Blood Father

"Good"

Blood Father Review


It's been four years since Mel Gibson played a lead role in a movie, and with all of the tabloid headlines in the meantime it's been easy to forget how magnetic he is on screen. He's looking rather grizzled in this action thriller from French filmmaker Jean-Francois Richet (Mesrine), but his piercing presence turns what's essentially a cheesy exploitation film into something remarkably gripping.

He plays an ex-con tattoo artist named Link, who lives out in California's Mojave Desert, next door to his 12-step sponsor Kirby (William H. Macy). His home may be a trashy trailer, but he has cleaned up his life. Although his quiet reverie is disturbed by thoughts of his 17-year-old daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty), who has been missing for four years. So he's stunned when she calls him out of the blue for help. Kicking into action, he rescues her and immediately discounts her stories that the ruthless henchmen of her late gangster boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna) are after her. It doesn't take long for Link to realise that Lydia isn't exaggerating, and as they go on the run, he turns to old prison friends (including Michael Parks, Dale Dickey and Miguel Sandoval) for help. Even though he doesn't really trust anyone.

Director Richet doesn't seem very interested in the father-daughter drama at the centre of this film, even though it's far more involving than the madcap action carnage. Gibson and Moriarty do what they can to create some chemistry amid the mayhem, but they only have a few scenes in which they can push their characters a bit further. And frankly after the set-up, the audience needs that to put the violence in context. This is mainly due to the fact that the brutal pursuit is fairly predictable, and the side characters, as well played as they are, are little more than stereotypes.

It's also so relentlessly grisly that it borders on cartoonish. But with such riveting actors at the centre and in side roles, it's easy to sit back and go with it. There are some earthy themes gurgling all the way through, from a gentle addiction drama to the rougher side of family values. These things are never allowed to develop, but at least they add texture to the chases and explosions. And the desert settings look terrific on the big screen, adding an extra zing to the idea that these people may seem withered up and worn out, but there's life in them yet.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Blood Father:



Blood Father

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th August 2016

Distributed by: Why Not Productions

Production compaines: Why Not Productions, Wild Bunch

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 43 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Chris Briggs, , Peter Craig, Sebastien Lemercier

Starring: as John Link, as Lydia, William H. Macy as Kirby Curtis, as Ursula, as Preacher, as Jason, as Jonah, as Cherise, as Joker, as The Cleaner, as Bartender, Luce Rains as Dennis Trucker, Tara Elliott as California Girl, Ryan Dorsey as Shamrock, Katalina Parrish as Link's Client, Daniel Moncada as Choop, Julianne Medina as Movie Theater Patron, Genia Michaela as Movie Patron, Gerry Medina as Sunburned Boy, Christopher W. Garcia as Biker, Lyle DeRose as Maximum Security Prisoner, Rich Chavez as Biker, Rodger Larence as Walmart Cashier, Joanne Camp as Correction Officer, Christopher Atwood as Movie theater patron, Cheo Tapia as California Club Girl, Melissa-Lou Ellis as Movie Theater Patron, McKenna Wagenman as Movie Theater Patron, Shannan Wagenman as Movie Theater Patron, Taylor Wagenman as Movie Theater Patron, Alexander Wagenman as Inmate, Fred Padilla as Prison Security Officer, Jack T. Silliman as Party-Goer, Brittney Scavo as Grandpa, Art Westga as Biker, Robert Louder as Driver, Billy Fuessel as News Anchor 1, Tom Joles as Detective (uncredited), Rick Anglada as Movie Theater Patron (uncredited), Madison Fogle as Movie Theater Patron (uncredited), William Fogle as Male Clubber (uncredited), Chester Gayao as Movie Goer (uncredited), Alex Gopal as Movie Goer (uncredited), Christina Gopal as Movie Goer (uncredited), Julian Gopal as Dead Boyfriend (uncredited), Damon Somers as Detective

Contactmusic


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