Summary: Ray Garrison, an elite soldier who was killed in battle, is brought back to life by an advanced technology that gives him the ability of super human strength and fast healing. With his new abilities, he goes after the man who killed his wife, or at least, who he believes killed his wife. He soon comes to learn that not everything he learns can be trusted. The true question is: Can he even trust himself?
Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st March 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: 7th April 2020
Country: United States, China
Director: Dave Wilson
Screenwriter: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer, Kevin VanHanhook (comic book), Bob Layton (comic book), Don Perlin (comic book)
Cast: Siddharth Dhananjay (Eric), Vin Diesel (Ray Garrison/Bloodshot), Eiza Gonzalez (KT), Alex Hernandez (Tibbs), Sam Heughan (Jimmy Dalton), Johannes Haukur Johannosson (Nick Baris), Toby Kebbell (Martin Axe), Lamorne Morris (Wilfred Wigans), Guy Pearce (Dr. Emil Harting), Talulah Riley (Gina Garrison)
Running Time: 109 mins
Classification: M (Australia) TBA (Thailand)
OUR BLOODSHOT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Bloodshot Review:
Actor Vin Diesel has become a super-star off the back of the Fast & Furious, XXX and Riddick franchises but over recent years he has rarely strayed from either, perhaps preferring to sticking to what he knows best. That is what makes Bloodshot such an interesting prospect. Arguably, one of the world’s biggest action stars rarely branching out to start something new, and something that from the look of the trailer looks interesting enough to take a chance on.
Based on the popular Valiant Comics series Bloodshot the film centres on Special Forces soldier Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel – The Fast & The Furious) who after returning from a mission is kidnapped and murdered alongside his wife, Gina Garrison (Talulah Riley – Inception).
He then wakes up in the laboratory of Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce – Memento) having being re-animated and turned into a super-soldier. While Harting marvels at his creation he quickly adds him to his team of super soldiers but while working with team leader Katie (Elza Gonzalez – Alita: Battle Angel) he suddenly has flashbacks and decides to seek revenge for what has happened. But what is real and what is a figment of his imagination… that is what he has to find out.
That is actually one of the joys of watching Bloodshot. The film has so many twists and turns that it is impossible to ever work out what is going to happen next. With a brilliant screenplay from Jeff Wadlow (Truth Or Dare) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) the line between the truth and fiction and is often tested and the audience is left in the dark to what is really happening in just the same way the characters are. The result is a film that contains such a suspense element that it lifts the storyline well above what most films in the action genre can ever achieve.
When it comes to the action genre there is something uniquely intelligent about Bloodshot. The screenplay is suspenseful and thought-provoking while director Dave Wilson (Love, Death & Robots) is a smart enough director to actually keep the action to a level that actually makes the story seem more believable. The fact that Wilson is a first time director is almost unbelievable as he handles this film with the expertise of a seasoned director with the experience of Steven Spielberg. Wilson creates some pretty impressive action sequences, including a sequence in a tunnel that does more than show that he is a director with a big future ahead of him
The only side of the film that lets it down slightly is the fact that after the film delivers its big twist that turns everything on its head, which happens about halfway through the film; it feels like the film then loses its greatest source of suspense. From then on the film seems to become a simple good versus evil storyline that is purely kept interesting by the fact that by that time the audience have become invested in the characters – especially Ray and Katie.
Because of that we should thank goodness that this is one action film that has bothered to put some effort into characterisation, but that can’t be said for all the characters we find here. While the screenplay does give us a pretty good notion of who characters like Ray and Katie are it falls dangerously with the ‘villains’ who become one dimensional and very comic-book like – the kinds of characters that we have seen in films thousands of times in the past.
The result of that also sees up and down performances by the main actors as well. The biggest loser here is Guy Pearce whose talents seem to be completely wasted as he plays a characterless villain who would have been more at home in a video game. On the flipside my biggest fear going into this film was that I would not be able to not see Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto or Xander Cage. Luckily though, the characterisation that the screenplay allows for Ray the film does actually allow Vin Diesel the opportunity to test his acting chops while also delivering so awesome action sequences. He is also well supported by Eiza Gonzelez who grouped with her performances in Baby Driver and Alita: Battle Angel is showing Hollywood why she is one of the biggest stars on the rise.
