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Blood Father - Film Review

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Published September 19th 2016
Action packed silver screen comeback for Mel Gibson

Blood Father is Mel Gibson's 2016 action packed return to the big screen after a five year hiatus. It came with high hopes of recapturing the leading man at his 80's-90's peak, but had little else to offer. Some might say that as he was accompanied by a poor cast, the only reason to keep watching was the hope there may be slight salvation.

John Link is a recovering alcoholic ex-jailbird leading a sober life the past two years after being released from prison a year ago. The film begins on John's birthday where he spends it ranting at an AA meeting. A dim existence it appears to be for John as he vents profusely to Kirby, his committed sponsor, a common occurrence it seems. John's daughter has been missing for four years, pictures and posters adorn his notice board in the trailer and a portrait of his child has been etched on his forearm. The bland and banal is shattered when an unexpected call stirs his soul.

Lydia, John's now 17 year old daughter, has found herself in a dangerous situation and is believed to have murdered her dangerous Mexican cartel boyfriend. Fraught with worry and high on adrenaline, she calls her dad expecting some money. The film does little to answer questions regarding the teenager's disappearance and possible situations could be abduction, prostitution, drugs or human trafficking. Lydia is an active drug user, this is not overlooked by her dad, desperate for her to dry out and explain herself. Following an explosive face-off at John's trailer the pair then hastily set off together in the search of safety.

Blood Father
Image courtesy of Icon Films


The film is reminiscent of a Thelma and Louise meets Taken mishmash; a deadly father and daughter duo on the run with dad prepared to do absolutely anything to save his daughter. The plot does seem predictable in places and somewhat tired with some scenes taking up far too much screen time. Fighting and gun scenes are quite fiery; they could leave you squirming in your chair whilst knowing how far-fetched they truly are. During the film, there are points where the father and daughter dialogue is genuine and heart-warming but this does little to mask the holes in the story concerning the two. A great depiction of a dad at angst by Mel Gibson is what makes the film salvable. If you're a veteran Gibson fan this is the film for you.

Blood Father
Image courtesy of Icon Films
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