Film Review: Bloodshot (2020)

Release Date: March 5th, 2020 (Germany)
Directed by: David S. F. Wilson
Written by: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer
Based on: Bloodshot by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, Bob Layton
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce

Annabell Pictures, Bona Film Group, Cross Creek Pictures, The Hideaway Entertainment, Original Film, One Race Films, Valiant Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, 109 Minutes

Review:

“Control-Command-BURN THE BUILDING DOWN!” – Wilfred Wigans

Bloodshot was a comic book character that I always thought looked cool as hell when I was a kid in the ’90s. I read some of his earlier stuff that was put out by Valiant Comics and I thought it was all pretty entertaining, edgy ’90s shit.

However, this version of the character is not the same guy that he was in the comics, as his origin and look are completely different. But I guess Vin Diesel just likes looking like Vin Diesel. When you’re a producer, I guess you get to call some of the shots, even the ones that are detrimental to your own production.

The comic book Bloodshot, from the era that I read, was an ex-mobster. Here, he’s some brainwashed soldier stuck in a Groundhog Day computer simulation. Frankly, it’s really fucking lame.

As the film rolls on, Bloodshot starts to figure shit out and what should be a simple, straightforward story, becomes a convoluted mess of a movie where the writers tried to be smarter than they needed to be. Hell, they tried to be smarter than they’re apparently capable of and overplayed their hand. The smarter this film tries to be and the more it takes itself too seriously, the dumber and worse it gets.

This didn’t start out bad but it ended up being a slow, wet fart that soiled the picture’s pants.

Bloodshot is derivative as fuck and I guaran-damn-tee the writers, director and producers thought they were striking gold with this shit. It’s got that sort of young Hollywood smarm all over it and at best, it’s a SyFy movie of the week from fifteen years ago.

Honestly, though, I didn’t hate this. It didn’t have enough for me to latch onto in any sort of emotional or tangible way. It’s boring, tortuous and it looks drab as hell. If I’m being honest, I had a hard time staying awake watching this.

The comic book version of the Bloodshot character was infinitely more interesting, cooler and badass.

This comes across as a vanity project for Diesel, who wanted to be in a comic book movie where he got to show his face. I guess voicing Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie wasn’t getting him the visual recognition he wants from single mother strippers buying Marvel bedsheets for their kids.

Rating: 4.5/10
Pairs well with: other comic book flicks that come nowhere near close to the higher quality standards of modern Marvel movies.

Comic Review: Bloodshot, Vol. 1: Blood of the Machine

Published: November 6th, 2012
Written by: Kevin VanHook
Art by: Don Perlin

Valiant Entertainment, 200 Pages

Review:

I feel like my love for everything Image Comics in the early ’90s overshadowed some of the other comics I liked but didn’t pick up as regularly. I read Bloodshot books back in the day but wasn’t as loyal as I feel I should have been. Valiant had some great titles but my Image fanboyness was super powerful and now I feel like I need to rectify my past sins.

I picked up this collection because it is old school O.G. Bloodshot. I’m glad that I did because it grabbed me from the first panel and it was a hard book to put down. I don’t often read things in one sitting but Blood of the Machine gave me an hour or so of pure enjoyment.

Plus, this book gave me an introduction into two other major Valiant characters: Rai and Ninjak. Both of the stories that featured them used them a bit sparingly but it still familiarized me with them enough to get me to want to check out their books too. Sadly, no X-O Manowar in this, who was my favorite Valiant hero after Bloodshot.

Bloodshot spends the majority of this book searching for answers to his past. He doesn’t know his identity or why he is this super solider with fast healing nanomites in his blood and enhanced senses and physical abilities. As this collection rolls on, we discover some answers as Bloodshot does.

This is a collection of the first eight issues of Bloodshot ever released. It isn’t a complete story arc with any sort of natural conclusion. It continues on beyond this and this is more or less a small sample into the larger Bloodshot and Valiant universe.

I loved the art style, which to be honest, felt dated by ’90s standards but worked for this book. I also loved how the dialogue was displayed in a more angular and aggressive style than typical comic book lettering. Granted, it just looks more like italicized Comic Sans but it had a nice flow to it that wasn’t the standard look.

Blood of the Machine is a great starting point as it is the starting point for Bloodshot.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: Other early Bloodshot collections, as well as other Valiant titles from the same era.