There are some things that sadly let down Bloodshot but there is more than enough to make this the perfect film to sat down and watch when you just don’t want to think. So engrossing is the storyline that it does feel like you are watching a television pilot that wants to draw you more into its universe. At the end of the day Bloodshot is well worth watching if you are looking for a good action film to lose yourself in.
This review by David Griffiths also appeared on www.lilithia.net
Has any other actor been impacted as much by the Corona virus pandemic as Vin Diesel? I can rack my brain but can’t think of any. First Diesel had his latest instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise pushed back by twelve months and then his beer of choice took a massive hit because of the Corona name. But both those things really pale into insignificance when you consider what happened to Diesel’s latest release Bloodshot – the unfortunate film due to open the week cinemas closed.
I have a lot of respect for Diesel as an actor. Not because he is one of those actors who has the acting skills to play dramatic roles in between his action juggernauts, but because he is a man who becomes so passionate about a project that he invests not only his money but also his heart and soul into it to make it happen. With Riddick Diesel bought the franchise to make sure it continued and now he is also one of the main producers of the epic Fast & Furious saga so he could keep some creative control over what happens to the characters that he loves so dearly.
It is the same with Bloodshot. A hardened comic book fan himself Diesel was more than aware of the Bloodshot series of comics created by Valiant Comics. Drawn to the series as a fan Diesel then melted my heart by declaring one of the reasons he got behind the film was because his son declared “Daddy, you are Bloodshot” when he was considering playing the role.
I’ll admit I was bought as soon as I heard about this film. One of my favourite action stars in a comic book film that was rumoured to have a pretty gruesome dark side. Then Covid-19 hit and Bloodshot became one of the biggest cinematic causalities of the fallout. With no media screenings on offer I saw the film in a general session on its opening night and there was only myself and one other guy in the cinema – another tragic soul who was willing to risk the impending plague in order to get a Diesel fix.
Now Bloodshot gets a second life in the cinemas and I can only pray that this time it gets a bigger audience because this is one of action film that I have to admit not only worked for me, but impressed me enough that I would love to see the film become a franchise… as long as they can fix up some of the issues I’ll list below.
For those who haven’t read the comics Diesel plays Ray Garrison a soldier who while celebrating his latest successful mission is kidnapped alongside his wife Gina (Talulah Riley – Inception). He then suffers the heart-breaking trauma of watching her murdered in front of him and when he wakes learns that he was also murdered but has been re-animated as a super-solider in a program run by inventive scientist Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce – Memento).
And that is where I will leave the synopsis for Bloodshot because to say anything else would be going into spoiler territory and this is a film that you can’t have spoilt for you. I think the reason that Bloodshot worked so well for me is because I knew nothing about where the story was going to go. As a result I sat there like a kid in a candy store as every twist and turn played out in front of me. Spectacular action aside what impressed me the most about Bloodshot was the suspenseful storyline with twists that I definitely didn’t see coming.
Having said that though there is a major flaw with this film. While Diesel is Bloodshot to a tee Guy Pearce is horribly miscast as Harting. Actually, maybe that is a little unfair because to be honest I am not sure whether he was miscast or whether Pearce could have done something with the character had it had been written as more than just a walking cliché.
That is the strange thing about this film. Bloodshot and KT (Eiza Gonzalez – Alita: Battle Angeli) are brilliantly written and as a result Diesel and Gonzalez shine. Sadly though most other characters are either under-written or are so one-dimensional that the audience has very little interest in them.
As an action film Bloodshot does overcome its flaws with an unpredictable storyline and two leads I felt led the way. Now I simply can’t wait to see if the franchise develops or whether the pandemic has put a dismal finale to it all.
One of the films that was most impacted by the Covid-19 closure of cinemas worldwide has been the new action thriller Bloodshot. The film was expected to be one of the biggest earners at the box office in 2020 but when the cinemas closed only days after it opened its earning were severely impacted to the point that the film didn’t even make back its budget.
It is a shame really as the well-plotted action flick starred cult hero Vin Diesel alongside star-on-the-rise Elza Gonzalez. Bloodshot though wasn’t just a film made for what it could potentially earn at the box office, this is a film that came about because of the passion of the team behind it – a passion that seemed to stem from its producer and leaning man Vin Diesel. The passionate gamer and comic book fan is a symbol of passion as he talks about a role that he seemed to be born to play.
