Updated: Apr 12
Directed by: David S. W. Wilson, Written by: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer, Starring: Vin Diesel, Talulah Riley, Eiza Gonzalez.
Based of the Valiant comic book series created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton.
It’s never easy to to start a universe. Sony tried with Spider-Man, twice. Neither time did it work out. Universal tried with their “monsterverse;” that failed. Legendary are trying with their “Kaiju;” that’s going slow but still going. It seems that no one can truly recreate the magic that Marvel did with their cinematic universe. Although Sony are going to try again with Bloodshot.
After a successful mission to save a hostage, war veteran Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) spends time with his wife, before they are both kidnapped and killed by the man responsible for the hostage situation. Ray is then awakened by a team of enhanced soldiers, lead by scientist Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) who explain that Ray is now enhanced by the nanites in his body, giving him superhuman abilities. With one thing on his mind, to track down the killer of his wife, he now is on a path that could uncover more than he first thought.
Vin Diesel plays Ray Garrison, aka Bloodshot. Diesel is his normal self in what seems to be a role that he’s just comfortable in. Guy Pearce plays tech philanthropist / scientist Emil Harting. Pearce’s performance lacks in places where for some reason he slips into an Irish accent. However the biggest misguided attempt at an accent would be from Lamorne Morris, who has the worst English accent I’ve ever witnessed on film. Hands down beating Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
The film shines in places where you might not expect it, the CGI of “Bloodshot” where tech meets skin was at times very good, which unfortunately adds to how frustrating some of the other “standard” CGI shots could be so bad. It baffles my mind how they could get a headshot reverse-engineered by nano bots to look so good, yet a pair of prosthetic legs happened to challenge them.
The movie also struggles when it comes to comparisons of the original source material. Slightly bigger actor, I can let slide. That actor keeping his bald head so we don’t get the Ray from the comic with full head of hair, I can let that slide, too. When you don’t use the “alter ego” properly of Bloodshot: making him turn silver during his fits of rage...that’s something that was very disappointing.
Unfortunately it just is a slightly disappointing film. Doing nothing to really develop the character as it just meanders into a generic action film too easily. With twists and turns that I think many people would see coming.
It may sound rather harsh towards a film with Vin Diesel, however, we are living in the golden age of comic book films. Films that were once snubbed by the Oscars, but have now gotten people truly talking about how good they can be. So even though this is a fun outing for another Vin Diesel film, I hold films to a high expectation. This film does nothing for the genre, but on a personal note, I do hope people go and see it and get enjoyment from it as much as they can (consider it the next installment of the XXX film franchise!). The MCU started off with an ok film and was able to develop into one of the best cinematic universes there has been, and possibly ever will be. I just hope that Valiant gets their chance to develop and improve on what was a bumpy start.
First cameo appearance – Eternal Warrior #2 (1992)
First Full appearance – Rai #0 (1992)