It’s very easy to become cynical about yet another superhero movie. ‘Will this one be any different from others’? ‘Will it be exciting?’ are oft-posed questions. Such musings increase when it’s a comic book hero that general audiences know little about. ‘Bloodshot’ is based on a Valiant Comics hero. This reviewer never heard of it either but was reasonably surprised as potential viewers may be at its spectacle and action mayhem.

Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is a marine who is killed in action along with his wife. Brought back to life by a team of scientists led by Dr Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), Ray develops superhuman powers. Intended to be used as a super-soldier weapon by a shadowy organization, Ray has other ideas. Wanting to know who killed him and his wife, his trail uncovers a global conspiracy where his over-whelming brawn is put to good use.

Directed by David S.F. Wilson, ‘Bloodshot’ is fair hokum. You know what you’re getting with a Vin Diesel film with this being no different. Lots of mumbling, dagger stares into the camera and oil-smeared muscles are on display. Added to that are the action set pieces which are well done. Despite its deficiencies, ‘Bloodshot’ isn’t boring and has good pacing.

Negating ‘Bloodshot’s good points is the mediocre plot. Whilst it embraces the international feel the story needs, it lacks any urgency. You never feel any empathy for our hero with the villains being your standard cardboard cut-outs. There’s little life to the performances although the concept of the nanotechnology Garrison uses for battle is interesting.

‘Bloodshot’ isn’t in the same league as the Marvel/DC superhero movies. Although it tries to separate itself from those works, it generally has the taste of a middling yarn those film’s writers would reject. It wisely keeps Diesel’s acting attempts to a minimum which is a feat any superhero would admire.

Rating out of 10: 4

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Since 1977, the ‘Star Wars’ movies have captured generations of film-goers. The story of the Skywalker clan in their battle against evil has spawned a billion dollar industry showing no signs of abating. Even calling ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ the ‘final chapter’ of the Skywalker saga won’t stop the franchise. With a blossoming array of TV series based on it currently in development, the series will endure. For now, this supposedly last hurrah on the silver screen should suffice for all budding Jedi warriors.

The fabled Resistance, led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and including, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) are ready for battle. Confronting the evil of the First Order, led by its Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the heroes face all-out war. Old enemies and friends resurface as the Jedi and Sith warrior’s fates move towards a decisive resolution.

The question viewers will want answered is does ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ deliver the goods? It does overall with all the expected spectacular CGI and action sequences a mega-budget can buy. Story-wise it’s a mixed bag although it’s consistently entertaining with a furious pace. The performances are solid for this type of flick with the emotional beats successfully generated amongst the glitz.

Long-term fans will feel a sense of deja vu with this instalment. It recycles elements of previous entries, especially Return of the Jedi, with parts of the narrative feeling stale. Generally it convincingly wraps up the current trilogy and the series ensuring it feels as ‘final’ as a money-making franchise can be. As always those expecting a visual feast will be delighted with the bright colours distracting you from any plot holes.

One shouldn’t feel too sad that ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ is potentially the end. Hollywood never lets a hit franchise wither away, with Star Wars’ future looking bright. Although disco may have faded since the first film arrived in the 70’s, the series looks set to keep spinning like an eternally moving mirror-ball.

Rating out of 10: 7