Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
1917
AD ASTRA
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGABLE: DON’T F**K WITH CATS: HUNTING AN INTERNET KILLER (2019)
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BLOODSHOT
DOCTOR SLEEP
EMMA
FORD V FERRARI
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HATEWATCH: 92ND ACADEMY AWARDS (2020)
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HATEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I STILL BELIEVE
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
KNIVES OUT
LITTLE WOMEN
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
ONWARD
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CALL OF THE WILD
THE GENTLEMEN
THE HUNT
THE INVISIBLE MAN
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE WAY BACK
TV REVIEW:
TV REVIEW: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
TV REVIEW: SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: WESTWORLD (Season 3 debut)
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

Scatter shot

BLOODSHOT

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

BLOODSHOT


Where is it playing?: Stadium 14

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Rent it (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Matinee (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Dave Wilson directs this sci-fi action film with Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison, a slain soldier brought back to life and outfitted with regenerative powers, making him virtually indestructible. Unbeknownst to him, he’s part of a secret project carting out extrajudicial killings, though he thinks he’s avenging his murdered wife (Talulah Riley).

Glen: This is the sort of middling film critics love to pan, and indeed, there’s a lot not to be impressed by here. The very premise is repetitive. The small amount of charm found in the trailer—with Diesel’s character asking if a song is playing on a loop—isn’t even in the film. It’s the sort of schlocky paint-by-numbers action we’ve seen again and again. Still, I found myself entertained. Diesel’s a dependable lead, and while there’s nothing here that requires much effort of him beyond looking hulking, squinting, and pulverizing his opponents, it’s still a bit of fun. The bad guy is Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), who runs the project that brought Garrison back to life and also made cyborg-like soldiers out of KT (Eiza González), who’s alive because of a breathing apparatus implanted in her neck; Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan), who’s outfitted with two prosthetic blades for feet; and some other henchman character so forgettable I can’t even remember what his enhancement is. KT is the only one of the quartet of baddies who’s got a conscience and questions how they’re manipulating Garrison to carrying out the killing. But since Harting can cut off her breathing with the push of a button, she’s at his mercy. The film’s basically about Garrison realizing he’s Harting’s puppet and finding a way out. If you’re in the mood for a couple hours of mayhem, it’s worth a matinee if action flicks are your thing.

Anna: Repetitive is right, and this one just didn’t hold my attention. The whole idea of nanobytes that heal and regenerate immediately is an interesting way of creating a super soldier, but Garrison is less interested in Harting’s missions and sets his sights on vengeance for the wife he begins to remember. Harting is an evil genius who isn’t all that scary; he’s more like a dude who has never been said no to. He wants his soldiers to fall in line, but he doesn’t know what Garrison is really capable of. He can literally shut down his soldiers at the press of a button, and it just feels too easy for me. He’s playing with fire, so you know in the end he’s going to get burned. This role very well could have been Diesel—he is brooding and buff, the tough guy with a soft spot for the woman he loves. It’s pretty predictable. The extended fight scenes didn’t do a whole lot for me, but I’m not surprised. Action films can be a tough sell for me, especially if there isn’t much going on storyline-wise. Bloodshot fell somewhere in the middle—a bit of a story and a bunch of action. I wouldn’t give it a rewatch, but it wasn’t a waste of time either. If over-the-top action gets your engines revving, you’ll probably dig this one more than I did.

Glen: Garrison’s motivation is his love for his wife, who he “remembers” being killed by a revolving door of different faces—men that Harting wants killed. That love for a good woman is sort of a sweet idea, but what happens if Garrison learns the truth? All that’s left is pure revenge against the man pulling his strings. The problem is Harting isn’t much of an opponent, so the stand in is Jimmy, who augments his snazzy blade feet with some prosthetic extra arms, which if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know what I’m talking about. He and Garrison battle it out on a high-rise, but one of the problems with this epic battle royal is that we by this time know that Garrison is literally indestructible. There’s no question he’s going to best Jimmy, and the film is basically a setup to coming sequels where Garrison, unshackled from Harting’s evil plan, gets to mete out justice on his own terms with his new love interest KT. I can’t imagine the coming sequels will be any more gripping. If Garrison can’t be beat, where’s the tension, right? The more I think about the film, the less I like it. This is the epitome of mindless entertainment. 

Anna: You’re right—it’s one you don’t want to think about too hard because it loses whatever value it had when you do. I was frankly more entertained by the trailer, and when even those brief few moments aren’t in the film, it’s disappointing. KT brings in Wilfred Wigans (Lamorne Morris), an expert hacker who wrote the code Harting’s guys used to program Garrison. He’s kookie and meant to bring some wacky fun to the cast, but his character too falls pretty flat. Soon enough, the bad guys can’t control our hero and thus we are given the epic high-rise battle that I found pretty boring. There’s just not a whole lot here that is anything but mediocre. Granted, I’m not the target audience for this film, but if it turns into a multi-movie franchise, I will certainly be skipping the sequels. It does have some entertainment value, but unless you want to see the action up close and personal, this flick can wait for home viewing. 

Sun Screen is written by New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey. Contact them at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.








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