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Review: Blood Father

Blood Father
08.12.2016
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BLOOD FATHER was originally reviewed as part of the 2016 Fantasia Film Festival.

PLOT: An ex-con (Mel Gibson), who ekes out a living as a tattoo artist, is dragged into a war with a violent gang when his estranged daughter (Erin Moriarty) re-enters his life.

REVIEW: Damn right! That’s what I kept saying to myself over-and-over as I watched BLOOD FATHER on the big-screen at a Fantasia press screening in advance of its North American premiere as part of the festival. Mel Gibson’s first straight-up star vehicle since the (massively) underrated GET THE GRINGO, BLOOD FATHER is the type of hard-edged action thriller that could give the controversial star the comeback he deserves – were it getting a full-scale release. Instead, BLOOD FATHER is only getting a limited theatrical run (along with a VOD release) which is a shame, as with the breathtaking desert vistas this was clearly composed for the big-screen and is the most defiantly cinematic movie of the summer.

blood father mel gibson

Director Jean-Francois Richet has really done something interesting here, in that he’s brought his European perspective to a distinctly American-style actioner, which plays out like a modern western with motorcycles replacing horses, and bikers/thugs instead of cowboys. Having aced the two-part MESRINE crime saga (starring Vincent Cassel), Richet is a sophisticated director and he elevates what could have been a small-scale actioner to near epic level. It helps that he’s working from a high-grade script by Peter Craig (the author of the novel this is based on) and STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON’s Andrea Berloff, that also gets in a few well-timed political pokes, such as a great opening sequence where Moriarty’s sixteen-year-old is allowed to by endless rounds of ammo but not cigarettes.

blood father mel gibson erin moriarty

As for the man himself, Gibson is at his absolute best. Wearing a gritty beard, and sporting a kind of “don’t f**k with me” attitude that’s probably not far from the real Mel, this is his best performance in years. That said, for all his personal drama, Gibson has never let anyone down as far as movies go, although I’d say he has more to chew-on here than he did in EDGE OF DARKNESS or even GET THE GRINGO. If that later film was a call-back to PAYBACK, this is more along the lines of LETHAL WEAPON’s Riggs, with his Link having the same wild-look in his eyes and dangerous sense of unpredictability. One moment he can be tender with Moriarty (who’s very good as the troubled daughter) and in the next can be ripping ears off his opponents with his teeth, while simultaneously telling his daughter that despite all the murder, he’s having the time of his life – which we believe.

blood father mel gibson

Richet’s also surrounded Gibson with a solid supporting cast. Diego Luna adds menace as the charming but sociopathic gangster after Moriarty, with him accompanied by a dead-eyed Sicario sent from the cartels to do his bidding. Meanwhile, William H. Macy steals scenes as Gibson’s AA sponsor/best friend/neighbor. The best of all them is Michael Parks, who aces a bit as Gibson’s former mentor, now turned neo-Nazi psychopath who’s holed-up in a desert bunker and proves to be a shadow of the figure Gibson remembers.

What’s really amazing about BLOOD FATHER is how Richet’s able to squeeze in tons of character beats and not skimp on the action at all, despite a scant eighty-eight minute running time. Highly economical and very disciplined with a hard-R rating, this is the antithesis of the usual Hollywood action fare and more like the kind of thing we’d have seen in the late eighties/nineties. It’s a small miracle as far as these things go, and it’s telling of the current marke place that the best action movie of the year is going straight to VOD. Don’t miss it – there may not anything out quite like it for awhile.

