Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Cast: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Michael Parks, William H. Macy
Plot: A tattoo artist fights to protect his estranged daughter from drug dealers trying to kill her.
Review: Mel Gibson used to attract attention for all the wrong reasons, but no one can deny his talent in front of the camera, and behind it as well.
Blood Father is reminiscent of his previous work in a similar vein; Edge Of Darkness. Except this time he's not getting even, he's in protection mode. The small scale of this film is much like Get The Gringo, but of a much more serious tone. I can continue making comparisons, like how it's his version of Liam Neeson's Taken, but let's get to the story.
John Link is an ex-con and former alcoholic now on parole, making a living putting ink on people's skin, living in a trailer in the middle of the desert. One day he gets a call from his estranged daughter Lydia, who's in a serious shithole after shooting her boyfriend Jonah in the neck, and the guy happens to be a major drug dealer. Now his crew are coming for her, and John has to go on the run and keep her alive.
It's a simple tale really, but one that hits the right notes when it matters. Director Jean-Francois Richet takes a bit too much time to get the story going at first, but once the bad guys come knocking, things move a little faster. There's some nice cinematography to behold, and the action sequences are well shot. But do take note: this isn't The Expendables, so don't expect the action to pour in hard and fast. It's a low budget flick, so it comes in short bursts with a decent amount of violence.
Gibson is on point as John, trying to shield his daughter from the bad guys while reconnecting with her and getting her to come to terms with what she has done. Erin Moriarty, who plays Lydia, shares some solid chemistry with Gibson. Lydia may have been stupid enough to make mistakes, but she proves to be rather smart in certain aspects. Diego Luna makes a decent villain as Jonah, though his role is rather two dimensional. William H. Macy and Michael Parks are rather impressive here as John's sponsor and mentor respectively, being just a bit more than mere supporting characters.
The film is a bit draggy when people aren't trying to kill each other, but thankfully Richet keeps things short at 88 minutes, so it doesn't overstay its welcome.
Overall, Blood Father is an interesting, if not perfect action movie that is worth checking out. (7/10)