Movie review: Bloodshot
The tantalising prospect of Bloodshot being the only chance of seeing Vin Diesel in the cinema this year was not enough to overcome circumstance.
The coronavirus outbreak has postponed Fast & Furious 9's release to 2021 and it also helped keep audiences away from Bloodshot, which opened to only US$9.3 million (S$13.2 million) at the North American box office over the weekend despite costing US$45 million to make.
Maybe the film itself helped too. This is not in the same tier of peak escapist nonsense where Diesel's main franchise resides.
It's not even in the same realm as the cavalcade of ego-caressing that is the xXx films, sadly.
While the first half of Bloodshot packs in the most generic action movie tropes possible - a maverick super soldier, a beautiful young wife murdered (moments after she has been introduced) by a theatrical, oh-so-extra villain.
Surprisingly, Bloodshot then justifies those choices. For a moment, there is a glimmer of the film trying something different.
There are interesting ideas in here but they are wrapped in a film that does not know where to go after its first big reveal, and makes fun of some cliches while keeping plenty of others. The foot comes off the accelerator so much that the big finale feels slight.
It would not be so bad, but it cashes cheques the CGI can't cash. Its big action scene is so rubbery, you'd think it was from 20 years ago.
The earlier set piece - and if you love flour-based action bathed in red light, then Bloodshot is your film - is realised to a level you suspect the director has had it in mind for some time.
It does not help that a lot of the ADR (automated dialogue replacement ) is slapped on in a way only a few voices feel attached to the actors.
And it has to be asked - is Diesel the right man for the role?
This story needs an action star who can also convey confusion, vulnerability - you know, acting. Only when Diesel gets mad at Guy Pearce's CEO-scientist does he hit the right note.
And yet, Eiza Gonzalez makes the best of her role as an augmented diver who apparently can't wear anything that is less than skin-tight.
To be honest, you'd rather follow her character.
Bloodshot is based on a comic that was big in the 90s, and fittingly it feels out of date and too dull to spend much time on.
STARRING: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Lamorne Morris
DIRECTOR: Dave Wilson
THE SKINNY: A soldier (Diesel) awakes after his murder to discover an organisation has given him superpowers thanks to nanotech blood. But is there a dark side to his enhancements?