With the Marvel Cinematic Universe entering its second decade, it seems that the lucrative franchise might be finally getting some decent competition. For viewers suffering from Avengers-induced fatigue, Valiant Comics is here with a fresh hero to root for. Bloodshot, based on Valiant’s superhero of the same name, introduces viewers to a more nuanced way of telling superhero stories that feels utterly unique.
Vin Diesel plays Ray Garrison, an elite special forces soldier who must watch his wife get murdered right before his eyes just shortly before his own death. He’s brought back to life and given superhuman strength and endurance along with the ability to quickly heal from any injuries he sustains. As Garrison begins to master his new abilities, he slowly begins to remember his past life and learn the truth about what has happened to him.
While Vin Diesel isn’t exactly known for his stellar acting abilities, director David S. F. Wilson and writers Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer mitigate this by keeping his dialogue to a minimum and allowing him to be a man of action. Diesel is buttressed by a brilliant supporting cast, including Eiza González, who plays KT, another former soldier brought back to life. The brilliant Guy Pearces plays Dr. Emil Harting, the scientific mastermind behind the duo’s cybernetic superpowers. Diesel is right at home as Ray Garrison, and for the most part, the role doesn’t demand much that he can’t handle.
Head of cinematography Jacques Jouffret brings a strong sense of style to the film that oozes from nearly every frame, particularly during action sequences.
The plot, unlike your average superhero movie, doesn’t follow a standard clear-cut origin story path with a villain who can be seen coming a mile away. Instead, Bloodshot features a number of twists in the vein of movies such as Memento. All of this is achieved within a runtime of just under two hours as Bloodshot trims the fat and keeps the plot moving at a steady pace. The movie relies heavily on CGI, particularly for the fight scenes during the climax, but it remains of a high quality.
While the rest of the cast does a great job supporting Diesel, having him as the lead hurts the movie during its more emotional moments. He struggles to convey the full weight of the emotional distress that his character undergoes. The narrative is clean and solid, with no major dangling threads or logical inconsistencies despite its twists and turns.
Superhero movies may be becoming a bit of a stale genre now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has peaked, but Bloodshot certainly isn’t a standard, run-of-the-mill superhero movie. It proves that done right, superhero movies can still bring something new to the big screen and blow audiences away at the same time.
Featured Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures