Blood Father has a blissfully short run-time with some entertaining action scenes and a barnstorming performance from Mel Gibson making it one of my favourite movies of the year.
Plot: Mel Gibson delivers nonstop, no-holds-barred action in this dynamic thrill ride. When his estranged teenaged daughter (Erin Moriarty) is targeted by a drug cartel, ex-convict John Link (Gibson) must call upon connections from his criminal past and his own lethal skills to save his daughter’s future. Diego Luna, Michael Parks, and William H. Macy costar in this explosive story of how far one man will go to save his family.
Review: So Blood Father finally came out on iTunes the other day; not in theatres, not even DVD or Blu-ray but iTunes. That really sucks that a movie of this quality only gets a digital release with zero fanfare or marketing. Blood Father is better than most of the shit that has been released in multiplexes this year and I would have loved to see it on the big screen but instead it’s been pushed under the radar with zero support from the studio behind it.
Anyway, rant over; so I watched the movie over the weekend and it is that rare occasion where the movie adaptation is arguably better than the source material. The novel Blood Father was very good but too much time was spent with Lydia and her loser friends as she looks after her boyfriend Jonah’s stash houses when really we wanted to spend more time with her estranged father John Link (Mel Gibson) who is a far more interesting character.
Thankfully in the movie this whole side story is mentioned in a sentence and the main focus of the story is the father/daughter relationship between Lydia and Link. I’ve heard some people describe this movie as a little slow and admittedly there isn’t action every two seconds because (heaven forbid!) there is actually some character development as John and Lydia get to know each other after several years apart.
This is happily an adult orientated movie with themes of redemption and relationships between parents and their children; it has a fairly straightforward story but it’s kept tight with a run time just under 90 minutes. There is no CG that I noticed and the action is really nicely done with a few chases; the action highlights are arguably the motorbike chase through the desert towards the end and the assault on Link’s trailer by some cartel goons.
The acting is all top shelf and Gibson is at his grizzly best; to be honest there is no acting required from Gibbo as Link struggles to conquer his demons so I get the feeling that this is almost a kind of catharsis for him. In the book I hated Lydia but in the movie she is less annoying and Erin Moriarty is perfectly cast; her relationship with her dad is believable and despite knowing how the story ended before watching it I still hoped for a different outcome. Characters like Jonah (Diego Luna) are a little one note and maybe don’t get enough screen time to shine but he is in it enough for you to hate him.
Overall, Blood Father has a blissfully short run-time with some entertaining action scenes and a barnstorming performance from Mel Gibson making it one of my favourite movies of the year. I want to see him back in more movies, please!