Starring: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Guy Pearce, Lamorne Morris
Director: Dave Wilson
When brought back from the dead, Ray Garrison (Diesel) has had his body improved by a scientist (Pearce), and finds himself in a facility with other soldiers like him. At first he can’t remember anything, but then the memory of his wife’s death and her killer come rushing back to him and he heads out to get revenge… But all is not what it seems.
I went into this not knowing much about it other than that it’s an action movie and that it has Vin Diesel in it. That’s kind of enough for me. I like to see an action movie in the cinema, and I like Vin Diesel. He’s fun, and he seems to have fun. In a way, I wasn’t expecting much.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Bloodshot is based on a comic book, and there really are too many comic book movies out there. I can’t speak to fans of the comic, because it’s one I’ve never read and know nothing about. But I really liked the premise of this film. I forgot what I’d seen in the trailer months earlier, and so I had that nice feeling of wondering where it was going. I thought, he can’t get the bad guy this early on? And then the concept kicks in. It’s definitely a lot like Memento, and amusingly, both films have Guy Pearce. But this is more action, less thriller, more entertainment, less cerebral.
I think this film works because it’s well directed. There’s not too much backstory for characters to bog you down, and yet you get a sense of individuals, even if they kind of fit into archetypes. It works. Guy Pearce is the mad scientist trope, but he isn’t cartoonish. Diesel is the hulking unstoppable, but he’s given moments of humour. He’s kind of playing himself, but he’s given enough to do that you’re invested in the story and the outcome. He’s really likable. His foil is Sam Heughan’s character, who is salty and jealous, which is kind of hilarious, but also has a nice sense of foreboding or foreshadowing. He cracked me up, he was so pouty. The love interest is played by Eiza Gonzalez, who is perhaps the most one dimensional, but the way she’s shot in this film makes her so watchable that I really didn’t mind. I loved seeing what cute cropped jacket she’d wear in the next scene.
I think the balance of action to plot is really good. And the sense of humour is worked in well too. The film kind of takes itself seriously, as comic book movies do, but not overly seriously. And there’s plenty of humour, especially from scene stealing Lamorne Morris, who feels a bit more alive than anyone else in this film.
Where this film really shines is in it’s action sequences, of course. These are so so good. The choreography in the fight scenes, and the speed of them is amazing. And they’re shot beautifully. There’s an early scene involving flour of all things that’s fun, fast, and has these incredible shots. It’s really creative. There’s also a great sequence in an elevator shaft, which is a trope I personally love. Garrison and the other characters have been augmented to be killing machines, so the fight scenes are epic, big, swift, and the moments where we see what our hero’s body can do are so watchable. I loved these. They’re so well done.
I went into this film expecting to have a good time, but not expecting a really good action film. It really was better than I thought it would be. Everyone in this film feels invested and like they’re enjoying being there, but are not just posing for the camera. The visuals are amazing, the fights are so well put together and shot, and the characters are fun to watch. I really enjoyed it, especially watching it on the big screen.
See It If: you like action films. It’s solid and entertaining, and Vin Diesel and co are really good.