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  Bloodshot Nano State
Year: 2020
Director: Dave Wilson
Stars: Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Tallulah Riley, Lamorne Morris, Guy Pearce, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Alex Hernandez, Siddharth Dhananjay, Tamer Burjaq, Clyde Berning, David Dukas, Charlie Bouguenon, Tyrel Meyer, Alex Anlos
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is a special ops soldier who has been assigned to Mombasa where he and his troops carried out a raid on a terrorist cell, executing them all, but he is so good at his job that he is bound to make enemies somewhere. So it is that he was taking a break with his wife (Tallulah Riley) when she was kidnapped and he shortly joined her, the victims of dangerous criminal Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell) who demanded to know who had sent him. When Garrison couldn't tell him, Axe murdered his wife, to his horror, and the next thing he knew he was waking up on a table in a lab. He had been killed himself - but somehow revived by the most cutting edge science imaginable.

You know, like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren were in Universal Soldier, only here it was one person who was turned into the sentient, impervious, undead supersoldier. If this was already giving you flashbacks, much as its lead character suffered, then there was not much original to be appreciated in what had started life as a comic book superhero, the first of the Valiant comics line to be adapted we were breathlessly told, though that would only matter to a very specific audience. To everyone else simply wanting a mindless night out at the pictures, the project's provenance was not going to be of any interest, what mattered first and foremost was entertainment.

That was something that arrived purely on a low level from Bloodshot, for a number of reasons, although it was a victim itself, of an unfortunate release schedule. The problem was it was released the week that coronavirus was tightening its grip on the world, and audiences were increasingly reluctant to visit a cinema and spend time with possibly infected strangers when they could be self-isolating at home. This movie just didn't look like an attractive enough proposition to venture out and watch when your life was in your hands, and thus it flopped, though to be fair so did ever other movie out that week. So what to do? How to recoup the studio's losses? Here's where streaming mattered.

As with a number of other productions on the release slate on and around the lockdown date, Bloodshot was rushed onto streaming, where it managed to make some of its money back, except it had to be content with a plethora of other distractions and appeals to the home audience's attention. The fact remained, it did not really justify that interest since it was very little you hadn't seen before, and though it picked up a few fans who were happy to see the same old clichés rolled out for the umpteenth time - kidnapped female character, goodie who turns out to be baddie, invincibility for the protagonist which eliminates any possible peril or suspense - but for most folks familiarity bred, if not contempt, then a certain jaded response. Not helping was an overall joyless tone to director Dave Wilson's helming.

Add to that a production design that looked inspired by corporate restroom architecture from start to finish, and you had an action flick that was not very easy on the eye, and the expensive special effects to demonstrate Garrison's nanobots piecing him back together at regular intervals were not exactly aesthetically pleasing either. To make this material spring to life it needed far more imagination, otherwise it was simply another adventure thriller affair that took itself far too seriously with too little to be serious about. The cast were by no means a letdown, Diesel was not everyone's cup of tea but Eiza González and Guy Pearce in support to him were no slouches, yet even they would largely blend in with the shades of grey in the colour scheme, not one inspired line of dialogue between them. Just sort of OK was not going to cut the mustard in the hypercritical world of this era's movies. Music by Steve Jablonsky (probably the best element).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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