Review: Smart-dumb 'Bloodshot' powered by Diesel

Vin Diesel is a genetically modified super-assassin in action thriller that hits its shot

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

There's a comforting familiarity to "Bloodshot," an assemblage of action clichés that cribs liberally from "The Matrix," "The Terminator" and even Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel." 

In it, Vin Diesel plays a bio-engineered, genetically modified super-assassin named Ray Garrison, code name Bloodshot.

Vin Diesel in "Bloodshot."

But with his bald head, mono-syllabic utterances and preference for form-fitting tank tops, a strong case can be made that he's just playing Vin Diesel, and at any point he could make a reference to "family" and drive off in a souped up Dodge Charger.

Which wouldn't be all that disappointing. You don't come to "Bloodshot," which is based on the character from the Valiant Comics, hoping for much. If it overdelivers with its stylistic dollop of action mayhem, it's a credit to both measured expectations and director Dave Wilson's handling of the material. 

Ray Garrison is killed, along with his wife, and is brought back to life by a team of scientists (led by Guy Pearce's Dr. Emil Harting) who turn him into a "multi-billion dollar prototype" whose brain is outfitted with "1 million wireless microprocessors" and other fancy-sounding gobbledygook.  

It turns out Garrison is being programmed, through memory manipulation, to kill whomever Harting and his team want him to kill. But with the help of fellow bio-soldier KT (Eiza González), Ray fights back, a quarter mile at a time. 

Whoops, wrong movie, but you get the picture. Punches and explosions pile up (along with a few laughs, courtesy of "New Girl's" Lamorne Morris, who plays a scene-stealing computer techie), and "Bloodshot" hits its target. It's Diesel-powered dumb fun. 



Rated PG-13: for intense sequences of violence, some suggestive material and language

Running time: 109 minutes