Toss Robocop, Captain America and Wolverine into a bag, knead them all together and the result is Bloodshot. Maybe this aspiring franchise for Vin Diesel should have been called One Shot — Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen having already claimed Long Shot — because we probably won’t see another movie with this character. Yet the premise, based on a Valiant Comics series, has potential.
Killed after a hostage rescue, special forces soldier Ray Garrison (Diesel) becomes an unwitting test subject for an experimental program that fills his blood with billions of microscopic robots. These nanites instantly repair any wound he suffers, while also providing him with enhanced strength, speed and stamina. The tiny machines also keep Garrison connected to the internet, government databases, satellite imagery and any other resource that allows a high-tech operative to carry out his missions with lethal efficiency.
Being stronger and faster than any adversary while being able to heal quickly from any injury (including gunshots to the head) leaves very little drama for a story. But first-time director Dave Wilson utilizes his visual-effects background to stage some impressive action scenes, one of which occurs in a cloud of flour. (It looks much cooler than it sounds.) And the script by Jeff Wadlow (Fantasy Island) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) generates internal conflict for Garrison by questioning whether he’s a puppet manipulated by the nanites’ creator, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce).
A better actor than Diesel might make Garrison’s uncertainty look more convincing, but portraying an unstoppable killing machine suits his skills just fine. Unfortunately, he’ll probably have to look elsewhere for another series to go with the everlasting Fast & Furious juggernaut.