A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bloodshot is a sci-fi/action movie based on a comic book about a soldier (Vin Diesel) who's given superpowers and uses them to avenge his wife's death. Violence is strong and frequent, if largely bloodless. Expect lots of guns and shooting, punching, stabbing, and car chases. Characters die, and the main character's skin is blown off his face (his skull is briefly shown). Language includes a use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," and more, as well as a middle-finger gesture. A married couple is shown in bed -- they're both shirtless, but the woman's back is to the camera. They nuzzle and embrace. Another woman is shown in various revealing outfits, and there's some sex-related talk and innuendo. Characters drink shots of liquor, and a cigarette is shown.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
In BLOODSHOT, soldier Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is on a mission in Kenya, where he rescues a hostage and kills a terrorist. Later, he's kidnapped, and a man named Martin Axe (Toby Kebbell) kills Ray's wife when Ray can't provide the details behind the mission. Axe then shoots Ray. Astonishingly, Ray wakes up to discover that Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) has brought him back to life, using micro-biotechnology, and turned him into a super soldier. At first Ray can't remember anything, but when a song triggers a memory of the killing, his first reaction is to hit the road and get revenge. However, when the task is finished, he learns that everything that's happened has been a lie, and that he's being used. Will he remember what's going on the next time he's rebooted?
Is it any good?
A pretty good sci-fi plot idea is mostly ruined by mindless action sequences, vacant characters, and a need to completely wring the life out of whatever cleverness the movie might once have had. Based on a popular comic book, Bloodshot doesn't really feel like a superhero movie as much as it does one of the lesser Fast & Furious movies. It's all dumb swagger, chaotic fights, and slo-mo explosions. Both the heroes and the villains are so tediously one-note that it almost doesn't matter who wins. Given the basic skeleton of the story and its potentially interesting twists, it could have really been something. In other hands, it might even have been as good as Memento (which, coincidentally, starred this movie's villain, Pearce).
But first-time director David S.F. Wilson, whose previous work has largely been in video games, takes the easy way out, going for spectacle, traditional plot arcs, and a tidy wrap-up rather than using the idea of identity and memory in any kind of interesting way. Wilson does manage one fairly interesting fight sequence in a blocked-off tunnel filled with powdery clouds of dust. And there's an amusing supporting character, coding genius Wilfred Wigans (Lamorne Morris), who brightens up a few of the later scenes. But for the most part, Bloodshot is wearingly empty entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Bloodshot's violence. How did it make you feel? Does the fact that it's largely bloodless make it less shocking? Do some types of media violence have different impact than others?
Does Bloodshot seem like a superhero? How does he compare to other superheroes in movies and comic books?
Why is revenge so often a plot motivator in movies and other media? What does revenge accomplish?
Given that the two coding experts aren't White, would you say that the movie could be considered diverse? Or are the characters closer to stereotypes?
- In theaters: March 13, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: March 24, 2020
- Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Guy Pearce
- Director: David S. F. Wilson
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violence, some suggestive material and language
- Last updated: April 30, 2020
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