Bloodshot (2020) – Film Review

I Am Not Legend

Watching Bloodshot feels like watching an action flick written by an AI algorithm. With the producer of The Fast & Furious franchise and Vin Diesel teaming up once again, Bloodshot is a generic, cliched superhero film that lacks much in the way of lasting appeal or originality. It’s a film that combines archetypal characters, multiple tropes and a whole host of over the top action sequences to deliver a fun but very forgettable popcorn flick.

Bloodshot’s main allure comes from the action and if you go into this expecting an over the top, bombastic picture with plenty of fights and explosions then this film absolutely delivers on that promise. The story itself essentially anchors into two parts. The first plays out as a simple revenge mission as our protagonist Ray finds himself captured and killed by a ruthless man named Axe.

When he’s brought back to life by Dr. Emil and turned into a super-soldier, complete with nanites and a seemingly indestructible body, Ray turns his attention on finding and killing Axe. Without spoiling too much, this story is completely wrapped up by the halfway point and instead, sees a big twist in the story that takes things into convoluted waters, prepping things for a big, climactic showdown at the end and a teasing glimpse that there could be more to come from this franchise if this gets a positive enough reception from avid film lovers.

Given the film relies so heavily on its action to drive the narrative forward, there’s a serious lack of tension during these segments. Ray is essentially a demi-God by this point too, so most of the fights see the action slowed down with multiple slow-motion tracking shots to show how amazing he is, but because of that there’s no single moment you feel Ray is in that much danger. The final fight at the end does go some way to try and alleviate this with its skyscraper battle but everything leading up to that point feels rather flat.

Bloodshot features all the usual slew of cliches and archetypes you’d expect from a film like this but it makes them all so painfully obvious that it’s hard to fully engage with this one. From a scientist having to explain what an EMP is to the room – just incase this is your first ever sci-fi film of course – through to the call to action and betrayal plot lines arriving exactly when you’d expect them to in the screenplay, Bloodshot feels very by-the-book but its characters never stand out on the pages whence they’ve come from. It’s incredibly frustrating at times too because there is potential here but the film squanders any promise it has in favour of throwing another slow-mo action piece or a cheesy one-liner into the mix.

Bloodshot is a predictably cliched film that offers little in value. It’s riddled with expository text and weak characters while the strong twist midway through is not only spoiled in the trailer, but it also brings with it a wave of convolution that makes the second half of this feel much more cluttered and busy than it perhaps should be. There are some good action scenes in here and the film itself is suitably quick paced as it darts across the globe, but beyond that there just isn’t enough to make this feel like anything but a hollow imitation of other, more engaging superhero films that have come before it.

 


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