Saturday, May 16, 2020

Movie Reviews: Bloodshot

directed by David Wilson
This new film was unfortunately released right around the same time that Americans realized that the coronavirus pandemic made large gatherings in theaters a pretty bad idea. 

Some people might argue that global pandemic or not this film was a bad idea. I wouldn't go that far but it is a film which tells a story that you've seen before. 

Some creative people I respect claim that there are only a few meta-stories which are told over and over again in different ways by different people. Perhaps they are correct. I can't call it. This film is based on a comic book which I have not read. I need to check with my brother to see what he thought of the source material. 

The story was familiar. Bloodshot referenced films like Inception, The Matrix, The Punisher, Universal Soldier, Robocop, and Total Recall among others. I was surprised to see that Bloodshot was rated PG-13. 

Either the studio has pull with the ratings board or mores have really changed since I was young. This is a violent film. It has some blink and you'll miss it female toplessness. I would have rated it R. I wouldn't think this film appropriate for young teens to watch. Or to put it another way, I wouldn't watch this film with younger relatives.

Ok, my hang-ups aside what's it about? Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is a US Marine who has just completed a successful mission in Kenya. Ray's team has rescued a hostage and killed some bad guys. Mission accomplished, it's time for Ray to return to his base in Italy and take some well deserved personal time with his attractive wife Gina (Talulah Riley, the former Mrs. Elon Musk who also happens to have appeared in Inception

After they've done that thing that long separated lovers tend to do, the spouses are getting ready for round two, although since it's now morning maybe it's round five or six? Dunno. 

Ray and Gina's amorous plans are interrupted when gunmen invade their apartment and kidnap them. Always prepared, Ray sends a few thugs to the afterlife but even a certified bada$$$ like Ray can't kill everyone. 

Waking up in an industrial plant, Ray is interrogated by Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell), who is apparently working with the larger terrorist network. When Ray is unable to give Martin information on how he found the terrorists in Kenya, Martin is unbothered. He kills Gina in front of Ray before shrugging and killing Ray. The end.

Or not. Ray wakes up to discover that he's the beneficiary of a government backed private nanite technology project to build supersoldiers. The project head is Dr. Harding (Guy Pearce) who explains that Ray is the first one successfully brought back from the dead. Ray barely pays attention. He's obsessed with getting revenge on Martin.

And that's where things could have gotten interesting. But instead things get plodding and more violent. There are some important questions about memory, motivation, identity and intelligence that the movie briefly touches but skips past in favor of explosions and fast cars. I hope the comic book is better. Bloodshoot has a few worthwhile set piece fights. Lamorne Morris has a not quite comic relief role as a hacker. Eiza Gonzalez is a could be love interest.

This was ok as a Saturday afternoon type movie.  If you're a big Vin Diesel fan and enjoy hearing him whisper threats in a gravelly bass voice, then this is the movie for you. For everyone else, I think this film will generally be received as mediocre.
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