Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David S. F. Wilson|
|Story by||Jeff Wadlow|
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Edited by||Jim May|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$37.3 million|
Bloodshot is a 2020 American superhero film based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name. It is intended to be the first installment in a series of films set within a Valiant Comics shared cinematic universe. Directed by David S. F. Wilson (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer and a story by Wadlow, the film stars Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, and Guy Pearce. It follows a Marine who was killed in action, only to be brought back to life with superpowers by an organization that wants to use him as a weapon.
Bloodshot was theatrically released in the United States on March 13, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film grossed $37 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing theaters across the globe, Sony made the film available digitally on-demand less than two weeks after it was released theatrically. A sequel is in development.
After leading a successful rescue operation of hostages in Mombasa, U.S. Marine Ray Garrison and his wife Gina travel for a holiday at an Italian beachside town in the Amalfi Coast. They are kidnapped by a group of mercenaries led by Martin Axe, who demands to know how the US military learned about the hostages and their location. When Ray explains that he cannot answer, as he is not privy to this information, Axe executes Gina in front of him. Ray vows revenge, and Axe kills Ray as well.
An amnesiac Ray awakens in the labs of Rising Spirit Tech (RST), a company in Kuala Lumpur specializing in cybernetic enhancements for disabled US military personnel. CEO and lead scientist Dr. Emil Harting tells Ray he is the first successful human subject of the "Bloodshot" program, resurrecting and healing him through the injection of experimental nanite technology now replacing his entire bloodstream. This technology increases his strength and heals his injuries, but the nanites need to be regularly replaced and recharged or he will eventually succumb to damage and die again. When the nanites work at extreme power, they create a red glowing circle of light on Ray's chest.
Ray is introduced to Dr. Harting's other patients including former US Navy diver "KT", with whom he strikes up a friendship, former service member Marcus Tibbs, and ex-Navy SEAL Jimmy Dalton, who overtly dislikes Garrison. After experiencing flashbacks of Gina and Axe, he leaves to avenge Gina's death. Using the nanites and RST servers to hack into databases, Ray tracks down Axe to Budapest and kills him along with his bodyguards. Back at RST, Ray is put to sleep as his nanites are rebooted. As he has done many times before, Harting then replaces Ray's memories with a new scenario of how Gina died, this time with Axe's associate Nick Baris as the culprit. KT objects to Harting repeatedly manipulating Ray's memories so he will go after different targets without question or remorse, but she is ignored and reminded that RST can kill her by deactivating her enhancements.
Ray awakens, once again amnesiac, and is reintroduced to RST, then experiences flashbacks of Baris kidnapping and killing him and Gina. Driven by revenge, he tracks Baris to East Sussex and kills him, despite the man pleading that RST is lying. Wilfred Wigans, a programmer forced to work for Baris, activates an EMP bomb that incapacitates Ray and severs his link with RST. Ray awakens in Wigans's office and experiences contradicting memories of who killed Gina. Wigans helps him realize RST has been manipulating him so he would kill the company's enemies and rivals. Ray tracks down Gina, learning she is still alive but that their relationship ended five years ago, and since then, she has started a family in London.
Harting sends KT after Wigans. After asking Wigans for help in freeing herself from RST control and taking down the corporation, she tells Harting she failed to capture the programmer. Meanwhile, Ray is recaptured by Dalton and Tibbs and brought back to the laboratory. KT and Wigans sabotage the reprogramming process and destroy the RST computers. Ray awakens and Dalton and Tibbs try to subdue him. After a lengthy battle, he kills them as the RST building is destroyed. Harting confronts Ray, confident that the Marine will surrender now that his nanites have been exhausted. To his surprise, Ray is willing to die to achieve victory and activates an explosive, destroying them both. Ray later awakes with his full memories, revived by Wigans who has updated his technology so his nanites are self-sufficient. The two men and KT then leave in search of a new life.
- Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison / Bloodshot
- Sam Heughan as Jimmy Dalton
- Eiza González as KT
- Toby Kebbell as Martin Axe
- Guy Pearce as Dr. Emil Harting
- Lamorne Morris as Wilfred Wigans
- Talulah Riley as Gina Garrison
- Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson as Nick Baris
- Alex Hernandez as Marcus Tibbs
- Siddharth Dhananjay as Eric
- Tamer Burjaq as Mombasa Gunman
In March 2015, it was announced that Columbia Pictures had acquired the film rights to the Valiant Comics character Bloodshot, which would be produced by Original Film and Valiant Entertainment. Jeff Wadlow was hired to write the screenplay. In April 2015, Sony Pictures, Original Film and Valiant announced a five-picture deal to bring Valiant Comics' superheroes to the big screen, including Bloodshot. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch were hired to direct the film, from a screenplay by Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. Stahelski and Leitch eventually passed on the project. In March 2017, Dave Wilson was announced as the director of the film. Screenwriter Adam Cozad later contributed to the script.
