Valiant Comics is not a brand that most think of when they think of comic book films, and with good reason: to my knowledge, they haven’t really done anything. However, if a company like them that has been around since 1988 is going to make the transition to the big screen, they should probably do it with their most popular title to date and do so with a first time director in Dave Wilson with “Bloodshot”.
Vin Diesel stars here as Ray Garrison, a special ops soldier that is killed after not being able to give up a source that saved hostages in the Middle East. He is brought back from the dead by the RST corporation, led by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), whose company specializes in taking wounded soldiers and making them into technologically-altered weapons. With nanites in his bloodstream, he is virtually invincible, has super strength, an almost instant healing ability, and a supercomputer for a brain. However, this comes with a price, as he finds out that RST is planting memories in his brain to do their bidding. Once he finds this out, he plots revenge on those that have done this to him, but how can he do that if they control his mind?
What works for this film to me is the fact that those outside of the comic book community don’t know enough about this property to nitpick it. I only have a passive knowledge of “Bloodshot,” so I was truly able to enjoy this film as a check-your-brain-at-the-door action film, and I dare to say one of Diesel’s best works to date. You know what you are in for with him, so anyone that goes into his performance here just needs to go on an arthouse film marathon and leave this one alone.
Since this is from Sony, there were some moments where I felt the visual effects were borrowed from some of their “Spider-Man” films, but they are done well. The action sequences are fast-paced and high octane, and even though the choreography itself left a bit to be desired, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of “Bloodshot”. Getting to see it in IMAX didn’t hurt either as this is the kind of film that really should be experienced in a premium-style presentation.
As these things tend to do, this is left to start what could be a franchise (the character has been around for almost twenty years, so they have a lot to work with), but in this case I am intrigued to see where it goes from here. There are a couple of threads here and there that could be examined (not going into it, as they could be spoilers for this film), but no matter what direction the filmmakers decided to go, I am here for it.