Source: JoBlo.com

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11:28AM on 08/15/2016
Whaaat?! Yes Mel is undeniably bad ass but THAT IS IT! All the other actors were terrible! Even William H. Macy's performance was B grade, as if he just needed the cash. With 2 little gunfights and a 10 second motorcycle chase I don't even see how one can qualify this as an action film. This movie was downright boring and predictable. Don't expect any good action, it's much closer to Arnold's The Last Stand than Neeson's Taken (as I was lead to believe). The whole time I was waiting for the
Whaaat?! Yes Mel is undeniably bad ass but THAT IS IT! All the other actors were terrible! Even William H. Macy's performance was B grade, as if he just needed the cash. With 2 little gunfights and a 10 second motorcycle chase I don't even see how one can qualify this as an action film. This movie was downright boring and predictable. Don't expect any good action, it's much closer to Arnold's The Last Stand than Neeson's Taken (as I was lead to believe). The whole time I was waiting for the action to start and then suddenly... the movie was over.
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2:44AM on 08/13/2016
Saw it at Fantasia as well and it was the most fun movie I've seen at the fest this year! Not going to win any Oscars, but who cares, it's exactly the movie you are expecting it to be (unlike let's say a certain Suicide Squad). Pure, as said in the review, late 80s/early 90s action!
Saw it at Fantasia as well and it was the most fun movie I've seen at the fest this year! Not going to win any Oscars, but who cares, it's exactly the movie you are expecting it to be (unlike let's say a certain Suicide Squad). Pure, as said in the review, late 80s/early 90s action!
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1:29PM on 08/12/2016

Waaaah, waaaaah! I'm boycotting Mel because he said something one time!

Good ol Mel's been gone far too long! I can't wait to see this one!
Good ol Mel's been gone far too long! I can't wait to see this one!
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10:11AM on 08/04/2016
Yes! Mel is back.
Yes! Mel is back.
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+0
11:03PM on 08/03/2016

It's in the theaters Aug. 11th or 12th in the US

Other countries are different dates. I have a ticket to see it 11th in Oklahoma. It's a limited release because the studios are dumb as #*(@( It received a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival (for a long time I might add) Mel is great in all his films. Hacksaw will be awesome too. Nov 4th baby!!!!!!!
Other countries are different dates. I have a ticket to see it 11th in Oklahoma. It's a limited release because the studios are dumb as #*(@( It received a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival (for a long time I might add) Mel is great in all his films. Hacksaw will be awesome too. Nov 4th baby!!!!!!!
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2:06PM on 08/14/2016
release date is August 26, saw a screening of it last week. Pretty good flick. I think this is what Mel needed to get back out there.
release date is August 26, saw a screening of it last week. Pretty good flick. I think this is what Mel needed to get back out there.
7:29PM on 08/03/2016
I must say I've been looking forward to this for a while now and for this to be a VOD and not a cinema release is a Fucking Joke!
I must say I've been looking forward to this for a while now and for this to be a VOD and not a cinema release is a Fucking Joke!
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11:05PM on 08/03/2016
It is in the theaters, limited, but if it's getting great reception like Slumdog did, then it might go bigger; so far the reviews are awesome.
It is in the theaters, limited, but if it's getting great reception like Slumdog did, then it might go bigger; so far the reviews are awesome.
7:15PM on 08/03/2016

Cant wait

Mel is my guy. I'll pay to see anything he is in. This sounds like just my kind of film
Mel is my guy. I'll pay to see anything he is in. This sounds like just my kind of film
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7:05PM on 08/03/2016

HELL YES

Mel is oozing rage like a rabies infested animal i love it, this movie looks like it kicks like a fuckin 12 gauge can not wait for this!
P.S- Nice to see Chris not getting ripped to shreds for once, lol
Mel is oozing rage like a rabies infested animal i love it, this movie looks like it kicks like a fuckin 12 gauge can not wait for this!
P.S- Nice to see Chris not getting ripped to shreds for once, lol
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4:28PM on 08/03/2016
This and his Hacksaw ridge is looking a good last part of the year for Mel.
This and his Hacksaw ridge is looking a good last part of the year for Mel.
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+5
4:25PM on 08/03/2016

GTA 5

If they ever made a movie based off GTA 5, Gibson could play Trevor.
If they ever made a movie based off GTA 5, Gibson could play Trevor.
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4:17PM on 08/03/2016

Good news

It's getting a UK cinema release, I can't wait.
It's getting a UK cinema release, I can't wait.
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4:01PM on 08/03/2016
Agree with Glinda that this is great news to hear. Film looks awesome and Gibson still looks in top form and shape this late into his career.

It's just bullshit that he hasn't been accepted back yet by Hollywood. The man is a legend and can still run with the best of them.
Agree with Glinda that this is great news to hear. Film looks awesome and Gibson still looks in top form and shape this late into his career.

It's just bullshit that he hasn't been accepted back yet by Hollywood. The man is a legend and can still run with the best of them.
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+3
3:39PM on 08/03/2016

So awesome to hear

I cannot wait!
I cannot wait!
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