by Philip Price
Director: Dave Wilson
Starring: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce & Eiza Gonzalez
Runtime: 1 hour & 49 minutes
In this comic book take on “Groundhog Day” Vin Diesel plays a slain soldier with superpowers who is re-animated time and time again to carry out the nefarious deeds of one, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce).
Going into “Bloodshot” I understood that there was an audience out there for both the film and this character that I simply wasn't a part of. Director Dave Wilson is a storied visual effects guy who makes his feature debut with this film based on a Valiant Comic series that began in 1992 and - from what I can tell - is the small comic book house's most popular character. Again, it's not hard for me to understand why this might be the case given the character's story is largely that of Steve Rogers combined with the aforementioned reliable trope that is throwing your protagonist into a time loop and forcing them to learn a mandatory lesson in order to set things right, but just because I understand it doesn't mean I get it.
This little chestnut of a plot device could easily come off as little more than cliché, but given we've seen it used as recently and to great effect in movies like “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Happy Death Day” there was a sliver of hope that at least one of the film's two major components might be executed effectively. Unfortunately for Sony and Diesel (not to mention Wilson), there will be no “2 Blood 2 Shot” as this thing was doomed even before it delayed its release to the weekend before the world shut down. This is to say that “Bloodshot” utilizes neither the appeal of its titular character nor does it do anything fresh or different with the time loop conceit despite having the hook that this time loop exists only because our villains repeatedly wipe a super hero's brain clean in order to use him to fulfill their own personal agendas. Wilson seemingly decided to try and replicate everything he's seen people do before rather than strike out on his own in any regard as his film doesn't so much seek to set itself apart from the pack as much as it does just try to fit in. It is in this quest for "generic-ness" that viewers might spot blatant rip-offs or "homages" to genre wizards like Sam Raimi and Michael Bay not to mention the fact that-like in his fellow super soldier's film - there is an action sequence that takes place on an elevator. Ironically enough, it's this elevator sequence that contains what feels like the only piece of inventive filmmaking on display. What's not ironic is the fact a movie that largely rests on a cyclical plot does in fact get old pretty quick.