This week we saw Blood Father, a return of Mel Gibson as an Action Movie star, rather than a creator of news for his personal life.
The film comes from director Jean-Francois Richet who made the acclaimed Mesrine films.
The script comes from Straight Outta Compton writer by Andrea Berloff, based on Peter Craig’s novel.
Peter also co-wrote the screenplay, having already had success screenwriting such films as The Town and The Hunger games: Mockingjay.
Now the trailers have misled this film I feel, as it seems to portray the film along the likes of Taken and John Wick, but for us, the action was not as frequent, as we get a story more about regret and making wrong choices.
The film opens with Link (Gibson) at an AA meeting confirming he is still sober, which he managed whilst in prison for many crimes. He now regrets those poor decisions, which he believes has given him the life he has now, Divorced, living in a trailer and many of his past times, riding a bike etc and the people he used to hang around with would all now be parole violations.
He also believes he lost his daughter who ran away from home, whilst he was in prison.
He makes ends meet as a tattooist and has only one friend in his AA sponsor, Kirby (William H. Macy)
We learn that Lydia, his daughter, (Erin Moriarty) we learn has caught up with the wrong crowd, led by her boyfriend, Jonah (Diego Luna) who she believes loves her, but we learn is simply using her to blame for his stealing of money from a powerful drug cartel!
When they raid a house of drug dealers, Jonah asks Lydia to shoot a woman to prove her love to him, shutting her eyes she takes the shot but hits Jonah instead. The others assume this is so she can take the money and drugs for herself so she has to go on the run and reaches out to her father to protect her and give her money for a new start.
Link agrees, knowing that every hitman will be out to get them, also having to deal with her daughter’s drug and drinking habits, which will put temptation in the way for the man who has worked so hard to reform since getting out of prison!
After an initial meeting with the bad guys, including the demolition of Link’s trailer (having seen what happened to his trailer in the Lethal Weapon films, you would think Mel would avoid them =) he goes on the run, bonding slowly with his daughter.
Link also learns that criminals are not the best friends, when he meets up with Preacher (Michael Parks) who he did time for. Preacher no longer has the money he was keeping and in fact looks to get the reward now out on Link and his daughter.
What follows is Link doing all he can to keep his daughter safe so she can rebuild her life, whatever the consequences to his are.
This is a much better return to form for Gibson in a starring role, we were very disappointed by How I Spent My Summer Vacation and whilst this is not another Lethal Weapon/Mad Max/Payback action film we know him for, it’s certainly a good solid action film and a good comeback to the screen, which will be followed by another film, Hacksaw Ridge, which this time he will be behind the camera again.
Watch the trailer here:
You can buy the book it was based on here:
Do you prefer Mel the actor or director? Do you have a favourite work of his? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films.
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