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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 17, 2020


VIN DIESEL owes his A list action star status mainly to the “Fast & Furious” franchise where he plays the iconic Dominic Toretto.  When he does other films like “Riddick”, “XXX” or “The Last Witch Hunter”, the box office result is not as impressive.

He now tries to deviate again with “Bloodshot”, a Valiant Comic Book adaptation which has been around since the early 90s. We’re afraid it is even more unsatisfying than the worst editions of the “Fast & Furious” series.

Its biggest problem is that the material is not really new and has been done before in “Six Million Dollar Man”, “Robocop”, “Universal Soldiers”, “Terminator”, “Bionic Woman” or even “Frankenstein”. It starts with Vin as Ray Garrison, an audacious special operation soldier saving a hostage from a terrorist.

He then returns to his wife Gina (Talulah Riley) and they go on vacation in Italy where some thugs abduct them, led by Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell, the husband in the horror series, “Servant”, from Apple TV).

Axe kills Gina right in front of Ray and he is later killed also. But, of course, the movie doesn’t end there and it’s just actually starting.

Ray is brought to life through nano technology by Dr. Emil Harding (Guy Pearce, now relegated to playing villain roles) whose aim is to weaponize him as a super soldier.

Ray’s body is now made up of millions of nano-bots that give him super powers and the capability to quickly regenerate after he gets wounded or damage.

Supposedly, all his memory has been erased but he is haunted by images of Gina’s death. He’s now bent revenge and hunts down their killer, Axe. He corners Axe in a traffic tunnel in Budapest where he decimates all of Axe’s henchmen singlehandedly.

With him having satisfied his thirst for vengeance, you’d think he’d lie low, but it turns out that Dr. Harding is only manipulating him and using him to assassinate other people who he puts in the mind of Ray as the killers of his wife.

And what’s more, Gina is not really dead but now married to someone else!

When Ray realizes this, he rebels against Dr. Harding and with the help of a woman robot, KT (Elia Gonzalez), he gets to collaborate with a British tech genius, Wilfred Wiggans (Lamorne Morris of “New Girl”), who tries to supply some comic relief while helping him to get back at Dr. Harding for a final showdown.

“Bloodshot” is the directorial debut of David Wilson, a visual effects man who’s not very successful in coming up with a truly absorbing narrative since it has many boring stretches.

The first big action set piece inside the tunnel is marred by the decision to have a truckload of flour overturned right on the site and it makes things so murky.

The best action sequence involves Ray fighting Dr.Harding’s two other male robots, Dalton and Tibbs, while they’re bobbing up and down an elevator on the side of a skyscraper, with Dalton suddenly growing up metal appendages that we’ve seen before in Spiderman’s Dr. Octopus.

But the combination of live action shots with computer generated images do not look that convincing on the big screen. And also, this kind of action scene has been done before by The Rock in “Hobbs & Shaw” of “Fast & Furious”

What’s worse is that it’s very obvious that all the action scenes involving Vin Diesel are all aided by editing and rampant crosscuttings. And Vin’s acting remains as wooden as ever, with the delivery of his lines sometimes hard to decipher.

In fairness to him, the laconic badass image of Bloodshot fits him perfectly, what with his crude caveman screen persona and the way he growls his dialogue.

It’s apparent that its makers are hoping this origin story of “Bloodshot” will be the start of a profitable franchise and it will do to Valiant what the Avengers did to Marvel.

Well, good luck to that but, sorry, the movie is released at the height of the corona virus scare when malls and theaters were shut down. This is the last movie we saw before Metro Manila was put on a lockdown.