Before the rise of Image, Boom Studios, Dark Horse, and IDW Publishing there was already an alternative to the big two in comics. It was Valiant. In the tumultuous 80s and 90s Marvel and DC kept pushing big changes along with flash over substance. Valiant was supposed to be the consistent alternative. Whether it was successful in that even up to now is not something I can tell you. I never read any of their series. The only thing I can say is that I’m shocked it took a movie studio this long to realize there is a whole untapped universe ripe to explore and monetize. They failed spectacularly.
The movie follows Vin Diesel as the titular Bloodshot (such a 90s name) an amnesiac soldier who is rebuilt using nanomachines. However when he gets his memory back he is one track minded in revenge for his wife. Things get complicated when it’s discovered the memories are implanted. Now he must work with a disgraced hacker to get free of the corporation that controls him and find his own path.
That sounds like it should be a good movie, and it has some good ideas and characters in it, but overall does not work.
The easiest band-aid to rip off is that the CGI and action choreography is trash. The CGI looks closer to what I imagine the Bloodshot video game or production art would look like over the finished work. Similarly the hand to hand and gunplay is all choppy and hard to follow. It’s something that should be easy. They try to do a real kinetic style but instead make it feel more jumbled and messy.
The action scenes are hung on a plot that isn’t a bad idea, but is not paced or planned right. The first act is too generic. It’s trying to be like that by choice, but since we the audience knows where it’s going it is a slog. Once the reveal occurs to start act 2 it picks up but feels like it all ends to early or too easily. Bloodshot get a big reveal about what really happened with his wife and then just kind of dropped. Never brought up or talked about at all. They just rush to an action scene then climax.
This jumbled plotting comes from Bloodshot himself. Vin Diesel tries really hard to give this man some real character, but it does not work because we don’t get any sense of who he was before everything happened. It’s an amnesia story where he doesn’t even find out who he is by the end. He doesn’t have any sort of arc. He only gets his goal and succeeds halfway through the film. That should be placed much earlier than that.
Vin Diesel is around people who are also trying hard. The only standout is the actor who plays Winston Bishop from New Girl. He is really having fun with his jokey hacker role. Everyone else has nothing to go off of other than really boring archetypes.
The film is just a real nothing. It’s so nothing that there is almost nothing more to say other than the action sucks. The cool future tech is only showed off one time. The pacing is all off. The villain is lame. It’s Guy Pearce doing an even worse Mandarin from Iron Man 3. The cool female side character KT is totally underused. And most importantly I know nothing about this main character I’m supposed to root for as he meets XO Manowar (The only other Valiant character I know). I can think of Call of Duty protagonists more fleshed out than Bloodshot.
This really sucked.
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