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Blood Father (2016)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Jean-François Richet

Starring:
Mel Gibson/Link
Erin Moriarty/Lydia
Diego Luna/Jonah
William H. Macy/Kirby
9 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
An ex-con (Mel Gibson), now off the bottle, who lives in isolation in the desert is forced to go back to his old ways when his long lost daughter (Erin Moriarty) shows up at his doorstep with a slew of hoodlums on her tail who are trying to kill her. What’s father to do but lock and load?
THE LOWDOWN

MEL GIBSON never left in my book, so I won’t pull what everybody is pulling and say “Mel is back”. As an actor he shined in the 2012 "actionner" GET THE GRINGO (WATCH IT HERE) and the recently released trailer for his latest directorial effort HACKSAW RIDGE (which avoids mentioning his name at every turn...sigh) showcased more talent in 2 minutes than most movies have displayed in an hour and half this year thus far. I’m of this school: “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” Am sure if we dig deep in many of our favorite stars lives, we’d find shit on them, only difference is that Gibson’s demons got airplay. It seems we as society love pointing fingers at others as opposed to pointing that finger at ourselves. We love them fall from grace stories cause it makes us feel high and mighty. Well don’t put me in that sad sack group. That’s all I’ll say about this whole Hollywood shunning Mel Gibson crap.

Confidently directed by Ace Jean-François Richet of MESRINE and ATTACK ON PRECINCT 13 re-do fame BLOOD FATHER’s key strength was in fact MEL GIBSON who played a recovering con and alcoholic, one that carried a huge burden of regret on his shoulders. And when his long lost daughter shows up on his doorsteps, he sees a shot at redemption and runs with it. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Mel most likely related with the role (and so did I for that matter, we all mess up, we all live with regret and usually life does give us another shot, it’s up to us to take it) and that resulted in quite the powerful performance by Gibson - his best since Braveheart in my opinion. He wore his character’s pain on his sleeve, his eyes and the lines in his face spoke volumes and so did his body language. And when his sense of humor got to shine, it brought even further dimension to the role. This is probably one of the most earnest, gut wrenching and hypnotizing performances I've seen all year. Gibson was thankfully well supported. His chemistry with Erin Moriarty who played his daughter (she gave an intense and convincing star making turn here) was endearing and grounded, William H. Macy and Mel were so good together that I yearned for them to have more screen time while Diego Luna and Michael Parks shined as teh scumbags.

The desert location (ideally captured by Richet’s keen eye) was also a big plus as the desolation, emptiness and danger of it contributed to the dire situation at hand and also amplified/complemented the lead characters plights and state of mind. Add to that slick and witty dialogue that had me laughing out loud (the script written by Peter Craig who also wrote the novel this was based on, was fantastic), all kinds of emotionally stirring moments that brought tears to my eyes, some effective bits of suspense (well played Rivet), themes of redemption and faith that I related to (pay attention to Mel’s tattoos), a handful of visceral and expertly orchestrated action scenes that had me on the edge of my seat and quite the badass score by Sven Faulconer and you get ONE HELL OF A MOVIE! To go all cliché on ya: I laughed, I cried and I got all riled up! Only one qualm comes to mind: I wish there were more action set pieces. Sue me but watching Mel kicking that ass bring lots of pleasure to my life. On that, I was hooked in throughout nonetheless, taken in by the characters, their relationships, the dire situation and the stakes at hand.

On the whole, I walked out of this bad boy so inspired that I hit an Irish Pub afterwards, laptop in tow, to work on my own action script. BLOOD FATHER was a perfect mix of potent drama, action and Grindhouse! And in a world of Hollywood remakes and cape movies, it was a refreshing breath of fresh air! SEE IT! And I can’t wait for it to come out (on August 12, 2016) to tap it again and give it my money, (I saw it at a press screening). EXCELLENT!

GORE
We get varied gun shot wounds, an ear bitten off, one dude crushed to bits and all kinds of beat downs!
T & A
Surprisingly none. But I did esteem Erin Moriarty’s shorter than short Jeans shorts.
BOTTOM LINE
To everybody thinking that this is some kind of TAKEN redux – It’s not. This is a layered picture– with genuine characters. Think a novel mix of drama meets Grindhouse meets Mel Gibson owning that shite! It was also poignant, pimped out solid action scenes, some tension, laughs, impeccable direction by Jean-François Richet and it showcased fantastic performances, specially by Erin Moriarty and Mel Gibson who hasn't been THIS f-ing good in a long time! Sure, more wam-bam would have been appreciated, but again, I never felt any lag and was ALWAYS invested. In short; BLOOD FATHER is a MUST SEE! A picture axed on characters, relationships, emotionally charged themes and ass kicking! My fav film of the year so far!
BULL'S EYE
Sylvester Stallone wanted to direct and star in Blood Father at some point.

The flick was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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3:42PM on 09/14/2016

7 out of 10

Mel Gibson is back with a f*$king vengeance, need I say more? Okay then, Blood Father is to Mel as Chef was to Jon Favreau and by that I mean, this character, Link is a straight up metaphor for Mel and the bad choices he's made, in the latter half of his career.
From the alcoholism, to the bouts of anger that cause him to say things he really shouldn't Link is a man with many flaws, but you never give up on him and you find yourself rooting for him to the very end. There's a scene where's
Mel Gibson is back with a f*$king vengeance, need I say more? Okay then, Blood Father is to Mel as Chef was to Jon Favreau and by that I mean, this character, Link is a straight up metaphor for Mel and the bad choices he's made, in the latter half of his career.
From the alcoholism, to the bouts of anger that cause him to say things he really shouldn't Link is a man with many flaws, but you never give up on him and you find yourself rooting for him to the very end. There's a scene where's he's talking to his daughter, about how much he's screwed up and how he's trying to get it right this time around. I dare you to say that isn't from the heart.
Blood Father also delivers, with action sequences that manage to get better and more brutal, as the movie goes along. The visuals are gritty, with a hint of Mad Max here and there (the colors and the lighting are all there), but the thing that truly makes this movie work, is the excellent acting and chemistry between leads Mel and Erin Moriarty who plays his very [link] but well meaning daughter. I really hated this character at first, but the character growth shown and the way the actress develops her as the story unfolds, is top notch.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The story isn't always cohesive, with plot holes you notice somewhat, after viewing. The antagonist, Jonah was also a nothing character, who never felt like any kind of real threat. I daresay Michael Parks as Preacher and his moments with Link were much better, and I wished the story had been structured, to make him the main villain.

CONCLUSION : Blood Father was a fine return to form for Mel Gibson. I myself never felt like he went anywhere, with solid performances in Get The Gringo and even The Expendables 3. Yet it must be pointed out that his acting here was not just a love letter to his fans who've stood by him, but I felt it was also an apology (of sorts) and at then end, like Link he's a man that found redemption, at least he did in my book.
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12:33AM on 08/01/2016
Mel was very good but the film was beneath him totally direct to video material .6 out of 10 thanks to Mel's performance
Mel was very good but the film was beneath him totally direct to video material .6 out of 10 thanks to Mel's performance
Your Reply:



+0
11:56AM on 07/30/2016

Right on about Mel

As a member of the official "fuck up" club... I laugh as people point at Mel and act like they have never screwed up themselves... We are all members of the "fuck up" club... Anyways... Great commentary on Mel and I was already looking forward to the movie and now I am really pumped. thanks for the review!!
As a member of the official "fuck up" club... I laugh as people point at Mel and act like they have never screwed up themselves... We are all members of the "fuck up" club... Anyways... Great commentary on Mel and I was already looking forward to the movie and now I am really pumped. thanks for the review!!
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