Bloodshot – review

Brief synopsis: a marine is captured by a psychopath and asked for information relating to a recent mission. The psychopath kills his, wife in front of him, when the marine tells him that he is unable to tell him what he want s to know. When the marine vows to kill him, the psychopath shoots him, killing him. He is brought back from the dead by a military project.

Now enhanced, he hunts down the person who killed him and his wife but all is not what it seems.

Is it any good?: Bloodshot is total action hokum. Taking the ideas from multiple films and shows – The Six Million Dollar Man, Universal Soldier, Terminator, The Frankenstein Monster, Dollhouse – Bloodshot zips through its runtime, with Vin Diesel – returning to full Vin Diesel persona, post-Groot – adequate as the murderous, resurrected, marine trying to uncover his past.

Spoiler territory: Ray Garrison (Diesel) is a marine. Returning from a mission, he is happy to return to his wife, Gina (Talulah Riley), who is worried when he goes on a mission. He tells her that he always returns. They go to bed. He wakes up in the morning and Gina is gone. Two men attack him in his home and he quickly subdues them.

Fearing that his wife might be in danger, Ray goes looking for her. He bumps into a man on the way out of his home. A few steps later and he begins to feel dizzy. The man he bumped into drugged him. Ray comes to. He is strapped into a chair. The man, Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell), wants to know about his past mission. Ray tells him he does not know where the orders come from.

Axe brings in his wife in the hope of persuading Ray to remember. Ray does not have the information Axe wants. Axe believes him but kills Gina in front of him. Ray tells him that he had better kill him because he will not get another chance. Axe kills him.

Ray wakes up in a hi-tech laboratory. A bespectacled man, Dr Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), tells him that he is part of a military project and that he has been brought back to life. Harting asks if he remembers anything. Besides his name, Ray cannot remember anything.

Harting introduces him to KT (Eiza González). KT is also ex-military. Harting explains that he has a new technology in his body that will repair any injury he sustains. His division enhances injured military personnel with KT having her lungs enhanced, Tibbs (Alex Hernandez), who lost his sight, has ocular enhancements and Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan), who lost his legs and has replacement limbs.

Ray thinks he is in a dream and decides to return to bed. Ray has restless sleep, having a nightmare that shows glimpses of his past. He goes to the gym and tests out his new body. He is super strong and he sees his body repair after any damage, as he notes when he hits a concrete pillar. He encounters KT whilst down in the gym. She is having a swim.

She invites him to have a drink with her. As they drink, a song comes over the radio and it triggers Ray’s memory of Gina getting killed and his own murder. Ray wants vengeance and decides to go after Axe. Harting mobilises his team. He contacts Ray, as the technology Ray has in his body allows Harting to connect with him directly. Ray tells him he will return but he has to kill Axe.

Ray uses all the technology in his body to track Axe. He tracks him down and kills him. He returns to the team and they take him back to the lab as, after the damage his body has sustained during his mission, he needs to be recharged. Back at the lab, Dalton goads Ray about his memories. As Ray goes back into regeneration, in the control room, Harting is talking to Eric (Siddharth Dhananjay), who is a computer wizard.

He tells Eric to recreate the story sequence. All of Ray’s memories are a scenario loaded into a computer. KT comes into the control room. Harting questions her wanting to know why she deviated from the script. KT is not happy about the programme. She knows that Harting is killing people who used to work with him on the technology.

Harting tells her that after the next mission they will be able to sell the technology to the highest bidder. He has one more person he wants to get rid of. Nick Baris (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson). Harting loads Baris’ image into the story scenario. They run the scenario, this time Ray remembering Baris’ face as the murderer. Ray goes after Baris. Baris is in London. Dalton is disdainful of Ray, tired of him repeatedly falling for the same scenario.

In London, Baris, knowing what Harting is working on, knows that someone is coming for him. When Ray begins to attack his home, he calls on Wilfred Wiggins (Lamorne Morris) to bring a special weapon that he has created. Wiggins, a computer geek of a higher level than Eric, brings a case. Ray is getting close to Baris. He tells Wiggins to ready the weapon.

Harting, who is watching the whole incident unfold, wants to know what the weapon is. Eric tells him it is an electromagnetic pulse weapon. Harting tries to pull Ray back but Ray shuts him out. He gets to Baris and kills him before he is able to use the EMP. Wiggins activates the EMP shutting down electricity across the city as well as Ray.

Wiggins revives Ray and tells him that he has been killing people who worked on the technology with Harting. Ray decides to go and find his wife. Harting sends Tibbs and Dalton to retrieve Ray. Ray finds Gina. She tells him that they split up five years before. She has moved on with her life and has a family.

Ray gets attacked by Dalton and Tibbs. Tibbs put a device on him and Eric shuts his body down remotely. KT is ordered to go after Wiggins after trying to defy Harting. He shows her that he can end her life-saving technology at any time, forcing her to do as he instructs.

KT tracks down Wiggins and gets him. Harting speaks to Ray in a virtual space. Ray tells him he is going to kill him. KT returns and lies to Harting telling him she could not get Wiggins. Harting, who had decided to kill Ray, decides to send him after Wiggins instead. KT infiltrates the virtual reality and speaks to Ray in the scenario. Harting realises it is KT. She has also allowed Wiggins into the computer code.

Harting goes after KT. Wiggins revives Ray. Harting tries to kill KT but Wiggins has altered her apparatus and he no longer affects it. Harting sends Tibbs and Dalton to kill Ray. KT heads to the computer control room and blows it up.

Ray fights Dalton and Tibbs. Dalton kills Tibbs whilst trying to get to Ray. Ray defeats Dalton. Ray goes after Harting. Harting shoots him with a missile. Ray’s body comes back together. He walks toward Harting. He shoots him again. Ray catches the missile and blows up Harting and himself.

Wiggins brings him back to life and tells him that he has refined the technology so as he does not need to recharge. Ray goes and talks to KT and they watch the sun come up. The three drive off into the sunset. The end.

Bloodshot is an okay, perfectly watchable action, sci-fi. With Vin Diesel going full Vin – sleeveless tee, swagger and a scowl. Bloodshot was never going to be one to tax the brain. The twist of him being controlled by scenario implants was a nice one and elevated the story above similar fare even if it is not the most original.

Written by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer, from a comic by Kevin VanHook, Bob Layton and Don Perlin, the story is supposed to be a backdrop for the action but some of the action sequences are so laborious and over-the-top it is difficult to appreciate them. Directed by David S. F. Wilson, there is a lot of slo-mo employed for effect and too many of the action scenes are over-long.

The visual effects are quite good, very reminiscent of the latest Terminator films. Morris – best known for his turn in New Girl – is the light relief in the film and puts on a good English accent as the computer-genius Wiggins. González’s KT could have been any number of Latina actresses gracing our screens. Not that she is bad. It is just that the performance is not noteworthy.

Similarly, Heughan was always working uphill to make Dalton seem like anything other than a bully. Hernandez’s Tibbs leaves even less of an impression than González’s KT, such is the pointlessness of the character. Pearce, an actor who has turned in some incredible performances over his career, phones in another villain with a showing that any B movie actor could probably have brought.

As I have said, Bloodshot is watchable and quite good for the most part. The most eye-rolling thing is the CGI heavy, long to the point of boring, battle between Ray, Dalton and Tibbs. At one hundred and ten minutes long, Bloodshot does not feel as long as it is and moves swiftly through its runtime.

Bloodshot is a passable actioner and worth a look if you like a brain-in-neutral action film.

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