“Bloodshot is the central character of the Valiant Comic universe,” he explains as he sits forward in his chair with the excitement of a child talking about Christmas. “He is a character who was formerly a soldier that is enhanced through technology and he is manipulated to become a corporate assassin. The idea though was to honour the spirit of Valiant comic books and Valiant were renegades in their day. They were developing super-heroes who were flawed in a more relatable way. So the idea of making a Bloodshot movie, and this sounds really crazy, but we were trying to create a different spin on the superhero narrative and we really wanted to attack these themes like post-traumatic stress disorder and we wanted to imagine how that plays with our concept of a superhero.”
“I went to see Dave Wilson and I took my son who was eight years old at the time,” explains Diesel as he talks about why he took on the role in the first place. “After Dave had shown us the whole project my son turned to me and said ‘Daddy you are Bloodshot.’”
As a film Bloodshot goes a lot deeper than most action films. Sure it would have been easy for director Dave Wilson to have just let the film become another epic beat-em-up with explosions galore, but here he takes the audience deeper into the world of a character who is extremely scarred from the events that he perceives has happened in his life… including the murder of his wife right in front of him.
The fact that Diesel gets to play with those emotions as he creates the character of Bloodshot means that the character itself ends up very different to many of the super-hero that these days grace our cinema screens. “What makes Bloodshot unique and different to other super-heroes is that there is always that questions of whether or not he is even a super-hero,” explains Diesel as he delves deeper into the character he portrays. “That is what is really compelling here, because he is not waking up and wanting to save the world; his agenda is not to save the planet. When you really get into the story you realise that his aim is to try and stop the insanity that is being induced on him. He is fighting for clarity, and that makes him a really unique kind of protagonist. That is what makes this so unique because it is not your really traditional super-hero movie. I think that was really the intent… in fact I know that was the intent as we started to delve into the Valiant cinematic universe.”
With one of the world’s biggest action heroes in the lead role and a film that has been designed to take its audience on an emotional journey rather than just shock and awe them with spectacular visuals Diesel says he can promise all his fans out there that they are in for something really special. “This is a movie that plays to a wider audience because it deals with real issues,” says Diesel nodding as he thinks about the question. “The idea of the forgotten soldier is something that we are all invested in, but I think it is so dynamic and I think it is a clever movie. I remember Guy Pierce saying at one of our cast rehearsals that he was glad that he had done Momento before he had done this movie because this movie was such a mind twist and to be honest I don’t get to make a lot of movies that have that kind of mind twist like a film like Momento has, so I think people will really enjoy the movie.”
As a film Bloodshot really does live up to the expectations that Diesel has for it so if you are a fan of good quality action that has the ability to take its audience on an emotional journey than this is one film that certainly won’t disappoint.
Bloodshot is available on various streaming platforms right now.
They say that the lights never go out in Hollywood. Well if they aren’t fully out at the moment then they are certainly very, very dim. As the Covid-19 virus goes on its deadly wave right across the planet Hollywood and the world’s film industry has become one of its biggest victims.
Right now as i write this this most of the world’s cinemas are in darkness – the projectors have stopped and the doors are closed. In Thailand cinemas are closed until April 1st while in America the cinemas are closed indefinitely. In Australia the cinema chains desperately tried to keep the doors open, but finally the week came where only one new film opened in cinemas and as people had started to fear going out in public the film was playing to empty cinemas. When you consider that film was The Current War starring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Tom Holland the fact it wasn’t drawing an audience just went to show how afraid people really were. Luckily the nation’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the decision for the cinema bosses when he included cinemas in the list of non-essential services that had to close as the nation went into a Stage One lockdown.
For the rest of the world the first inkling that Covid-19 was going to hit the cinema industry hard was when Sony Pictures made the announcement that they were postponing the release date of the latest Bond film No Time To Die. Sony, it seemed made the right call especially after we all saw the hit that the much-hyped Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel took upon its released. Its studio decided to brave the Covid affected cinema numbers and released the film amidst the chaos – the result was taking just nine million dollars at the box office in its first week of release in the USA. Desperate not to see the same fate happen to Diesel’s other blockbuster – Fast & Furious 9 – its studio decided to push its release back to 2021.
