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Vin Diesel in 'Bloodshot.'
Vin Diesel in 'Bloodshot.'
Photo: NuMetro




Sunday, 7 March at 20:05 on M-Net (DStv 101)


3/5 Stars


Ray Garrison is a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero, "Bloodshot", by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But, in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.


Another day, another attempt at launching a cinematic universe. This time we have Sony trying to bring the Valiant comics to life - an independent series with dark themes of free will, violence and control.

Unfortunately, for the big screen, Sony has not learnt its lesson from Deadpool and Birds of Prey and instead delivered a sterilised version with uninspiring action choreography and no real psychological depth about the human psyche. One of the biggest disservices the studio did to this movie is by revealing the "big twist" right there in the first trailer, and while fans of the comic know it already, it would have helped to sell it to those who haven’t.

While not completely terrible, Bloodshot’s downfall is the opportunities not taken to create something entirely outside of the box of the MCU and DCEU, helmed by a leading man that might finally be starting to lose his shine.

A dead soldier is brought to life through highly advanced nanotechnology, giving him superhuman regeneration and strength. As he tries to recover his memories, the organisation has other more devious plans for him.

Once Vin Diesel’s name on a movie poster would have gotten me super-excited, but after seeing Bloodshot, I wonder if the Fast and Furious star’s drawing power hasn’t finally fizzled out. While he’s still quite suited to the role of a technologically-enhanced killing machine, it feels like perhaps a new face might have made the film more refreshing to watch.

Sony also played it just a little too safe with this comic book story - one known for its violence and psychologically traumatic look at manipulation - and there were so many opportunities to create something unique.

The nanobytes in his bloodstream had the potential for some incredibly creative action sequences, but instead, we have a scene filled with flour that didn’t do anything for the visuals. More nuance and time could also have been spent on the soldier’s mental state, his grapple with what’s real and what’s not and a slower realisation that his memories aren’t quite what he thinks they are.

Bloodshot isn't terrible - it's just a wasted opportunity brought forth by a studio that needs to try and loosen its grip on paint-by-numbers movies. Instead, they need to embrace what made their few masterpieces such a success like Into the Spiderverse - out-of-the-box storytelling, groundbreaking visuals and a nurturing environment where creativity takes precedence over money.


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