Toronto After Dark 2016 Review: Does BLOOD FATHER Mark The Return of Mel Gibson?

Jean-François Richet's Blood Father may be Mel Gibson's road to redemption

Associate Editor, News; Toronto, Canada (@Mack_SAnarchy)
1
Sign-In to Vote
Toronto After Dark 2016 Review: Does BLOOD FATHER Mark The Return of Mel Gibson?
John Link (Mel Gibson) is living out his probation in a trailer park on a desolate park in California, running a tattoo parlour out of his trailer. Having recently served a multi year prison sentence he desperately tries to keep himself on the straight and narrow. However, one night he gets a phone call from his daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty), presumed missing to this point, desperate for his help to get her out of town. She has found herself caught up with members of a drug cartel and they are looking to kill her. To what lengths is Link willing to go to find his daughter and protect her?
 
When we first meet Link he is attending some support group. He speaks to the group about hurting people, chasing them away, and that some have not come back. It is eerily close and similar to the past few years of Gibson’s personal life you wonder if Gibson had not taken these words to heart as he prepared for this performance and offered these moments as a kind of confessional. 
 
The screenplay and dialogue crackle like fireworks, giving us reason to seek out screenwriter Peter Craig’s novel which this film is based on. We presume the work done by he and Andrea Berloff in adapting his text to film is is done well because the dialogue is so excellent. It is work complimentary to any of Mamet’s efforts. The exchanges between Link and his daugher snap like lightening and levity despite her circumstances. Credit must be given to the work of veteran editor Steven Rosenblum for cutting those conversations into a comprehensible series of quick cuts. 
 
Regarding Gibson. He is flat out terrific in this film. Call it a comeback. Call it a return to form. Call it what you want, but rarely has Gibson been better than he is in Blood Father. There are glimmers of Martin Riggs from his Lethal Weapon years, maybe it was the trailer, or that hint of crazy that is back in his eyes as car windows got blown out around him, whatever it is it comes through the cracks of his tough ex-con exterior. 
 
His supporting cast does not do a shabby job either. The always reliable William H Macy and splendid character actor Michael Parks, men in Link’s life at opposite ends of the law, are at their best once again. Moriarty is great when she is sparring off verbally with her father.
 
Blood Father's action is succinct, to the point, and there is more than enough of it to satisfy any action fan. The World that Link had left behind was dangerous at every corner. Every where he and Lydia turn is fraught with danger and terror. This is not to say that Blood Father is an overly intense non-stop experience but this is the World that Link has to return to in order to save her. The action scenes in Blood Father are punctuation, not exposition. They are however a hell of an exclamation mark. Straight up, Blood Father is a great action film. 
 
We may never be able to separate the professional life from the personal life but if Mel Gibson is ever to be in our favor again Blood Father may well be the movie that we will all look back on as that turning point.  
1
Sign-In to Vote
Screen Anarchy logo
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here to report it.

More about Blood Father

  • ManateeAdvocate

    Great film. I'm actually planning on watching it again tonight. Gibson and Moriarty were terrific.

  • cjohnston

    *You got a chance to check out Trance and Charlie Countryman .? (.!!)

    AWESOME.!

  • cjohnston

    ~ Amen. ~

  • Wjr.

    Mel Gibson, gives an honest portrayal of a broken Man, he tries to be a good father too late ,but realizes that is all he has to offer at this point in his life, great performances by all the actors, riveting dialogue and action sequences thru out the film.

  • cjohnston

    If you're interested; you might also wanna give HeadHunters, A Lonely Place To Die, Charlie Countryman, Dead Man Down, Savages, and Trance a shot.

  • Wjr.

    I've seen them all ! Headhunters was the best of those films you listed.

  • cjohnston

    I can't quite decide WHICH one(s) I like more that the others...

    ....they'r ALL Dandies in my book.

  • cjohnston

    saw this film; already a couple times now....
    - Absolutely LOVED IT. ---
    *one of the (apologies) Damnably Finest and Smartest crime/thrillers i've seen over the past ten years or so.
    **Gibson's BEST role Ever in film imho.
    ~
    ...while i'd personally be a bit hesitant to say "he's back"; after his Convincing and Impressive turn here - i AM marginally more interested now in Hacksaw Ridge than i was prior..
    ~ ~
    *and; Agreement upon this film or not, - another Fine article on this site.

    KUDOS, (and Thank You) for keeping it real.

blog comments powered by Disqus