Blood Father stars, Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Signs), Erin Moriarty (The Kings of Summer, The Watch), Michael Parks (Kill Bill, Django Unchained), William H. Macy (Fargo, Shameless) and is directed by Jean-François Richet (Mesrine Part 1, Mesrine Part 2)
Link (Gibson), is out of prison and trying to live a normal life until his daughter (Moriarty) seeks him out, with more than dangerous problems. The two of them go on the run from a gang of vicious murders trying to kill them both.
I know people have a lot of problems with Mel Gibson but I was so excited to see this film. I had heard really great things about it and as a fan of Gibson the actor, I want to see him make a comeback. I don’t know if this little film will get him back in the public’s good books but man, is it awesome.
Say what you will about him, you can’t deny Mel Gibson is an incredible actor. In Blood Father he gives one of his top 3 performances ever! This film is being called Gibson’s Taken and it certainly has elements of Taken but what completely separates it, is Gibson. He’s playing a mean, rugged ex-con who takes no shit from anyone. A character like that can be fun to watch but not someone you want to root for, except when he’s played by charismatic actor like Gibson. His performance is so strong and makes this character 3 dimensional instead of a one note badass. I was going into Blood Father expecting stupid fun but through Gibson, I actually caught myself getting really attached to his character and the film got me a few times emotionally. Also he is jacked and scary.
His daughter played by Erin Moriarty is as solid as you could wish for in a film like this. There are a few scenes with her, where she’s good but Gibson is acting circles around her and shows Moriarty up a bit. For the most part, she reminded me of a young Anna Paquin and was doing a good job.
As well as Gibson’s character catching me off guard, the relationship between him and his daughter was excellent. They have some great back and forth banter, creating some really funny moments. This is only a 88 minute film, so these characters are thrown together quickly but the two performers make you buy into them and very early on I found myself invested in their story. Gibson and Moriarty had a father and daughter chemistry that propelled this film way above and beyond what it should have been.
Blood Father has a few supporting characters who all add to the film, except one but we’ll get to him soon. William H Macy plays a friend to Gibson and like always he’s great. There’s a Sicario (thanks Villeneuve for the definition) hunting down our protagonists, who despite not saying anything, is really scary and contributed to some intense scenes. Also there’s another character who I can’t discuss without going into spoilers but they’re solid too.
You should know going in, this isn’t an action spectacle, with people hanging of buildings and elaborate stunts. Blood Father is a small, confined film, that relies more on the characters than the action. I thought I was getting a big, fun action film but was pleasantly surprised that this actually has more to it than that. I’m not saying it’s The Godfather or anything but if you want to be wowed by special effects and stuntmen jumping everywhere, this probably isn’t the film for you. I have to give the credit to the director, Jean-François Richet for keeping this film small and not letting it get away from him. When looking him up, I discovered he’s done a two part film with Vincent Cassel, Mesrine, which is now on the top of my watch list.
In the middle section a character played by Michael Parks comes into the film and it took a weird turn. I love Michael Parks, I’m probably his biggest fan and it was nothing against his performance but the character I wasn’t in to. Within these scenes, there were two of my favorite moments from the film but it still wasn’t enough to justify taking the characters to this particular place.
There’s a couple of decisions made that are painfully stupid and will have you screaming at the screen in anger but all in all, Blood Father is a badass film. Hopefully Gibson is making his comeback, there’s a promising rising star in Erin Moriarty and the cinematography is beautiful.
Oh yeah, there’s a scene (I can already see the memes and parodies coming) when Gibson lets out all his frustration and starts screaming like a maniac… it’s the best thing I’ve seen all year in film.
Have you seen Blood Father and what did you think of it?