Verdict: Bloodshot is a valiant effort to create a new cinematic universe.
If there is anything the recent years of cinematic universes have taught us, it is that we should trust the fans and the new guys to do a better job than someone who doesn’t feel connected to the story. Dave Wilson, as a long-time fan and first-time director, has done a fantastic job while adapting Bloodshot from the comics of the same name. Valiant Comics, in association with Sony, has been trying to create a cinematic universe of their own. They have a rich range of characters and Bloodshot is the most popular among them. A good sci-fi action movie should have the use of technology beyond what we can imagine with action sequences that you could not conjure even in your dreams. The film checks those two boxes.
What’s Bloodshot About:
The movie begins in Mombasa where Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), along with his team, is rescuing hostages. After the mission is successful, the team makes its way back to the home base in Italy, where Ray’s wife Gina (Talulah Riley) is waiting for him. Off the Amalfi coast, they are enjoying their break when suddenly, Ray and Gina are abducted by Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell). He wants information about Ray’s mission and when Ray admits to having none, he kills Gina. As Ray vows revenge, Martin kills him and next, we see Ray wake up in a scientific facility called Rising Spirit Technologies (RST). Dr. Harting (Guy Pearce) greets him, along with KT (Eiza González), and tell him that the military donated his body, which they enhanced by injecting nanites, giving him super strength and healing abilities. Ray has no memories and when he slowly starts to remember the circumstances of his death, he goes on a rampage to kill Martin Axe. He comes back to the facility where he is put under again and this time, he wakes up remembering Nick Barris (Johannes Haukur Johannesson) killed his wife.
A man who is more machine than man sounds like an impossible concept, but only the effort by Dave Wilson could make it plausible. The director understands that this world is new to us and goes to great lengths to build it along with its characters. You feel hooked to the story from the first scene itself. Wilson has also been an SFX expert and brings his expertise here with mind-blowing action sequences with the right amount of slow-motion shots that focus on Ray Garrison’s powers. Overall, the spectacle is visually appealing.
Vin Diesel does an excellent job as Ray whose need for revenge transcends all the machines in him. The part where he resembles the characters from the comics is the one scene that you don’t want to miss. Guy Pearce plays a similar role to Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 but is worlds apart from that guy. He is more about brains than brawn in this movie. You will not hear enough about his billion-dollar discovery, which is Ray and his need for revenge. Even Toby Kebbell sends chills down your spine as he plays the sock-and-sandal-wearing villain who dances to “Psycho Killer“. Siddharth Dhananjay and Lamorne Morris add a lot of much-needed comedy as the technical experts on both sides. Their presence on screen is something you will look forward to in the movie.
What Could’ve Been Better:
A lot of aspects of the movie as far as plot twists go were shown in the trailer. The waiting game for the film to reach its core point might seem very long. Instead, that time could have spent in letting us more about the characters than the one-dimensional facts that we were already told.
Why You Should Watch :
If you have special appreciation for movies where you know more than the protagonist and are waiting patiently while the protagonist discovers the truth, this movie is for you. While Marvel and DC are trying to build their larger-than-life universes, Bloodshot relies on making a splash with nostalgia. This movie takes you back to great franchises like Robocop, the Terminator, and Wolverine. What more do you need from a weekend watch?