‘Bloodshot’ Film Review: A Mediocre Plot Redeemed by Vin Diesel’s Heart

Sometimes I walk into the theater with the thought process; this is going to be a great action film. I don’t expect much from a lot of action films at times. Maybe this is because sometimes they can be a bit derivative, and they contain the same actors over and over again. In a way, they do not feel like they have anything new to offer us. The plots differ, but not as much as we would like them too from time to time. In this case, upon seeing the previews for Bloodshot for months, I remained intrigued all the same by Vin Diesel’s latest venture into the genre. The difference is while the plot is predictable at times, Bloodshot provides audiences with the one thing they might not be expecting. Heart.

Bloodshot centers around soldier Ray Garrison’s (Vin Diesel) death and his reanimation into a superhuman, Garrison’s goal is to eliminate the man behind the death of his wife. However, his resuscitation has come at the price of the doctor, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), who brings him back to life. All of this is explained and then some in the trailer for Bloodshot. We also learn that Harting has repeated this sequence on multiple occasions and manipulated Garrison, but audiences are unsure why. Well, all audience members who have not read the comics as I’m sure the reasoning lies within those pages.

In terms of plot, Bloodshot does not offer anything new. The dialogue is typical of a man on a revenge mission. In this instance, audiences even see this sequence repeated on multiple occasions. Having to view the repeated nature of a lackluster story is never a selling point. The story offers little for its audience other than making us want to know how the events are going to twist an unfold. Many questions arise, but there is a lack of answers because audiences do not know who to trust entirely. Are we being told the truth, or are we being manipulated much like Garrison? Many people would say the trailer managed us to get us in the seats regardless.

Despite the storytelling, there are some gems hidden within this particular action flick. Diesel plays Garrison in a way that we want to believe there is more to this character than a man merely seeking revenge. Or maybe we want to think this because of the nature of the hate Harting sets up for him to in these various sequences. KT’s (Eiza Gonzalez) development throughout the film also encourages audiences to look deeper within Garrison. He’s more than Harting gives him credit for ultimately. Plus, Pearce and even Sam Heughan do a great job of making us hate them, while Lamorne Morris steals the scenes he appears in ultimately.

The visual effects are also rather stellar. To watch Diesel go from being shot in the face to having these digitally made creatures put him back together is outstanding. While some of the effects and action sequences do come off as beyond unbelievable, one needs to remember this film features a reanimated man. If one suspends their belief for this particular film, they will have a great time at the theater. The up-close and personal effects alongside the on-screen data viewers are privy to via tablets explaining how much power the character possesses puts a time table on it, making the film a bit more urgent at times despite the parts that slightly drag.

Bloodshot is an overall fun ride for action lovers. Although there are no extra credits to view upon the film’s ending, the film does set up a potential franchise. My hope for possible future installments is they focus as much on the plot as they do on the unbelievable.  Plus, any film that includes the song “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads cannot be all that bad.

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