MOVIE REVIEW: SA, particularly Cape Town, continues to be an attractive and affordable spot for international productions to shoot their films and shows. Recently, the city hosted the Vin Diesel-helmed superhero action movie Bloodshot. Phumlani S Langa catches up with Director David SF Wilson for a chat about the filming experience.
David SF Wilson is not a director many know. His work has mainly been seen in videos games and cinematic cuts for games such as The Elder Scrolls Online, BioShock Infinite, Guardians of Middle-earth and Tom Clancy’s The Division.
But now he’s used his eye for slick aesthetics to helm the new superhero movie Bloodshot. Some readers might have seen the likes of comedians Jason and Donovan Goliath sharing news on social media of their cameos as policemen in the film, and that’s because some of it is shot in the Mother City.
Speaking to #Trending from the UK, Wilson said he was familiar with Cape Town and filming there was great, especially due to the partnership offered by the National Film and Video Foundation.
“The last time I was in the Cape Town, I was 16. For Bloodshot, most of the imagery of the Amalfi Coast was created from footage we shot and then reimagined.
“Most of it is like Chapman’s Peak, which I have been on 100 times, and we also shot in Woodstock, the Cape Town train station and on some of the old streets.”
Bloodshot the comic book was released by Valiant Comics in the early 90s and follows a soldier called Ray Garrison (played in the film by Vin Diesel) who has recently been killed in action and brought back to life as a superhero. Ray is reborn with masses of nanotechnology in his veins, which makes him superstrong and able to heal instantly. But, in controlling his body, the company that reanimated and manipulated him also has sway over his mind and memories.
Wilson says: “I grew up reading a lot of comics; science fiction in particular. The idea of the manipulation of the mind through technology was interesting to me and I tried to show that in the film.”
They spent two months shooting on location and, as the film unfurls, lending itself more to the superhero genre and the rules that govern this, it starts to show a more aggressive angle.
It features stunningly imaginative moments, for instance when Eiza González’s character is in a pool, submerged and doing karate with weights around her ankles.
There is also a visually alluring scene in which Bloodshot and the scientist who brought him back to life – played by Guy Pearce – have a revealing discussion in an unconstructed neurological space. The doctor reveals a simulation of a coastal town and it unfolds bit by bit in expensive-looking fashion.
Wilson appreciates that we noticed that detail: “That scene took six months to create. We did it digitally, of course, which I was hoping people would be able to appreciate. A lot of time goes into creating a scene like that.”
You should be warned that the twists are as well constructed as some of the CGI scenes, which makes watching Wilson’s first film an explosive experience.
.Bloodshot is in cinemas