For a CGI nanotech superhero, Bloodshot (2020) is over-clocked and under-powered.

I always find myself rooting for Vin Diesel and want his movies to do well, for his sake if for no other reason. He’s always so deadly earnest and focused on them that criticizing them seems feels a little like bopping an over-enthusiastic puppy on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. That being said, “Bloodshot” makes it really, really hard not to start rolling up that periodical.

After he and his wife are murdered, marine Ray Garrison (Diesel) is resurrected using nanotechnology by a team of scientists led by Doctor Emil Harting (Guy Pearce). The nanites coursing through his resurrected body endow Ray with superhuman abilities but Ray struggles to remember anything about his former life. Until, that is, memories of the man who killed both him and his wife surface and Ray sets out to get revenge. But when he breaks out of the facility where he has been held and exacts his vengeance, he discovers there’s much more to his situation than he was led to believe.

Now I can’t comment as to the quality or content of the original comics because I’ve never read them but it seems clear to me that whatever merit they may have has been lost en route to the screen. As a film, “Bloodshot” is dispiritingly generic, and so cliched it feels about thirty yeaers out of date, occasionally with effects to match. Diesel’s performance is as gruffly dependable as always but there’s nothing in this drab, grey movie for him to spark off, so it never manages to rise above its po-faced tone. Guy Pierce picks up his paycheque for phoning in the offcuts of his performance as Aldrich Killian and must, by now, have informed his agent that he never wants to play another ‘duplicitous scientist who creates super-soldiers by injecting them with dangerous and experimental high-tech treatments’ ever again.

Back in the 1990s, before the current superhero movie golden age, this may have passed muster but now it just seems tired, dated and bloated by a tiresome overuse of slow motion, an abundance of which likely makes up about twenty minutes of the film’s run time which, at ten minutes shy of two hours, boasts far too few memorable moments or visuals.

4/10

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