Blood Father

Dir: Jean-Francois Richet, 2016

7/10

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Mel Gibson back on form or another nail in the coffin of his career?

Gibson plays John Link, a former alcoholic and paroled ex-con making a living by doing tattoos.

His estranged daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty) has been missing for four years after running away from her mother’s.

Getting in with a bunch of criminals, Lydia has become hooked on cocaine and alcohol.

The leader of the gang, Jonah (Diego Luna), is her boyfriend and has her buy bullets for the gang.

After a botched interrogation by the gang, Lydia accidentally shoots Jonah and flees.

She rings her father asking for money and he agrees to pick her up.

The gang finds her at John’s and the pair flee across the country, seeking favours from old acquaintances, all the while trying to elude the gang and the police.

This film shows the talent that Gibson still has star power providing he’s given, or chooses, the right roles and a little bit of forgiveness from the public.

Private life aside, Gibson can still pack a punch in the action stakes.

He might be getting on but who cares? Once an action star, always an action star.

Unfortunately, the film is bogged down by the character of the daughter.

A selfish, whining little brat, you can’t care about her and her actions only make you hate her even more.

It would have been much more beneficial to have the daughter as likeable and then you would have cared about what happens.

William H. Macy stars along side Gibson as his AA sponsor. He isn’t really given much to do, just someone for him to chat to.

Frustratingly, the film is full of plot holes.

The pair have an eternal change of clothes and you never see them buy, or steal, any.

It also isn’t explained where they get all the money from.

Link is supposed to be an ex-con, living in a trailer, making a living from tattoos. I’m pretty sure he’s not exactly Rockefeller!

There’s no explanation as to why the girl ran off in the first place. This lack of exposition causes annoyance.

If the makers want us to care about her, then give us something about her that we can care for.

There’s not as much action as there should be. A brief shoot out at the end provides the only real action. The rest is more of a drama about a father and daughter bonding.

It was a potential action fest that doesn’t deliver and that’s a shame.

How great would it have been to see Mel Gibson doing his Payback persona?

Richet also pokes a little fun at Mel’s Lethal Weapon series with some subtle nods.

Blood Father isn’t a bad film but it has been marketed wrong. It’s promoted as an action film when it’s more drama.

I can only suspect that the distributors knew that fans wanted something else and advertised it accordingly.

Whatever you do, don’t go in expecting a thrill a minute romp because you’ll be sorely disappointed.

As a drama, it’s passable.

Ultimately, it’s forgettable.

 

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