The mission was simple: Enter the enemy compound, take out any hostiles, rescue the hostages. Ray Garrison completed it with flying colors. He returned home to celebrate. But then he and his wife were kidnapped.
Ray was forced to watch her die when he couldn’t give their captors any information about the mission—not that he didn’t want to, he just didn’t know anything. And then Ray was killed as well.
Enter Rising Spirit Technologies, or RST for short. Replacing Ray’s blood with tiny robots called nanites, RST’s technicians bring Ray back to life. The nanites give Ray super strength and speed. They act as microprocessors, allowing him to access the Internet and download information to his brain not unlike Neo in The Matrix. But most importantly, they make him invincible, instantly reconstructing and healing his body whenever Ray takes a hit.
With this second chance at life, Ray is bent on avenging his wife’s murder. Using the nanite technology, he tracks down and kills the man responsible for her death.
But in doing so, Ray begins to discover that not everything is as it seems, and his real enemies might not be who he thought.
To make Ray feel welcome at RST, a fellow technologically augmented soldier named KT gives him a military coin that was given to her to show that she belonged. Over the course of the movie, she becomes a close ally as Ray figures out who the bad guys in the story really are.
Ray shows remorse after killing his wife’s captor, realizing that it didn’t help anything since his wife is still gone. A man reassures his wife that he will always come home when she worries over his new battle scars. Soldiers chant the motto, “No situation too difficult, no sacrifice too great, duty first!”
A man says, “Let there be light,” referring to Genesis 1:3 as he turns on a light. He later mentions “going biblical” when he brings a man back to life using technology.
A man and woman lie shirtless in bed (we see her underwear and the sides of her breasts). They kiss and she climbs into his arms, leaning over him. A woman is lifted into the air when her husband hugs her. They are later seen holding hands and acting cozy together. A woman wears skin-tight clothing and mid-riff baring shirts. She also does aikido underwater in a swimsuit. Two men are seen shirtless as they change clothes.
Several verbal references are made to male anatomy. A woman ignores a man’s flirtatious advances. A man tells another man not to look at his butt. It is implied that someone watches porn.
Before Ray is injected with RST’s nanite technology, he is a capable soldier, beating up and shooting down any enemy insurgents in his path. After receiving the nanites, his natural soldier skills are fortified with super strength and speed—not to mention that any injury he sustains is instantly healed by the nanites.
Speaking of which, because the nanites are Ray’s blood, the “bloodshed” in this film isn’t nearly as gory. That being said, we do see exposed bones and muscle tissue nearly every time that Ray gets into a fight. The men he fights get stabbed, shot, thrown through walls and blown up. Some have bones snapped, and Ray even uses one as a human body shield against a grenade.
A woman is gagged and tied to a chair before being killed with a power tool to the head (offscreen). Her husband, tied to a chair, is forced to watch before being shot in the head himself (also offscreen).
Several people are blown up with grenades. Ray fights two other augmented humans in an elevator shaft, and one of the men falls to his death when the elevator crashes. Ray purposely drives a truck into a convoy of cars carrying baddies, killing the passengers in the first vehicle.
Ray gets chased by a man with mechanical legs. The two combatants burst through walls, jump over cars and body slam each other until a car hits them, destroying the assailant’s mechanical legs and tearing Ray’s face off when it scrapes the pavement. A man dons a backpack that gives him two mechanical arms with spikes attached, which he then uses to fight and stab Ray through the shoulder.
Blood sprays from a man’s foot when he is shot. A guy realizes he has been shot when his stomach starts bleeding. A computer programmer watches Ray kill several men on a security camera and comments that Ray “put a hole” in a man’s chest with his bare hands. Someone is held hostage with a gun to the head, and we hear that four other hostages have already been killed.
A woman throws a lit cigarette into a man’s face before engaging in combat with him and his companions, using a baton to render them unconscious. KT briefly suffocates when the technology that controls her lungs is turned off. Someone breaks down a door and throws a woman into a wall. Someone shocks Ray to bring him back to life. Ray uses a police car with officers inside to block several bullets.
A man punches a hole in a punching bag and concrete pillar. KT uses flammable aerosol sprays to blow up a lab. Someone blows up a car to hide evidence. A woman flips a chair over in frustration. A man plays a first-person shooter game on his phone.
The f-word is used once, and the s-word is heard 20 times. “H—” is used 10 times, and the British expletive “bloody” is uttered five times. We also hear one use each of “b–ch,” “a–,” “d–k,” “a—,” “b-gger” and “suck.” God’s name is misused at least seven times (twice paired with “d–n”), and Jesus’ name is misused another seven. We see a crude hand gesture.
A woman lights and smokes a cigarette which turns out to be an inhalant. Two people drink shots at a bar. A man collapses after being injected with an unknown serum. Empty bottles of alcohol sit on a nightstand.
RST operates under the umbrella of giving people second chances at life. The company replaces body parts lost to bombs and illness with mechanical versions that are even more powerful than the originals. The problem is that Dr. Harting (the man in charge of RST) and his former partner fought over the marketing rights to this technology, and now Harting is using Ray and the others as weapons [Spoiler Warning] to take out the competition.
One thing that makes Ray so effective is his willingness to die for the woman he loves. Unfortunately, he is also willing to kill ruthlessly to avenge her death, which is how RST is able to manipulate him repeatedly.
Ray has a hard time accepting that he died and even harder time accepting that nobody came to claim his body. He is later angered when he finds out that RST has been using him as its personal assassin and lying to him repeatedly. Harting tries to convince Ray that he loves war and that they made him the best version of himself.
KT wants to stop Harting, too, telling him that Ray deserves to choose whether or not he kills people; but Harting says it doesn’t matter since Ray is technically dead. He blackmails her into staying with RST and insists on performing one last test with Ray before putting the technology on the market.
Dalton (a man with mechanical legs) is jealous of Ray, taking every opportunity he can to undermine and torture him since he knows RST will wipe the memories afterward. However, Harting also plays favorites, making it clear that Dalton is expendable while Ray is not.
Someone illegally hacks into government databases. A man spits a piece of gum onto the floor of a building and sticks another piece on the underside of a table.
Bloodshot is based on the Valiant comic of the same name. But the content concerns here are a bit rougher than some comic-book-to-movie adaptations.
Ray can be a bit cavalier about the danger he walks into. Body parts are blown off, skin is flayed, and Ray often looks skeletal while waiting for the nanites to reconstruct him (scenes that now recall various Terminator moments.) The amount of blood we see is actually pretty minimal, but the slicing and dicing can be a bit disturbing all the same.
Viewers should also keep in mind that despite the PG-13 rating, there’s still a fairly intimate scene between a husband and wife, not to mention much fouler language than your typical comic book movie.
Ray points out that “who we were doesn’t define who we have to be.” Granted, this is after he kills just about every person responsible for turning him into an assassin. But it does seem as if he’s ready to turn over a new leaf now that he knows RST won’t be controlling an army of mercenaries.
All in all, Bloodshot has difficulty knowing where to draw the line in the sand. Murder committed by brainwashing? Not OK. Murder committed by free will? Acceptable. Despite this film’s PG-13 rating, families may well choose to draw a line with Vin Diesel’s latest bloody actioner as well.