In between those “Fast & Furious” films, Vin Diesel’s gotta find a way to pay the bills. And saying “I Am Groot” in Marvel movies can only get you so far. “Babylon A.D.”, “Riddick”, “The Last Witch Hunter”, “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” – completely mindless action fare.
Add “Bloodshot” to that list. Diesel’s latest is based on a comic book, which is why it feels so cartoony. And it doesn’t just steal from of a bunch of recent sci-fi hits, its biggest influence is 2014’s “Edge of Tomorrow” (a.k.a. “Live. Die Repeat.”)
Ray is a Marine who returns home to his loving wife. But soon she’s kidnapped, and Ray is taken, too. And he watches her die at the hand of a madman just moments before his suffers the same fate.
So – how exactly does Ray come back to life (so, you know, there’s the rest of the movie)? Well, that’s where scientist Dr. Harting (Guy Pearce) and his assistant/top test subject K.T. (“Baby Driver”’s Eiza Gonzalez) come enter the picture. They use specialized technology to regenerate Ray’s entire body. And he gets a few new gears in his head and hands — which give him the power to kill (quickly) and the ability not to to be killed.
There’s a bigger purpose to all of this, so if you feel like venturing to the theater to experience it first hand, I won’t go into further detail. What I can’t hold in is that the majority of “Bloodshot” is very weak. The action scenes suffer from a lack of sufficient staging (though the sound work actually isn’t bad). The “twists” are far from surprising. And the attempts at humor are completely cringe-worthy.
Lamorne Morris (“New Girl”) pops-in to kick off the 2nd-half and, from then on, we’re forced to listen to his bad British accent. Pearce has a couple of OK moments early, but his schtick becomes old fast. Gonzalez’s K.T. is the only somewhat interesting character. Her interactions with Diesel are the best part of the film.
By the time we get to the climax, any emotional investment is long gone. The full-on CG finale is borderline embarrassing. I’m guessing the only reason “Bloodshot” is rated PG-13 instead of R is because that sequence is computer generated.
As I’m sure you know by now, there won’t be many new major studio releases hitting big screens for the next several weeks. This may mean “Bloodshot” is the final film I see in a theater before the summer season. Don’t make it yours.
LCJ GRADE: D+
Running Time: 109 min.