Ray is a total badass with a hot wife. Life is good. (or is it?) When he and his wife are killed by a psycho bad guy (or is he?) Ray is shocked to find himself reanimated with robot blood and no memory. When bits and pieces start coming back, he becomes dead set on payback (or is he?). Can he take down the real bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Bloodshot.
How?! If you can’t tell from the short synopsis, this is a film with all sorts of twist-em-ups. We are introduced to Ray as an all around American hero. He is saving hostages one day and then heading to the Amalfi Coast with his perfectly beautiful wife the next. But this is all shattered when a psycho demands information from Ray that he doesn’t have. But just when it looks like Ray and his wife have been killed and the movie is over you are shocked (shocked!) to find out that the previously deceased Ray has been turned into a memoryless super soldier by a company, RST, using nanobots. While he’s still getting used to having all kinds of tiny robots for blood, Ray starts having flashbacks about the man who killed his wife. Enraged, he goes on a mission and uses all of his totally badass superpowers to take out anyone in his way and kill the man. But just when you think the movie is again over you are shocked (shocked!) to find that in fact Ray’s previous life is all a simulation meant to implant his next target into his brain (what a twist!). But things start going awry when on the next mission Ray is knocked out by an EMP and revived by a totally elite hacker who informs him about what is actually going on. Now really enraged (for real this time), Ray leaves and visits his wife who turns out to not be dead… and also turns out to not be his wife at all. Now even more enraged, Ray is confronted by some other RST super soldiers and is subdued. But with the help of his friends (aww) he is able to escape and proceeds to have a big ol’ fight with the super soldiers and this time wins (duh). He then murders the CEO of RST and wins the day. THE END.
Why?! Ray’s motivations are always on the side of good… or at least on the side of good as he perceives it. It’s always for revenge against those he thought killed his wife or against those that have really wronged him. The antagonist’s motivations are, as always, more interesting. Ray is just his super soldier, but he has started using him as a method of taking out his former partners in the company turned rivals. This, of course, turns out poorly because life… finds a way.
Who?! There are a whole bunch of special thanks in the film, but none are particularly interesting. A few are comic book writers who had some influence on the character or story, but not enough to get a full credit and then some people that helped with production in South Africa. Probably the best though is Eric the hacker who is a Planchet in the sense that everyone makes fun of him the whole time. The only issue is that, while talented at what he does, he is one of the enemies and easily bested by a better hacker in the end. The actor who plays him, Siddharth Dhananjay, also seems to be a Youtube rapper.
What?! Some mild product placement with people using Sony phones and tablets left and right. That’s probably what should have alerted Vin Diesel to it all being a simulation. When he looks around and everyone is jamming out on their Sony phones and tablets without an Apple product in sight he should be like “wait a second.” And Eric the hacker is like “sorry, the simulation is sponsored by Sony.”
Where?! Beautiful settings film. We start in “Kenya” and head to “Italy” before landing in the first actual location of Malaysia. We then proceed to have some sweet battles in Hungary and England. While disappointing that the first two locations turn out to be simulations, Malaysia and Hungary are two incredible spots to set this film in. B+.
When?! Sure feels like the near future, but it’s really hard to tell. They don’t give us much considering the entire plot and film takes place in a bit of a crazy super soldier computer simulation bubble where things either feel like the current day or several decades in the future. F until I find out otherwise.
I will say I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I thought from the trailers that this would be dumb garbage. It’s still not smart garbage, but I think it does a number of things a lot better than I expected. Better visuals, particularly some striking use of color that was fun to watch. Better plot, which honestly seemed like it was shaping up to be a true travesty thirty minutes into the film, but used the twist to rescue it a bit. Better set-up for an actual series, although who knows if that will actually happen now. I didn’t really like the end battle and Vinny D had two scenes where he is meant to look sad and it’s… quite something to behold, but overall that still shakes out to be a fairly good BMT film. Should I break it out? Sure. It’s not that bad! Not that bad! Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Much like Vinny D in Bloodshot, BMT Live! cannot be stopped. No, we won’t be heading out to the cinema, we managed to catch one of the qualifying films which has crashed onto streaming platforms early, and we are counting it. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – Prior to the film coming out I had an inkling this was going to be another film that got like … 35-50% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m glad I was kind of wrong, it ended up being decidedly slammed by critics … but it still felt like it was going to be disappointingly blah. That it was either going to qualify but not really be that bad (Hunter Killer), or not qualify and then I’d watch it and be like “blah” (xXx 3). So yeah, I was expecting another Hunter Killer basically. What were my expectations? I was just kind of hoping for it to be really really dumb. So dumb that it became funny that Vin Diesel keeps on getting work grumbling his lines in films not called Fast & Furious. That would make me pretty happy to be honest.
