Courtesy of Sony
Vin Diesel isn’t as fast or furious in the “Robocop” knock-off “Bloodshot” where he plays mercenary Ray Garrison on the frontlines of a scientific breakthrough. After he’s shot in the skull and left for dead by some cheesy, one dimensional villain, an experimental scientist (Guy Pearce who's always the “well let's see if he’s available for this” actor) injects Garrison with nano-technology (backed by the government of course) to revive the super-soldier. According to Pearce, Garrison is the first to successfully come back alive.
These nano’s make him super strong, like punching blocks of concrete walls, level of strength, and Diesel is left to make a character out of cheap effects and video game plot mechanics. First time director Dave Wilson has taken the reigns of a fairly intriguing premise and managed to fuel it with generic action sequences and even dumber performances. Give Diesel credit for trying to break away from the “Fast and Furious” mold but he’s emotional convictions aren’t good enough to sell the weight of the picture.
To be sure, there’s some nifty beatdowns: especially the ones in dark car tunnels where Diesel’s face regenerates after getting shot at point blank. Screenwriter Jeff Wadlow - who has an affinity with the comics this film is based on - can’t seem to keep a lid on the madness and in the third act, makes the mistake of introducing a new character (Lamorne Morris from “New Girl” doing a horrible British accent) to serve as comic relief.
At least Morris is trying something new (with whatever little screen time he’s granted), meanwhile Diesel is left to play the same character as he does in all these movies (complete with the obligatory white tank-top!). Personally, there’s an essence of likability about the way Diesel conducts himself on screen, and “Bloodshot” - in the right hands - is the perfect vehicle for his talents. It’s just hard to deviate from the concept and how cringeworthy the execution comes across. Plus, you know walking into a movie called “Bloodshot” that nobody can legally kill Vin Diesel, but movies like this just make me want to stay home and watch “XXX” instead.
Oh wait, you can.