Movie Review: “Bloodshot”
After his latest overseas mission left him with a new set of scars, Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) and his wife, Gina Garrison (Talulah Riley), were trying to enjoy a little vacation together. Unfortunately, they were both captured by a dangerous man named Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell). Martin Axe wants answers that he thinks Ray has, but when Ray does not have those answers, Martin Axe kills him and his wife. That is when Ray wakes up in a strange lab.
Greeted by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) and his assistant—KT (Eiza Gonzalez)—Ray is informed that he has died, but that Dr. Harting has found a way to bring him back. Ray was the latest experiment by Dr. Harting to inject nanites into the human blood stream—which replace the subjects blood entirely. The nanites heal damaged tissue, and they do so rapidly, making Ray seemingly invincible. They also increase the subjects strength, among other things. Dr. Harting wants Ray to join his team of enhanced humans, but Ray has unfinished business to deal with first. The man named Martin Axe is still out there, and Ray is determined to find him.
The Pros & Cons
Ray Garrison (+6pts)
Wilfred Wigans (+4pts)
The Action (-4pts)
Dr. Harting & Jimmy (-3pts)
Pro: Ray Garrison (+6pts)
Ray Garrison’s story was a pretty simple one, but it was a revenge story, so it was easy to get invested in. He clearly loved his wife, so it was easy to relate to his anger. Did the character have a ton of emotional depth? No, but you probably guessed as much. No, this character was an action lead with plenty of pain inside, and he was as simple as that. Vin Diesel was fine in the role, but it was really the character’s story that made this character work so well. You will easily relate to the character’s anger, and you will want to see him get justice against those that have wronged him. The character did not have a complex story by any stretch of the imagination, but it was easy to get invested in, and was effective for an action movie such as this one.
Con: Predictable (-4pts)
I really wish that the trailers did not give away so much of this story. About halfway through the movie, Ray Garrison learned something that could have been quite the surprising twist if I had not known that it was coming from the trailer. This made the entire movie pretty predictable. It was a bummer, because the filmmakers could have played with this concept if they had not given away.
It could have made the movie really compelling, as the audience would not have known who to trust, and would not have known which of the things they were seeing was real. Leaning into this idea could have made for a truly compelling story, but the filmmakers went in a less interesting direction. Maybe they were concerned that no one would see the movie if they did not give it away, as the movie could have looked typical otherwise. Regardless of the reason, giving this twist away during the trailers made the entire story too predictable, which made it feel typical anyway. This was just disappointing, as it could have been a lot more impactful if the filmmakers had kept the twist under wraps until the story was ready to reveal it.
Pro: Wilfred Wigans (+4pts)
This character was a refreshing addition to this cast, once his character finally joined the story. For the most part, the characters in this story were all pretty serious. They were all either damaged, oppressed, or scared, but then Wilfred Wigans showed up and livened the story up quite a bit. He was a charismatic, likable comedic relief, that was also an integral part of the story. Before meeting the character, I honestly did not even know that the story was missing a character like him. Then he popped up and I was really glad that he did. His introduction made the story more interesting, and his presence provided the movie with some much needed, light-hearted humor.
Con: The Action (-4pts)
This was first and foremost an action movie. It had a revenge story to it, sure, but it was an action movie. Unfortunately, I felt like the action never really got as exciting as it could have. It was just average, and was just suspenseful enough to keep me watching. It was always right on the edge of becoming exciting, but it never quite got there.
As a whole, the action of this movie was simply typical. For an action movie such as this one, the action in the movie should be great, or it the action should do something unique and exciting. I did not think the filmmakers achieved that with this movie, and they even resorted to shaky-cam a number of times. The action was not a fail, because as I said before, it was suspenseful enough to keep me watching. However, it could have and should have been a lot better.
Pro: KT (+4pts)
I will be honest here, I expected not to like the character of KT, but was pleasantly surprised to be wrong in that assumption. To be fair, Eiza Gonzalez has had her share of unremarkable roles, and I just had not seen any movie in which her character was given much depth or development. Was her performance in Bloodshot mind blowing? No, but the character had enough depth to make her at least somewhat compelling.
She was a reluctant accomplice to what Dr. Harting was doing, but she was unable to leave or protest, due to the control that Dr. Harting had over her. She also sympathized with Ray’s situation and wanted to help, which made it easy to get on her side. However, she was more or less a victim just like Ray, which made it easy to sympathize with her as well. I thought this was going to be a typical character, but that was not the case. She was interesting, easy to root for, and Eiza Gonzalez was effective in the role.
Con: Dr. Harting & Jimmy (-3pts)
Both of these characters were pretty one-dimensional. Dr. Harting may have been a more interesting character if the trailer had not given away so much of the story, but knowing what I knew made this character pretty predictable and boringly one-dimensional. I also did not understand why he was willing to go to the lengths that he did, since it was clear that his former acquaintances were nowhere near reaching the technological breakthrough that he had. Anyway, I do not want to give this character’s story away, so I will stop there. Just know that the character was pretty uninteresting. Then there was Jimmy, who was the stereotypical, one-dimensional, bully character who was mean because he was an antagonist. There was nothing to this character, which made him as boring and one-dimensional as Dr. Harting—if not more so.
Grade: C+ (78pts)
Bloodshot had an interesting idea, but I thought the filmmakers made the wrong move with showing as much as they did in the trailer. It just made this story really predictable, and there was not a whole lot else going for the movie. If you watch the trailer, you will know the entire plot, and it will pretty much play out exactly as you would expect it to. The movie also had two very one-dimensional and uninteresting antagonists, but the movie was not all bad.
Ray Garrison's story was easy to get behind, as it was a typical—yet effective—revenge story. The role was a simple one, and Vin Diesel played it effectively, but Ray Garrison was not the only effective character in this story. I thought KT's story was a lot more interesting than I expected it to be, and Wilfred Wigan's was a really effective comedic relief—while also being an integral part of this story. The main protagonists were effective, but they were not enough to make this a good movie on their own. Bloodshot had all the issues that I mentioned previously, but it was also an action movie with unremarkable action. It was a decent idea, and could have made for a really entertaining and engaging action movie, but the filmmakers were not able to bring the full potential of this story to the screen.