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First of all, no. I've never read the comic book, so I didn't know a single thing about the superhero Bloodshot going in. What I did know was that Jeff Wadlow was in command of the screenplay, and we all know how extremely horrible his latest movies are (Truth or Dare, Fantasy Island). Add Vin Diesel as the protagonist and a first-time director (David S. F. Wilson), it's impossible to have high expectations for such a film, no matter how good the source material is. Maybe it could surprise me and end up being a reasonably decent flick...
It didn't. Bloodshot is even worse than I expected. I genuinely thought that the action would be the movie's savior. I didn't watch any trailers, as usual, but I did see an image here and there of that red smoke, as well as a couple of glances at the regenerating CGI. Honestly, it's the most disappointing aspect of the whole film. Simply because it's the only thing I was expecting to be decent, at least. The "final battle" has some of the worst CGI of the century, and it goes on for way too long. There's an abundance of shaky-cam, the editing is truly awful at times, a lot of action sequences are barely understandable, and even the slow-motion is overused.
However, the reason why the movie ultimately fails is, once again, due to Wadlow's screenplay (which he co-wrote with Eric Heisserer, but Wadlow is the main one). As always, his narrative is a total mess. Confusing, lacks creativity, raises tons of logical questions, and the real past of Ray Garrison is empty of any explanation. The ending is not only predictable and formulaic, but it also generates even more questions, leaving the viewer frustrated with so many unanswered plot points. David Leitch and Chad Stahelski (both have Deadpool and John Wick in their filmography) left the project right after being hired as the directors... I wonder why?!
The first minutes are probably the best of the entire runtime. I mean, excluding a not-sexy-at-all scene featuring Vin Diesel and Talulah Riley (Gina Garrison). That was cringe-worthy. Nevertheless, the story's concept is really captivating, to say the least (or the comic book wouldn't have its remarkable success). It's one of those action flicks that could easily turn into a successful franchise if the people involved in the project are more talented. With this, I transition to another of my main issues: Vin Diesel.
Very rarely, I negatively criticize an actor's performance. I admit that I'm easily pleased by any cast. If you ask me "what's an actor/actress you don't like?", I would probably be stuck for an answer. Diesel's display is so emotionless that even someone like me can be affected by it. Besides being a rock throughout the whole film, Diesel has this weird habit of TALKING VERY LOUD AND CLEAR, only to instantly lower his volume so much that he's almost whispering. He does this consecutively and repeatedly in almost every dialogue.
There's no care for developing a single character, not even the protagonist. Everyone is just a stereotype of some secondary action character: the funny IT guy, the hot girl who develops feelings for the hero, the male teammate who gets jealous that his alpha territory gets invaded, and the "motivation-less bad guy who's made look like a good guy in the beginning, but we all know who he truly is"... Literally, the two most talented actors (Toby Kebbell and Talulah Riley) are the ones with the least amount of screentime.
In the end, Bloodshot is even worse than I expected. The messy, formulaic, and logically questionable screenplay by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer is the worst aspect of the movie, but the action is undoubtedly the most disappointing one. The "final fight" is one of the worst CGI sequences of the century, and the action throughout the runtime is filled with an uncontrollable shaky-cam, an excess of slow-motion, and some poor editing, making most of these scenes incredibly hard to follow. Vin Diesel delivers as much emotion as a rock, and while the rest of the cast is fine, the characters follow every single stereotype ever written for an action flick. It also doesn't help to put a first-time director in charge of the whole thing, but David S. F. Wilson is far from being the one to blame. Occasionally good action moments and a great concept just barely keep the film breathing. It's one of the worst movies of the year.