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‘Bloodshot’ – Review

‘Bloodshot’ – Review

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Vin Diesel amps things up as he steps into the techno world of the Valient Cinematic Universe with Bloodshot, a high-tech, sci-fi, superhero smash-box of a film that delivers big drama for Diesel and plenty of bone-crunching hits!

After he and his wife are suddenly assassinated, Marine Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is reborn by a team of scientists. Enhanced with nanotechnology, he becomes a superhuman, biotech killing machine – Bloodshot. As Ray first trains with fellow super-soldiers, he struggles to recall anything from his previous years. But when his memories flood back and he remembers the man that killed both him and his wife, he breaks out of the facility hellbent on revenge, only to discover that there’s more to the conspiracy than he originally felt.

The comic book universe is becoming synonymous with cinema these days and now it’s time for audiences to be introduced to the Valient Cinematic Universe with the big screen adaptation of Bloodshot. This cult-favourite comic book centres on super-soldier Ray Garrison (Diesel), code named Bloodshot, who because of unique Nanotechnology can regenerate his cells and body tissue, while also delivering maximum damage along the way. Bloodshot is the directorial debut of visual effects savant, David S.F. Wilson and Wilson gives this film it’s own punk rock energy and brands it apart from other established comic book universe’s that we’ve become familiar with. Wilson’s approach to the film is one that fits in with the comic book style of the source material, but the emphasis is more on science-fiction and military action, with Bloodshot having a style similar to classics such as The Terminator and Universal Soldier.

Taking the lead in Bloodshot is Hollywood action star Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison, a veteran Special Forces officer and U.S. Marine MARSOC operator whose the best at what he does and who finds himself in servitude to the secretive RST Corporation, whom he uses to exact his revenge on those who killed his beloved wife. But while Vin’s pretty adept at carving up the bad guys, and there’s plenty of gunfire, explosions and destruction along the way, it soon becomes clear that not all is what it appears to be. For Diesel, the character of Ray Garrison gives him a challenge as an actor, not from the standpoint of the film’s focus on action and intensity, but rather the psychological drama that Diesel has to contend with as the broken down Garrison. This is a character who is afflicted by recurring elements of PTSD and amnesia and questions of identity linger with this character, and all of this makes things interesting for Diesel.

Providing support to Diesel up on the screen is rising star Eiza González as KT, a former Navy freediver, who herself is now one of RST’s biotech assets and who has been retrofitted with a mechanical re-breather that makes her impervious to any type of chemical or biological attack. González’s KT is very much the conscience of the movie, and it’s through her actions that Diesel’s Garrison finds much of his direction and realisation as a character to both his past trauma and the actions carried out by RST. Don’t get me wrong though, González is not merely a sounding board, and this girl gets her hands dirty with some seriously intense and bone-breaking action sequences and there’s plenty of gnarly stunt work on behalf of González for action fans to be excited about.

Scottish hunk Sam Heaughan also steps up here in Bloodshot, and while audiences might know him for his turn as the selfless romantic hero Jamie Fraser in Outlander, here in Bloodshot he unleashes his darker side as cyborg killer Jimmy Dalton. A former U.S. Navy SEAL who lost his legs in an IED attack, Dalton has been rebuilt by RST and is the muscle behind Harting’s intelligence. He has a real grudge against Diesel’s Garrison and is happy to rile him up and attack him every chance he gets. To put it simply, he’s a real nasty piece of work. Heaughan got absolutely jacked for the part of Dalton and he keeps up with Diesel as they go mano-o-mano in an intense full combat fight scene that sees Heughan’s Dalton fitted out with a high tech meca exoskeleton that gives him a greater range of movement and a whole lot of options to attack Garrison with. Heaughan makes for a great nemesis for Diesel’s Garrison and as an audience member, it’s a lot of fun to see him embrace his evil side in Bloodshot.

Finally bringing the film together is modern-day legendary thespian Guy Pearce who assumes the role of the film’s chief antagonist Dr Emil Harting, the creator of Diesel’s Ray Garrison, code named Bloodshot, and here Pearce brings a calculating and cruel style as the film’s chief antagonist. Part of the charm of Guy Pearce is that he is an actor who can do it all, and his vast range serves him well in whatever project he chooses to take on. Here he gets to play out the character of the master manipulator and the man with his eyes on the bigger picture. His pursuit of perfection makes him incredibly dangerous as an adversary and the final showdown between himself and Garrison is one that goes out with a considerable bang!

Part of what makes Bloodshot enjoyable as an action set adventure is the way that director David S.F. Wilson approaches the film’s narrative. Through the use of misdirection and innovations with his story structure, Wilson keeps his audience on edge and you never know what’s coming next or how the action is going to slam into you with this one. And when I say that Bloodshot delivers action…I MEAN IT! Wilson, Diesel and the film’s stunt team work to deliver something different with Bloodshot, and it stands apart from other high concept superhero films with its focus on military-inspired set-pieces and the film’s unique biotech-enhanced characters. If you’re looking for the film’s signature action sequence then it’s definitely the showdown between Garrison and Dalton, and this piece of combat gets downright gnarly. Trust me when I say that all of the adrenaline that is spent here will have you pumped!

Bloodshot is an intense action-packed ride and for those looking for a shot of adrenaline to their nervous system, well, they’ll get it with this one.

Check out Bloodshot on the iTunes Store now.

Image: Sony Pictures