Vin Diesel stars as the titular character in an adaptation of the Valiant Comics title, Bloodshot. Sony pictures try to recoup lost cinema revenue with a rushed release to VOD.
The Coronavirus pandemic couldn’t have hit at a worse time for Bloodshot. The cinematic release of the film coincided with government advice that encouraged theatres to close their doors. An attempt to limit the spread of the disease. A costly set of circumstances that cost the film studios millions in lost revenue.
‘Bloodshot’ made around $10 million from it’s cinematic outing. Small change in comparison to the estimated $45 million budget the film cost to make. In an attempt to recoup some of those outgoings, Sony made the decision to rush the film to VOD platforms. The studio hoped that film fans would pay out the equivalent of a cinema ticket to see the film in their own homes.
‘Bloodshot’ is adapted from a Variant Comics character of the same name. Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison / Bloodshot, an elite solider killed in battle, but brought back to life by advanced technology. A transfusion replaces his blood with nanites. Microscopic tech that not only makes Garrison stronger and more resilient, but also almost indestructible. The nanites able to rebuild his body from thin air in seconds.
Fans of the comics will immediately note that Vin Diesel doesn’t look a whole lot like the Bloodshot they’re familiar with. In fact, Vin Diesel looks like Vin Diesel from ‘Fast and Furious’ and Vin Diesel from ‘Pitch Black’… you get the picture. Vest top, big muscles.
Perhaps the comic book character’s most distinctive feature, a bold red circle on his chest, is also somewhat muted in the film version. A red glow is present, but far less prominent than expected.
Convinced of the fact that he has no family, and with no memories to suggest otherwise, Garrison is sent out on a number of search and destroy missions. With each successive kill, Garrison begins to recall more of his past life. His missions seem to be part of someone else’s personal vendetta and Garrison might just be on the wrong team.
Good use of CGI and impressive action scenes propel the film along at an enjoyable pace. The filmmakers have even done an admirable job of encouraging their audience to feel invested in the lead character. Who doesn’t feel some affinity with a man discovering the wife he thought was dead is actually very much alive, but has a new life and family?
Sadly ‘Bloodshot’ comes with a whole heap of comic book cliches too. Women in the film tend to serve purely as love interests, opponents are aggressive muscly men. Even the nerds are cliche nerds, doing nerdy stuff that serves exclusively to ease the plot along for want of a more plausible explanation.
In a market already saturated with comic book movies, ‘Bloodshot’ does little to carve it’s own niche. It’s not violent enough to compare with movies like ‘Deadpool’. It’s not grand enough to go toe to toe with the output of Marvel or DC. It lacks humour and slapstick. It is just very average.
There probably would have been a sequel under normal circumstances. Caronavirus may have saved us from that.
Guy Pierce and Eiza González star alongside Vin Diesel. ‘Bloodshot’ is available on video on demand platforms now.