Self-exiled somewhere in the dusty landscapes on the outskirts of Los Angeles, John Link--a rugged former convict, and now, a tattoo artist struggling to stay sober--sees his quasi-orderly life turn upside down, when he receives a desperate phone call from his estranged daughter, Lydia. On the run from a ruthless Mexican drug cartel, John and Lydia must navigate through a dangerous world of frail allegiances and merciless cut-throats, as they seek shelter in an inhospitable city. Can the grizzled father save his teenage daughter from this nightmare?Written by
Lydia says to Link when they are in the back of a truck, "No white person has ever picked a fruit off a tree." Michael Parks, who plays Preacher, used to pick fruit off of trees as his first job. See more »
When the father (Mel) is working on the tattoo while his daughter is there (when she points out the guy's melanoma), he's wearing glasses, then he isn't, then he is again. See more »
You may not wanna wake up tomorrow,
but the day after that might just be great.
Might be the best fucking day of your life, you know?
See more »
After years of hard-drinking and heavily publicised, hateful rants, Mel Gibson has seen his career plunge from the A-list to the, well, non-existent list. He was once one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, handsome enough to draw a female audience with lighthearted rom-coms, and suitably bad-ass enough to tackle the meatier action roles. He of course only has himself to blame, but Gibson has been slowly and quietly carving himself a niche with the few features he's done over past few the years - Edge of Darkness (2010), How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012) - as a gruff enforcer not necessarily on the right side of the law.
With Jean-Francois Richet's Blood Father, the years of hard living etched on Gibson's face have never served him better. His character John Link, the recovering alcoholic ex-con getting by as a tattoo artist in a trailer park, acknowledges his past mistakes in the opening scene at an AA meeting, almost as if Gibson himself is pleading forgiveness for his behaviour. He is trying to live straight and keep his parole officer happy, but his peaceful existence is soon turned on its head when his daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty), missing for years, turns up with the police and a Mexican cartel hunting her down. Fearing losing the daughter he failed when she was still a child, John takes her on the road and uses the skills he learned as a criminal to keep her out of harm's way.
With Mad Max (1979) clearly serving as an inspiration, Blood Father is pure B-movie exploitation. It's the kind of film you could imagine being made in the 70's with Peter Fonda in the lead role and Roger Corman producing. That said, and despite the odd explosion of action and violence, the focus is mainly on character. While this would normally be a good thing, it does so via every cliché imaginable. There's the wanted posters, news reports in dingy hotel rooms, changing of hair colour, and a climactic shoot-out, and it frequently felt like I had seen the film before. It's best when at its most furious, racking up the tension as Link faces a neo-Nazi biker gang and Lydia's drug-lord ex-boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna). It might just be enough for Hollywood to embrace Gibson again, and from his performance here, I realised just how much I miss him.
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