MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: David S. F. Wilson
Starring: Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Lamorne Morris, and Guy Pearce
Movie length: 1 hour 49 minutes
What it is: The long in development first movie in what hopefully will be the start of a Valiant Cinematic Universe. The movie is about a marine played by Vin Diesel who was killed in action but was brought back to life with superpowers by an organization ran by Guy Pearce.
What Dan thought: BLOODSHOT sets its stall out from the first scene: this is a bold, brash popcorn movie which doesn’t intend to stretch the medium or tax anyone’s brain cells, so anyone going in shouldn’t expect much beyond that. All that being said, this is also a fun, action-packed and well-paced movie.
David S.F. Wilson directed the movie and, for his movie directorial debut, he’s done a great job on how the film looks and barrels along – plenty of kudos can been thrown the way of veteran composer Steve Jablonsky, too, along with the music supervisor of this movie: their music choices for the action-packed scenes (including using Talking Heads, ‘Psycho Killer’) fit in well marvellously.
However, BLOODSHOT‘s shortcomings do have to be addressed, and it’s all down the core DNA of the whole proceedings. The original Valiant comic had such a strong spine and plenty of boisterous energy but that doesn’t seem to have translated to this big-screen adaptation at script-level. The storyline that the production has gone for isn’t the strongest and that ultimately undermines the whole effort.
As such, the cracking cast finds themselves a bit adrift. Guy Pearce in particular, as the main villain of the piece, was underused, I thought. Indeed, the whole film builds to a final battle between his character and Vin’s Bloodshot which comes across as lackluster and, ironically, rather bloodless. To be fair, the supporting cast did what they could with what they had to had and was terrific throughout, with Lamorne Morris – who puts a valiant effort (heh!) on a British accent – as the stand-out.
The cinematography was great and the set they used for one of the early scenes was perfect. I don’t want to get into many spoilers for that final scene, but it involved a fight in a dimly lit tunnel with tons of flour being spilled on the ground.
Dan’s grade: B. While the movie is a great popcorn flick, some of the story didn’t make much sense and as I felt above, the final fight scene left me wanting more. If you want a good movie where you don’t have to think much, and can leave your brain at the door, this is 100% it.
I was also disappointed that this was the first effort that stands as the potentially shared Valiant Cinematic Universe (Valiant’s FAITH is planned to be the next movie released by Sony in the universe with Paramount handling the release of HARBINGER) – a stilted first stab. Note: here was no post-credit scene, a la what the MCU has given us in their movies – you may want to be heading to the foyer at that point, anyway.
The movie opens in theaters in the US on March 13, 2020.