'Bloodshot' review: A film lost in its own elements

'Bloodshot' review: Vin Diesel tries his best, but this movie feels lost in its action and attempts at philosophy

Vin Diesel and Guy Peace in a still from 'Bloodshot'. YouTube/Sony Pictures

Director: David S. F. Wilson
Cast: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce
Score: 1.5

Vin Diesel is certainly Hollywood darling B-movie hero. From Babylon A.D to Riddick, he's made his mark on quite a few cult-favourite Hollywood sci-fi B-movies. Unfortunately, his knack for this is not enough to fill the void permeating Bloodshot.

The story follows Ray Garrison, a US Marine who is assassinated with his wife, only to be resurrected and told he's now essentially a one-man army - and then he goes to work on killing whoever put a bullet in his head.

Right off the bat, Bloodshot does have a few merits. The story is fairly no-nonsense. It doesn't stand on ceremony, preferring instead to drop bomb after bomb to viewers, ensuring non-stop action throughout.

Bloodshot explores Ray's motivation in a very hands-off manner. He loves his wife, sees her die in front of him, swears revenge...and is promptly killed. There's really not a lot to work with on the outside, but as the film develops, it carefully peels off layers off Ray's motivations and character through nightmares and technology, leaving something almost human at the end.

On the other hand, it really leaves the antagonists quite underdeveloped - particularly Guy Pearce's Emil Harting. Here is a man who vows to help Ray uncover who he is, all the while manipulating his every move. It would make for a great villain, if he didn't have a silly little cliche for motivation. Changing the theatre of war? Really, movie, really? It's almost comical how he calls out one of his employees on using cliches.

Bloodshot is primarily driven by its action. Ray is quite essentially an invincible rampaging tank who just needs refilling once in a while, and he really proves it in the way he breaks things apart. From guns to cars to people and even entire buildings, nothing is safe when Ray is glowing red hot with freaky looking eyes.

The film prides itself on the action aspect, and that is most welcome, but it falters when it tries to be all philosophical about human nature and how people are indecisive and need some greater power directing them towards their future. That whole schtick has been done to death and then some, which is likely the source of the void permeating it.

As it comes to a close, Bloodshot is a very empty-feeling piece of work. David Wilson's directorial debut climbs to some respectable highs, but ultimately peters out like a ballon with a loose string.

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