Those that entertain us sometimes talk of being ‘typecast’, they fear it, more than cats fear water. It’s when you can’t see that person for anything other than a particular role. It is reportedly why Daniel Craig wants to leave Bond and why Daniel Radcliffe does everything he can to shake off Harry Potter.
Not restricted exclusively to people called Daniel, old deep voiced Vin Diesel (“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2”, “Fast & Furious 8”), is also falling into this trap. Inevitable really when he’s coming up to his tenth Fast & Furious film and has, bizarrely, lent his voice to a character who says ‘I’, ‘am’ and ‘Groot’, exclusively in that order.
Bloodshot is his new film, that he also produces, in which he plays Ray Garrison / Bloodshot, a former army soldier who was killed in action and, rather than just remaining dead, he is brought back to life by nutty professor Dr. Emil Harting, Guy Pearce (“Domino”, “Brimstone”).
Harting is in the habit of bring back soldiers who have been killed in action and enhancing them. Things like: adding super metal legs, Jimmy Dalton, Sam Heughan (“Outlander (TV)”, “Emulsion”), or replacing eyes, Tibbs, Alex Hernandez (“UnReal (TV)”, “Hemlock Grove (TV)”), or the ability to breathe again, KT, Eiza Gonzalez (“Baby Driver”, “Alita: Battle Angel”).
Garrison is brought back to life with no memory of his previous life, until he hears a song that triggers those memories. This is when he remembers that a bad man killed his wife, in front of him, so he uses his new super powers, that Harting has given him, nano bots that mean he’s virtually indestructible, to track the man down.
He’s then brought back to Harting’s HQ when we learn the truth, in case you haven’t already got it by then. What follows is a by the book, we’ve seen it all before, mundane action film that’s light on the action.
We should talk about the chase scene too. There’s a moment when Diesel visits his wife, in London, has a chat on the doorstep and then vanishes only to be chased down by Dalton and Tibbs, through the streets, of somewhere that is 100%, absolutely not London. The cars don’t have UK plates, the police cars don’t have UK markings, and have weapons in the back of them, the streets aren’t London streets, the buildings are low, red-roofed, white-walled buildings. It looks like South Africa, it is South Africa, it certainly isn’t London.
Dave Wilson is the man behind the camera, his only other foray was one of the shorts from the Netflix anthology “Love, Death & Robots”, with Jeff Wadlow (“Kick-Ass 2”, “Fantasy Island”) and Eric Heisserer (“Bird Box”, “Arrival”) on writing duties.
It’s fair to say the movie is a bit of a mess. You aren’t on the edge of your seat, Diesel croaks his way through it and you feel like you could just be watching another Fast & Furious movie at times, particularly at the end, I wonder if it’s written into his contract that all films must end with him cliff-side, driving, into the sunset?
There’s some light relief from Lamorne Morris (“Human Discoveries (TV)”, “Jumanji: The Next Level”), who plays a techie with a Dick Van Dyke-esq British accent.
Pearce is the man who shines, he relishes his inner bad guy. Dalton meanwhile is the most irritating character you’ll ever see on screen which, if this was how Heughan was meant to play it, he nails it.
There’s not much more to say about Bloodshot. It could have been great, it should have been great, but it’s all a bit ‘meh’.