In July 2017, it was reported that Jared Leto was in early negotiations to star in the film as Bloodshot, but in March 2018, it was announced that Vin Diesel would portray the main character. By May, additional cast members were announced, with Sam Heughan, Michael Sheen, and Eiza González. In June of the same year, Talulah Riley and Alex Hernandez were cast in the film to play the titular characters' wife named Gina, and member of a scientist team named Tibbs, respectively. Later, Toby Kebbell and Johannes Haukur Johannesson were both cast in villainous roles, with the former playing Axe. In August 2018, Lamorne Morris was hired to play a young scientist named Wilfred Wigans. In the same month, it was reported that Guy Pearce was in talks to replace Sheen, who had to exit the movie due to scheduling and family conflicts.
Principal photography began on August 6, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Prague, Czech Republic, with some filming taking place in Budapest, Hungary in that same month. Filming officially wrapped on October 25, 2018.
Bloodshot was released in the United States on March 13, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing, after previously being scheduled to release on February 21, 2020. It also opened in the UK, Ireland, India, and Spain on the same day.
On March 18, Sony Pictures confirmed that due to movie theater closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the film would be released digitally through Premium VOD in the United States and Canada on March 24, 2020. This was just two weeks after the film's theatrical debut and before the end of the usual 90-day theatrical run. Over its first three days of home release, Bloodshot was the most watched on Amazon Prime and fourth-most on iTunes. Despite the pandemic's affects on the film's box office return, Bloodshot was ranked number one on Digital Entertainment Group's "Watched at Home Top 20" list for the week ending May 9, 2020.
As the pandemic receded, the film was released in three Santikos Theatres locations in San Antonio, Texas on May 1, 2020. In China, the film was released on July 24, 2020. In August 2020, AMC Theatres announced that the film would resume showing in theaters upon their reopening that month.
Bloodshot grossed $10 million in the United States and Canada, and $27.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $37.1 million, against a production budget of $45 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside The Hunt and I Still Believe, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 2,861 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.8 million on its first day, including $1.2 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $9.3 million, finishing third. The weekend was also noteworthy for being the lowest combined-grossing since October 1998, with all films totaling just $55.3 million, in large part from societal restrictions and regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the film's second weekend, due to the mass theater closures around the country, the film made $52,000 from 79 locations, mostly drive-in theaters.
After months of delays, the film was released in China on July 24, and made $2.8 million in its opening weekend.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 30% based on 159 reviews, with an average rating of 4.56/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Bloodshot gives Vin Diesel a solid opportunity to indulge in old-school action that should satisfy fans, even if the end result is disappointingly mediocre." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 44 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while filmgoers at PostTrak gave the film an average 3 out of 5 stars, with 45% saying they would definitely recommend it.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote: "Bloodshot is a trash compactor of a comic-book film, but it's smart trash, an action matrix that’s fun to plug into." Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed reviews, saying "[director] Wilson acquits himself adequately enough, emphasizing pacing over character development, but delivering a series of kinetically propelled scenes that clearly benefit from his extensive visual effects experience." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, calling it ambitious but "intermittently entertaining" and "frantically overcooked, bursting with headache-inducing, rapid-cut action sequences".
Angelica Jade Bastien at Vulture.com was critical of Diesel's performance: "At this point, what could have been a passably entertaining diversion, the kind of film best enjoyed overcoming a hangover or while folding laundry, falls flat on Diesel's lips. He lacks the gravitas of delivery, disinterested in his lines even before he finishes saying them." Joshua Rivera of The Verge wrote: "As an action movie, Bloodshot is the worst kind of uninspiring: not bad enough to circle back around toward fun, not good enough at action to be even momentarily impressed by a fight scene." Odie Henderson at RogerEbert.com called it a "Universal Soldier rip-off", and hoped there would not be any sequels.
Intended to be the launch of a new shared cinematic universe of Valiant Comics superheroes, Bloodshot was conceived to be followed by: a sequel, two films based on the comic book series Harbinger, and then a crossover film entitled Harbinger Wars. Though a Harbinger movie was initially scheduled to be the first installment in the franchise, development was delayed in favor of Bloodshot.
The future of the franchise was questioned by various outlets, due to the moderate box office and critical reception. In September 2019, it was announced that Harbinger would be distributed by Paramount Pictures. In March 2020, director David S. F. Wilson stated that even though different film studios have distribution rights, Valiant still plans to build a franchise from Bloodshot, acknowledging that Diesel will play a large role in the future of the planned film series. In November 2020, a Bloodshot sequel was officially announced as being in development, with Diesel intended to reprise his role. By December of the same year, Diesel confirmed his involvement with the project.
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