Hollywood star Vin Diesel’s bad luck in films away from the Fast & Furious universe continues as Bloodshot failed to live up to its expectations. The trailer of the film showed that a remodeled Vin Diesel would be fighting against man-made cyborgs, and it was expected that the action sequences would be as huge as those of Marvel and DC Universe, but that didn’t happen. Bloodshot had ingredients ideal for a TV series pilot than a feature film because it lacked the qualities that differentiate a film from a TV show. Not only was it an unimpressive film, but its story also lacked depth, something the audience look forward to when they choose a film in the cinema, away from the comfort of their home.
The life of U.S. Marine Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is turned upside down after he and his wife Gina (Talulah Riley) are killed by a gangster while on a holiday in Italy. However, Ray is resurrected as a Cyborg who returns to kill the man responsible for his wife’s death. When Ray realizes that he is living in a ‘Groundhog Day kind of’ situation, he decides to rebel against his ‘creators’ and find out what is the real reason behind his existence. Does Ray succeed in finding out the answers or does the shady Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) and his team manage to have their way, Bloodshot has all the replies.
Bloodshot was marketed as a superhero flick based on a 1990s comic-book hero with the same name, who had the immortality of Wolverine, the powers of Cyborg and the abilities of Robocop. Like any good Superhero flick, the highlight of Bloodshot was its amazing Special Effects that were too good to ignore, however, the performances weren’t at par, hurting the film big time. Maybe that has more to do with the director’s background as a Visual Effects guy but the damage was already done. The action sequences especially the ones inside the underpass, the one on the streets of London and the one while falling down from a building, they were brilliantly executed. Vin Diesel sure knows how to fight, and he excels in that department even if the rest of the cast and the director didn’t. It was Vin Diesel’s first foray into the superhero universe since Riddick’s last flick in 2013 but it seems he hasn’t learned anything from the Fast & Furious saga.
Looks like first-time director David SF Wilson saw a lot of 1990s flicks as preparations for Bloodshot and then decided to treat Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer's screenplay, in the same vein. There is a wronged protagonist who wants to take revenge from a gangster who dances around before executing his target, an antagonist who has a robotic hand, another mercenary with robotic legs and a clichéd scientist who knows everything about everything, with a rival who talks in a funny English accent. The storyline was a mess as the plot had more in common with The Fugitive and Groundhog Day than with any Superhero origin flick released in the last dozen years. In fact, it would be incorrect to say that Bloodshot is a superhero flick because it doesn’t seem like one. It is low-budget (cast wise), doesn’t give the only known actor Guy Pearce a margin to perform, and falls on its head because of bad execution.
The Verdict 2/5
Bloodshot was never projected to be a record-breaking superhero flick neither was it expected to be a box office dud. Sadly, it resulted in something that is closer to a dud because of many reasons, its release year being the biggest one. Had it been released in the 1990s, it would have gone onto become a huge hit because such films were a recipe for success back in the day. Fast forward to 2020 and the audience has matured, preferring Streaming Services over nostalgic flicks. Also, it became the first Hollywood flick to become a victim of Corona Virus 19 and was released digitally within a month of its release. If the makers want to continue with the project, they can easily do so but on Netflix or Amazon Prime, not as a film. When things will get better, bigger and high-budgeted films will release throughout the world and nobody will remember a throwback to the 90s, that too with a cast that hasn’t achieved much out of multi-starrers. Bloodshot has the potential to do well on TV and the sooner the producers realize that, the better. They should follow the Stargate formula where the cast was changed to suit TV, the characters were retained and a Sci-Fi hit was created from a Hollywood blockbuster. Who knows Bloodshot might manage to do the same if it is brought to TV, now that its film future looks as good as gone.