‘Bloodshot’ Eyes Prize Above Mediocrity

Back in 1989, a startup comic book publisher known as Valiant had arrived on the scene. The company made it a point to offer up characters a little more complex than your average super hero as these newly developed personalities had allegiances and demeanors that were not always so clear cut. Some of their more premier characters and successful titles include X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and one in particular known as Bloodshot. The story of Bloodshot featured an expert soldier maimed by war and reclaimed by science only to build a better soldier. With a repeatedly wiped memory and the ability to take a ridiculously inhuman beating, Bloodshot has become the first Valiant character to hit the big screen.

Self-proclaimed geek and Hollywood bad ass Vin Diesel stars as the modified man himself and also claims credit as a producer on the film. As one of the premier action stars in cinema today, Diesel stuck with his strengths and invested in this action project from both sides of the camera. Accompanying him on the set were actors Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) and the stunningly gorgeous Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver). Pearce serves as Dr. Emil Harting, who is responsible for building the nanite-infested body that gives Bloodshot his superhuman abilities that include rapid healing and enhanced strength. Gonzalez, meanwhile, is KT, another one of Harting’s handywork who finds herself working alongside Bloodshot.

Truth be told, I did not expect a lot out of this film. It did not have the American studio backing that the Marvel or Warner Bros. films have. It is also introducing a comic book character that has virtually no notoriety outside of Valiant readers. Spider-Man or Hulk he is not. Nevertheless, the lack of popularity does not make Bloodshot as a character any less interesting. The film does a proficient job in delivering this aspect to audiences and does so with a twist that stays true to the comic series.

Bloodshot begins like a bat out of hell and makes it a point to hold that tempo for more than just an introductory 10 or 15 minutes. When the action slows, the pace does tend to flutter, going up and down.  When it does elevate, it does so even through moments of additional character introduction before Bloodshot is back on the hunt (or the one being hunted). The middle of the film, however, tended to take a bit of a dip for me and my attention started to run astray. Maybe it was because I was up nearly 20 hours or maybe the center segment had a pacing flaw. Regardless, this was soon recovered as the film set itself up for its finale.

All in all, Bloodshot was somewhat of an enjoyable ride and I can only hope there are more Valiant characters on their way to the big screen…X-O Manowar, anyone? Still, the film is not perfect and has its flaws, but at the end of the day, Dave Wilson made a solid impression for his major motion picture directorial debut. Don’t expect greatness from Bloodshot, but what you can expect is an hour and 49 minutes of some bone-crunching, hi-tech action.





1 Response to “‘Bloodshot’ Eyes Prize Above Mediocrity”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I like Diesel, but the guy just doesn’t make many good films outside his main franchise. I found this a mix of bland, dull, and just plain bad, with horribly edited action scenes, and way too much restraint for a premise that deserves better, and I’m not talking budget, because Dredd shows how much can be done with a lower comic book budget.