Bloodshot movie review: Lights, camera, and so much action

Photo: Bloodshot.. Image Courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment
Photo: Bloodshot.. Image Courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment /

Bloodshot brings the Valiant comic universe to life, and does it Vin Diesel style. Still, fans and critics have mixed feelings about the debut film.

Ready for a few spoilers? I won’t ruin everything for you, but we’re going to talk about what makes Bloodshot what it is. That means we’re going to dig into the plot, show images, and discuss what went down on the screen. If you haven’t watched the movie in theaters just yet, don’t read ahead!

Bottom line: Bloodshot is an action film. That really sums this up, but there is so much more to be said. Early on, some viewers were less than thrilled that the two trailers for the film appeared to give us a major amount of information about the plot.

Luckily, when you go to the film, you find there is a whole world of detail you didn’t know about. Based on a Valiant comic character, Bloodshot brings us the first of several planned films to introduce the Valiant universe to us on-screen.

If you’re hesitant about a new comic world, be aware that Jim Shooter is the former editor-in-chief of Marvel, wrote for DC and numerous others, and is behind the creation of the Valiant universe of characters.

Personally, I was incredibly excited to learn that Sam Heughan would be joining Vin Diesel for this action-packed fantasy story. As a huge fan of the Outlander TV series, and these days much more involved with comic-inspired TV and film than I care to admit, this blend for Bloodshot was delicious icing on the cake.

Whether they give a thumbs up to the film as a whole or not, nearly everyone agrees that Sam Heughan did a knockout job in his unique and intense role as Jimmy Dalton. Between his extremely graphic body modifications and his stern delivery of the huge role, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing him more on the big screen.

You probably already know Vin Diesel plays a former soldier who got killed and brought back by the shady Dr. Harding (Guy Pearce). Unfortunately, Sam Garrison wakes up with only the memories that Rising Spirit Technologies gives him. His new number one drive is the fact that terrorists killed his wife (nope) and he’s out for revenge and justice.

It’s not long before he tracks down this wife and she’s not dead (and is also not his wife). It becomes clear that he has a totally different life that he doesn’t remember.  He decides that he really wants to get that info and ends up having a bunch of fights, meaningful confrontation, and eventually destroys a bunch of stuff.

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It’s the very classic story, (plus nanites and superpowers), and everything you’d expect. What does break the mold is the underlying web of mini plotlines that are developing through the whole thing. Because this is a tech company doing devious human experiment work, there’s also a truckload of extremely imaginative CGI and enhancements of all kinds.

You’ve got the question of whether he’s going to hook up with the female lead, KT (Eliza Gonzalez). And you have to ask yourself if these bad guys he’s after are living in reality or also just programmed. And inevitably in the end, you have to wonder if any of it was even real.

There’s a dose of comedy weaved in, especially through the supporting characters. But Diesel gets a shot at a few mini moments in Deadpool fashion, albeit very, very minor. For the most part, once the first part of the Bloodshot has geared up, don’t plan to go to the bathroom or refill your popcorn without missing intense action scenes.

There wasn’t a whole lot of strong dialogue but it’s the style we anticipate from Viin Diesel, making it as expected. And this is where Bloodshot comic fans will not be all that pleased. A lot of his backstory is unclear and many of his powers from the known character are either played down or absent entirely.

Fortunately, even Diesel declared that the screenplay leaves plenty of room for Bloodshot 2 and covertly opened the door for a number of follow-up characters to surface in their own features. Word on the street is that Faith Herbert will be the next to have her minutes in the spotlight. At the moment, no good info suggests casting or big plans have taken off just yet.

What we do know for sure is that Paramount holds the power to make a Harbinger film (unrelated to Crisis on Infinite Earths). That will get things rolling to open up for a crossover of the Valiant universe if they find a way to be cool with Sony studios to get characters to meet up on screen.

For the time being, Bloodshot will hold the title as the only Valiant character film and I suggest you go give it a shot- pun intended. If you like comic-based action, typical Vin Diesel movies, less plot/dialogue, more action films, you will get what you want.

While Rotten Tomatoes has it holding at only 30% critic approval, the fans are sitting much higher at 77% for now. It’s also worth noting that Dave Wilson makes his directorial feature debut here and as that goes, he nailed it. His video game background did him justice with these visuals and action sequences.

There’s just enough left to the imagination, although some will say the scenes are a bit too clipped during the fast-paced times. All I can add is with this as his first try, he’s got a lot of promise. I’ll be looking forward to his next project, for sure.

If you want to wait it out and stream Bloodshot online, you can expect to do that closer to the end of the year. But if you’ve got the question about whether it’s worth the ticket price and the trip downtown, I give you a solid yes.

Check out the trailer here:

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Did you read the Bloodshot comics ahead of the film? What do you think is the comparison? Let us know in the comments!