Some companies decided to get creative. Realising that they were going to have a captive housebound audience for potentially the next few months Universal Pictures have decided to chance its arm and in some territories has released potential blockbusters The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour onto streaming services. It now seems likely that Disney will do the same with the eagerly anticipated Pixar animation Onward.
While the release dates of some of the year’s biggest films seem to be moving around like chess pieces on a board it leaves us with one big question – if Thailand’s cinemas do re-open on April 1st what do audiences have to look forward to? While films such as Daniel Radcliffe’s all action affair Guns Akimbo and new horror film Fantasy Island are slated for release not long after the doors open for several months audiences will have to watch locally made films and smaller international films while Hollywood prepares to re-launch itself with their all-conquering blockbusters. That is not necessarily a bad thing though as it means for awhile locally made films will have very little competition at the box-office for awhile.
Of course box office aside Covid-19 has also had catastrophic affect on the people of Hollywood and film industries right around the world. At the moment every major studio in America has shutdown production meaning that hundreds of thousands of people are currently out of work – many not knowing when those studio doors will open again.
The human side of Covid-19 in Hollywood became even more apparent when two of its biggest stars tested positive to the deadly virus. In Australia working on a new movie about the life of Elvis Presley Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus resulting in Australia’s Nine Network television network having to place some of their on-air talent in isolation after they had come in contact with the pair. It was later proven that Nine’s head Entertainment Reporter Richard Wilkins had actually contracted Covid-19 after interviewing Wilson.
The next Hollywood celebrity to test positive to Covid-19 was Thor: Ragnarok and Star Trek Beyond star Idris Elba and only a few hours ago it was confirmed that former Hollywood producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive to the virus in prison.
Globally nobody has been able to safely predict when the Covid-19 crisis might be over but the one thing we do know is it is going to take a long time for Hollywood to recover from cinema’s darkest days.
The trailer was launched in Miami, Florida at THE ROAD TO F9 event, which featured a once-in-a-lifetime concert hosted by Tyrese Gibson, alongside Maria Menounos, with performances by global superstars Ludacris, Cardi B, Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth and Ozuna, and special appearances by series godfather Vin Diesel, F9 director Justin Lin, plus franchise stars Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Nathalie Emmanuel—as well as newcomer to the Fast & Furious family, John Cena.
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the super-human Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.
Starring Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell and Guy Pearce
This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘Berlin Syndrome,’ ‘Colossal,’ ‘Denial,’ ‘Frantz,’ ‘The Fate Of The Furious,’ ‘My Pet Dinosaur,’ ‘Going In Style,’ ‘Raw,’ ‘Their Finest,’ ‘Personal Shoper’ and ‘Certain Women’.
This episode also contains interviews with Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Kristy Matheson (ACMI) and Matt Drummond.
You can listen to The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show or download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.
Universal Pictures have just released a brand new trailer for The Fate Of The Furious… the latest film in The Fast & The Furious franchise.
The Fate Of The Furious is directed by F. Gary Gray and is made up of an all-star cast including Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez.
It will be released in Australian cinemas on April 12th.
Vin Diesel fans haven’t exactly had a lot to complain about over the past few years. Thanks to the on-going Fast & Furious franchise they have been able to see their idol on big screens almost annually. Then of course is the fact that over the next few years they will see him in 3 more Fast & Furious movies and voicing the lovable tree Groot in both Guardians Of Galaxy 2 and Avengers: Infinity Wars. But they have always seemed to have one gripe – and that is they wanted to see the 49-year-old action hero get another chance to play Xander Cage.
Cage was Bond-with-balls spy that Diesel played way back in 2002’s XXX but he was then over-looked for the sequel, something that hard core fans of the franchise saw as an absolute tragedy. But last year that was all changed when it was announced that Diesel was returning to the role for XXX: Return Of Xander Cage.
