While Valiant has made a couple of small moves towards making live-action versions of their comic universe, with the Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe short and the news they’ve been dropping at various conventions. Bloodshot is the first straight to theater movie they’ve produced. Distributed by Columbia Picture, the Harper Collins of movie studios and the first director outing for Dave Wilson (who only has Saturday Night Live credits to his name) Bloodshot follows Ray Garrison a soldier who was experimented on after his “death” and now carries a body load of A.I. Nanites that allow him to interface and control any machine with a computer, as well as strength, fast healing, and enhanced senses. There were two versions in the comics. The first in the 1990s with Valiant enjoyed a brief amount of success with their universe than in the 2000s when they came back to the comic world in a semi-big way. In each version, Garrison is always fighting the corporation/government agency that created him. Like all of these kinds of superhero stories, Ray was the only real success at this experiment, and the people who created him want him back. Vin Diesel got involved and wanted to play the title character. After The Fast and Furious franchise became a billion-dollar making engine who was going to say “no?”
Bloodshot: Movie vs Comic
Comics are ever episodic so a series has a lot of space to tell a lot of stories. The rule of any comic universe is they have to eventually cross over with the other comics and their superheroes. Often popular characters are the first to team up with a new hero to add some awareness to comic buyers. That why in Marvel you’ll find Spider-Man popping up on various new books and Batman will pop in new DC concepts. (Even if their appearances make absolutely no sense at all.) Valiant took the step to integrate all their books very quickly and tell big stories with wide crossovers almost from the beginning. The lesson movie studios trying to form their own cinematic universes learned is you can’t rush it. Give every character or team their own movies first then go for the crossover. Because of that Bloodshot had to be stand-alone which stripped away a lot of the comic motivation. I am a big fan of Valiants comic universe and I also understand why movies cannot do exactly what I see in the comic pages. However, in Bloodshot’s case, this was a big issue.
Bloodshot: The Source Material
This is a photo of what the character of Bloodshot is supposed to look like. Not a big thing, you say? Well, let go back to how bad things got when Synder decided to go as far away from the kind of character Superman is supposed to be. Let remember that time they took Wonder Woman’s power and make her costume all fab fashion. Let’s go back to the superhero movies of the 1980s and 1990s when they decided there was no need to bother with the source material. Here’s a hard truth – Halle Berry was PERFECT for Catwoman. Not crap they did in that 2004 travesty, but Salina Kyle, master thief, Batman’s true love, a kickass street fighter with a whip, Catwoman. Marvel movies lean so hard into their source material and they never apologize for it. Bloodshot decided to go in a totally different direction from both comic versions too and that’s a major reason why it didn’t work. Instead of being a superhero version of The Fugitive, they decided to go all American Sniper with mind control and a holo-deck. (I’m not kidding about any of that.) If they even went more Bourne Identity with it the movie might have been more fun. Instead of the high octane action fest with an army of faceless somebodies trying to retrieve a powerful living weapon, we got a so-so version of Inception. Not the worse idea if you execute it right, but if you keep asking yourself “Why are they doing this again?” then that’s not a good sign.
Bloodshot was average. It wasn’t the worse but it could have been better. There was no way to give the movie Bloodshot the comic Bloodshot motivation because it involves other Valiant characters too heavily. The acting didn’t exactly suck but at the time it did come off a bit SyFy original movie. I’m not going to say there’s so much blame, after all the story they came up with at least stuck to its own rules without resorting to any pitiful Deus Ex Machina. Depending on Vin Diesel to hold the movie up on his own was a mistake too. Vin Diesel is best when he’s bouncing off an ensemble cast. He has proven he can hold a movie up on his own, but it’s a whole “your mileage may vary” thing than anything else. Bloodshot is watchable and I wouldn’t mind if Valiant expanded the universe more, but it won’t be winning any awards any time soon.