- Jo Berry
- 12 March 2020
Vin Diesel steps into the shoes of the Valiant superhero to unashamedly daft but entertaining effect
An entertainingly idiotic sci-fi actioner, Bloodshot – based on the Valiant comic book of the same name – is the story of tough, man-of-few-words marine Ray Garrison (Diesel), who is slain by baddie Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell) immediately after he watches his wife Gina (Talulah Riley) being brutally murdered.
Don't panic, though, because scientist Dr Harting (Guy Pearce) comes to the rescue, replacing Garrison's blood with nanotechnology that not only brings him back to life but gives him remarkable healing powers, super-strength and the ability to mentally hack the internet. (It doesn't improve his conversational skills, though.) Garrison doesn't remember much of his past life, but when his memories start to return he escapes from Harting's facility, determined to destroy in the nastiest way possible the man who killed his wife. But – dun, dun, dun! – are his memories all that they appear?
Luckily, debut director David S. F. Wilson knows how daft and Universal Soldier-like this all sounds, and so delivers a flashy, fast-paced action movie with some neat effects that never takes itself too seriously. You'll snigger – but you're supposed to – when the wife-slaughtering psycho killer dances to – wait for it – Talking Heads' 'Psycho Killer', as our hero emerges in slow-mo from a cloud of flour (don't ask), or when fellow enhanced soldier Dalton (Sam Heughan) coolly walks away from an explosion without glancing back.
Diesel is, as you'd expect, simply Vin Diesel, while Pearce is surprisingly restrained in a role where he should have turned it up to eleven, for everyone's sake. More interesting, are Eiza González, as soldier KT, and Outlander's Heughan, whose grumpy Dalton isn't granted enough screen-time or backstory, but who does get one of the best action sequences of the movie, fighting Diesel while plummeting down the side of a skyscraper. Bloodshot doesn't exactly threaten Marvel's comic book crown, but it delivers generously on the big, dumb fun.
General release from Wed 11 Mar.