There were about 26 people – I might have missed the count by one or two - in attendance opening night in the auditorium where I saw “Bloodshot.”
Now, I understand there may be several reasons for this. First, it was Thursday, which seemed to be a kind of tipping point for the COVID-19 virus. On that day, in role as a reporter, I visited several stores where empty shelves revealed the run on hand sanitizer and people were stocking up on toilet paper.
Maybe the skimpy audience turnout was because of the pandemic.
But maybe it also was because this is a pretty crummy movie, and bad news travels fast.
“Bloodshot” is an adaptation of the Valiant Comics superhero with Vin Diesel in the starring role as Garrison.
He comes home one night to his wife Gina (Tallulah Riley, television’s “Westworld”) but soon after is attacked by the crew hired by Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell, “The Hurricane Heist.”)
Garrison loses consciousness and awakens to find the nutty, sadistic Axe, dressed specifically for the occasion, apparently, mocking him and dancing to the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” (this was, admittedly, my favorite part, because it seems to be the offspring of the classic moment in “Reservoir Dogs” with Michael Madsen and “Stuck In the Middle With You.”)
All the while, this mad scientist, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce,) who has something to say about the tune, watches the proceedings from a high-tech laboratory.
Garrison is about to become a highly engineered soldier (you know this going in if you’ve seen the trailers.
Although the “Psycho Killer” dance sequence is my favorite moment, the character of Wilfred Wigans (Lamorne Morris, “Yesterday”) is my favorite part of the ensemble. He’s a coding wizard who understands what’s going on with Garrison.
I can’t tell you much more than this. The story contains pieces of “Universal Soldier,” the “Terminator” flicks, “Total Recall” and “Upgrade,” all far-superior films.
I get a kick out of Diesel, but he has played roles like this previously. This one is not nearly as much fun as his “The Fast and the Furious” Dom.
The plot, because of this, is cheap. There’s a lot of action, a lot of CGI and a lot of “PG-13” violence. Something tells me a director’s “R”-rated cut probably is on its way to Blu-Ray.
I’d also bet this was supposed to be the beginning of a superhero franchise. I’d be surprised if that really happens.
This is only for those Diesel fans who can’t wait to see him in “Fast & Furious 10,” slated for next year.