The Good – The first half of this film is legit kind of good. It starts off feeling dumb with a bunch of movie cliches, but then they pull out the twist (that is actually so large it ends up just being the conceit of the entire film) and I mostlydug it. It was really effective, and combined with it coming right after by far the best action sequence in the film I had an epiphany: this movie must just completely fall apart in the third act. There was little other explanation in my mind as to why critics would have slammed it, because the first half is good. I also like Lamorne Morris, and him doing what I assume is an intentionally bad British accent (a la Don Cheadle in Ocean’s Eleven) amused me.
The Bad – Ayup, the third act completely fell apart. It was mostly just that they screwed around in London a bit too long making the movie too long, and then they ended with a really bad action sequence at Bloodshot HQ in Malaysia. The actual worst thing in the film is Vin Diesel’s acting, but that is par for the course. He has two modes. Mode Fambly is him grumbling into the camera, and my brain just switches off at this point when Vinny D’s in Fambly Mode. The second is Super Serious Acting Mode, and he just doesn’t have it anymore. I think he once had it, but a combination of doing way too many Fast & Furious films, and him probably just getting lazy with age, means he just don’t got it any more. And when he tries to act it is actually embarrassing. Most of the rest of the film is just forgettable.
The BMT – Initially, I just kind of felt blah about the film. The first half was good-ish, the second half was bad-ish, let’s call the whole thing off. But now after writing everything out and watching Furious 7 for the Schooled section … are we sure Vin Diesel’s good? Strike that, are we sure Vin Diesel isn’t awful? Maybe that’s the legacy of this film, it’ll be the moment where I crossed the Rubicon and started to ironically enjoy Vin Diesel’s acting. That’s a decent legacy if I’m being honest. Did it meet my expectations? It wasn’t dumb enough. The twist in the middle would have had to be dumber. Like … make his wife like Guy Pearce’s wife and make her the big baddie? I’m there for that. But Vin Diesel grumbled at me, so that made me happy.
Roast-radamus – I think there is a small argument that the IT guy (Eric, played by Siddharth Dhananjay) is a Planchet (Who?), mostly serving to be dunked on by Guy Pearce and various other corporate employees. A few funny Product Placement (What?) with American Turkey Bourbon and Ford immediately coming to mind. A couple decent (if brief) Setting as a Character (Where?) with Malaysia serving as the location of Bad Company HQ, Hungary playing a big part in the first assassination, and London obviously. Probably all too small to be a real “character”, but still pretty fun. While there was a twist it wasn’t bad so I’ll leave that there. I think it has a better shot at Good than at the other superlatives, but likely it just won’t get any of those in the end.
StreetCreditReport.com – Very tough obviously to do real street credit reports this early in the year. In reality the cred comes from Vinny D who for whatever reason still headlines a bad action film outside of the F&F Universe every two years or so. I think this also gets a bit of cred by proving that cheesy comic books films are still squarely Marvel’s domain. Valiant can’t just roll in with Bloodshot and expect people to accept the ridiculous nonsense happening on screen immediately. You have to earn that cred. Finally, I mean, how can it avoid getting some bad movie cred for being a bad movie that just got torpedoed by a global pandemic? I’ll remember sheltering in place and watching Bloodshot, that’s for sure.
You Just Got Schooled – It felt like the right time to start catching up on my boy Vinny D’s filmography as I fell a bit behind on the F&F series. While I very much enjoyed Fast 5, I very much did not enjoy Fast & Furious 6. So I went into Furious 7 knowing that I probably was a bit “over” the series as a whole. And not surprisingly … the movie is just not very good. It is too long, everything looks stupid, and the script is an abomination. I know that is what they are going for, but I just don’t really get it, and that’s fine. A few positives. Obviously a good send off for the OG F&F star Walker; it’s got some great vistas, and I love vistas, including a very rare Azerbaijan setting; and the addition of Shaw, who provided an “invincible bad guy” to convincingly go up against The Fambly. Overall, some positives, but again … I don’t get it! C+.
Live Theater Review (Shelter in Place Edition) – I guess I’ll keep this short. I watched on Movies Anywhere in the comfort of my own flat. On the one hand it allowed me to watch in two pieces which is a somewhat unsatisfying experience. That’s on me though, and more about self-discipline (of which I have very little). On the other hand, I didn’t sit miserably in the theater watching a movie I didn’t really want to see. So it was a mixed bag. I guess we’ll see how the Spring session goes. C.