It’s another day at the office for U S Marine Ray Garrison, the same as any other, except the office is the backstreets of Mombasa, Kenya, where he and his team are taking part in an armed assault to rescue a hostage; “No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great: duty first,” is their motto.

The mission over, the team return to Italy and disperse, Garrison and his wife Gina travelling to Amalfi on the coast where they are intercepted by a strike team operating under the instruction of international terrorist Martin Axe who kills first Gina then Garrison, who then wakes in another place.

The first fully successful test subject of Rising Spirit Technologies based in Kuala Lumpur, Project Bloodshot has rebuilt Garrison’s body with biomechanical constructs which have replaced his blood, imparting increased strength and instantaneous healing from catastrophic injury but with fragmentary memories until a terrible recollection of his death is triggered by a song.

An unstoppable killing machine, Garrison tracks Axe to Budapest and eliminates him before he is collected by the other agents of RST sent by Doctor Emil Harding, each of them with more conventional biomechanical prosthetics, KT with her replacement respiratory system, Tibbs with his ocular implants and Jimmy Dalton with his cybernetic legs, but did Garrison go off mission or did he do exactly what he was designed to do?

Based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name, created in 1992 by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton, Bloodshot is the feature directorial debut of former visual effects artist David S F Wilson, and it shows, the digital effects taking precedence over an imaginative story or engaging characters in the script by Kick-Ass 2’s Jeff Wadlow and The Thing’s Eric Heisserer.

The role of Ray “Bloodshot” Garrison not a stretch for Vin Diesel, it is an amalgamation of Richard B Riddick, Xander Cage and Hugo Toorop, requiring a physical presence and little more, while Guy Pearce is essentially playing the same role as he did in Iron Man 3 as Doctor Harting, an evil and ruthless Steve Jobs whose high moral purpose is to “redefine warfare for the highest bidder” and who does not tolerate competition.

With Outlander’s Sam Heughan wasted as Dalton, called upon to be little more than the sneering heavy for the final confrontation in an external glass elevator, the sequence may be more complex than that of The Winter Soldier but is less impressive, the standout scene being the first major showdown in the claustrophobic madness of a blocked tunnel lit in harsh primary colours and the flashes of gunshots which the rest of the film fails to match.

Filmed across South Africa, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the London scenes are unintentionally hilarious, a red telephone box and black cab dropped among the corrugated tin roofs far from convincing when the cars have not had their licence plates changed, and while costing considerably more this update of The Six Million Dollar Man gone rogue is generic and bland, a forgettable as Starling’s overwritten memories.

Bloodshot now available digitally following the curtailed cinematic release



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