation as often as possible. I began seeing as many movies as my schedule and wallet could allow, and in wanting to give back to the film community and myself, I wrote film reviews. I first posted them under the audience reviews of Rotten Tomatoes; if I ever go back to those posts now I cringe at the writer I used to be. In 2018, I had the idea to start my own space to post my content and thus Movie Reviews Today was born. I am a film and media studies student at Arizona St. University. I am also a three-year shift supervisor with Starbucks. My hope is to soak up as many movies and movie knowledge as I can moving forward and to share my passion with my readers.

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