With stories always changing on why Diesel never did the follow-up to XXX he wears a broad grin when he explains why he now fourteen years later he has decided once again to re-visit the character. “I just think that there is a need to re-visit this type of hero archetype,” he says. “He is in some ways the reluctant hero and in some ways the anti-hero but his individuality just shines. I walk away from this experience thinking that is who I could be. I could be Xander, he could be me. I think there is something timely about that and something cool about that. I feel that when we first made this movie people were calling it the Bond killer because it had beaten that year’s Bond and nobody expected that. I think that we have seen very many variations of spy movies and secret agent movies but I think there has been a desire to return to this. He is definitely a unique and very different type of secret agent. And I’m so happy to come back to Xander. I always felt that I owed it, I always felt that I was in debt and that sooner rather than later I would have to return to this character and right the wrongs of the past. I am so, so happy and so blessed that I have ahd the opportunity to do it, it’s not something that happens every day and by doing all the other work in my life I was able to pull this one off. I feel very, very excited and very, very proud of this film and of this franchise”
So that leads to a big question – what is Xander Cage like almost fifteen years on. “He is definitely still consistent and he has definitely had more experiences,” says Diesel after thinking for a moment. “You know he is different in the respect that he did try to comply with working with the Government and didn’t cry when it didn’t work out for him. I think what you will see this time though is his willingness to bring on a team and the fact that he values the team that he has and that it makes it incrediably different from the first outing because then he was just a solo lone-wolf, and I think in this movie we see that he has learnt to rely on people. I guess that makes for a better Xander in some way.”
Aside from the fact that Vin Diesel back most of the press surrounding XXX: Return Of Xander Cage has been about the quality of the actors and actresses that help make up Xander’s team – Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette and Kris Wu just to name a few. “It is very much assemble-all-parts this time,” laughs Diesel. “One of the fun and entertaining things about this film is that this team of misfits come together and work together as a team. It’s the love of the lifestyle that brings them all the table. They wouldn’t necessarily worry about being heroic, but they are heroic because of the circumstances, and what is interesting about that is the room to grow that their characters might have over the franchise. And that is something to think about not just what happens in this chapter but what happens in subsequent chapters. There are two teams formed during the movie, but the first team is there because of all the good times they have had with Xander because Xander is such a fun person to be with, they are there for the mission but also just to have a great time. As the team grows we see another component… a component that makes the mission more serious.”
Of course having such diverse characters means that the cast come from all corners of the globe and Diesel played a very big part in that. “Incorporating this multicultural tone to the Fast & Furious franchise has worked with great succsess and I wanted to push it even further on XXX, to the point where I wanted to go to not only go to all the multi-cultural actors who live in California but I wanted to go into entirely separate film markets, entirely different regions and celebrate their heroes and their actors. Not only is Deepika (Padukone) an example of that but Donnie Yen is another amazing example of that… we actually went into China. Then there is Kris Wu who speaks to that, Ruby Rose speaks to that, Rory McCann speaks to that, Tony Jass speaks to that, even Nina Dobrev is from Canada. We really did travel right around the world and that was very, very exciting. I knew that we were onto something when we looked to the world to cast this movie.”
Now of course fans of the franchise will know that there has been a reference in the past to Xander being dead, so how do they bring him back for this time around. “This is essentially a story about a man being called back into action,” says Diesel thinking carefully. “The NSA is up against a group that we learn more about throughout the picture, but it is a group that they can’t take down, that they can’t handle. They have this old and archaic way of dealing with things and this new team, this interesting teams is so much of a threat that they have to now go back and get this wildcard called Xander to go up against them. And how the two teams work against each other and then ultimately work WITH one another is where the stories lie.”
With the interview winding up the last thing to talk about was the action of the film. The first XXX movie was made famous by the legendary stunt of a car going over a bridge with Xander jumping free so what do we have in store this time around. “You can’t talk about a XXX movie and not talk about the action,” says an excited Diesel. “There were a few things that were very important to me with this movie. As you know I was going through a very specific time, all the weight of Furious 7 and all the weight that came with that and I needed to play a very happy character and I needed to play a character that could smile and I needed to play a character that could laugh, that could tell jokes and that could do things simply for the thrill… just for the thrill and that is why this character is alive. So it wasn’t only fun doing the stunts, and the stunts were great you can see that in the trailer. But for this conversation I should add that I had fun just practising. I can’t tell you how much fun I had just preparing for this because I got to do jump, got to do stunts and while they were shooting they would hear…(Diesel does a motorbike noise)… and that was me getting ready for a sequence. And I want the audience to just have that fun as well because that is what this movie is all about. That’s what you are going to say you are going to say to people ‘go and see XXX because you just have fun. That’s the primary, but if you do take something else away from the film then that is even better.