FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Blood Father,” which stars Mel Gibson (The Road Warrior, Braveheart), Erin Moriarty (The Kings of Summer, Captain Fantastic), Diego Luna (Milk, The Terminal), Michael Parks (Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Django Unchained), William H. Macy (Fargo , Pleasantville), Miguel Sandoval (Medium [TV series], Clear and Present Danger), and Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3, Super 8). It is directed by Jean-Francois Richet (Assault on Precinct 13, One Wild Moment), with the screenplay being written by Peter Craig (The Town, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1) and Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton, World Trade Center). Based on a novel, this film follows an ex-con named Link (Gibson) whose missing daughter, Lydia (Moriarty), comes to him with trouble. Having done wrong to a gang of drug dealers, Lydia is on the run and seeks help from her father in hopes of getting away from them. Now thrown into the mix of things, Link will do all he can to protect his daughter from getting killed.
Mel Gibson has been rather quiet in the filmmaking business these last few years, so seeing him poke his head back out calls for something interesting to watch. This year, he’s directing a new movie called “Hacksaw Ridge” (which doesn’t look enticing), but what I am here to analyze is his latest acting entry: “Blood Father.” The trailers for this release seemed gritty and intense, resembling a feel that “The Road Warrior” represented. Of course, the story isn’t as hectic or insane, but there are tons of gruesome moments to witness. Heading into this review, I first want to discuss the cinematography of this film. The setting and landscapes are dusty, rural, and just plain dirty. I took major interest in how this was shot, mainly studying what’s around our actors as well as their positioning. No, the directing isn’t that unique, as the shots used are good enough to push the story and bring intensity to the viewers, but the resources used to bring this plot into focus are great. That and the terrific characterization of Mel Gibson’s character, Link. I loved this character’s cynicism; it made for an often funny experience and even made me pity what crap he had to go through. His dialogue was well-written, and the other characters are fine too. His daughter is basically that one rebel you despise in a movie, and I will say that I didn’t like her character. However, this is what the writers seemed to be shooting for, and I have to give props to them for accomplishing their goal. The development of the daughter was pretty good, and Erin Moriarty did a solid job in the role. Everyone else had decent performances, but it was really Moriarty and Gibson who had the spotlight. Moving onto the story, this is your basic father-fixes-daughter’s-problem tale, with a few added thrills. There wasn’t much that was memorable, but I did have a great time watching it nonetheless. The conflict had enough drive, and seeing Link struggle to keep his daughter safe was the best aspect. I didn’t predict the ending to conclude the way it did, but it didn’t shock me either, when you take the characters into consideration. The adventure was fun, and there weren’t many moments that slowed up the plot. I enjoyed the action a lot in this, and seeing Gibson take out bad guys on a motorcycle was awesome. Nothing felt too over-the-top; all of the action seemed relatively grounded, and that’s a great aspect to have. When looking at major issues, there aren’t really any to talk about. This isn’t an epic movie nor does it try to be original. I took joy out of watching it though, and many of the tools used to bring this together make for a good experience. If you like Mel Gibson as an actor and are looking for a gritty action ride, you should check this one out. FINAL SCORE: 87%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: