Director: Jean-François Richet
Writers: Peter Craig, Andrea Berloff
Stars: Mel GIbson, Erin Moriarty, William H. Macy
Release Date: August 26, 2016
The ultimate comfort food. A simple action movie with a simple plot. There is nothing more soothing for the movie soul.
Blood Father is EXACTLY that. Picture Get To The Gringo (2010), and apply the same exact principles six years later. Blood Father stars Mel Gibson as a beleaguered father, Link, who is thrown back into the criminal underworld he had thought to escaped when his estranged daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty), calls upon him to escape from a deadly predicament. The ex-convict must protect his daughter from drug dealers and cartels who will stop at nothing to see her dead.
How beautifully simple is that! It is a simple a vessel to Gibson to act like a badass, banter with some fellow degenerates, and close out the adventure like an invincible superman.
The movie starts out with a surprise. Lydia accidently killed her boyfriend in a heist gone wrong, which naturally leads to her being on the run from some unsavory folks. We don’t meet Link until he is delivering an expositional soliloquy at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. There we learn about his history and get a sense for his “screw it all” attitude. We also meet Kirby, played by William H. Macy! (Can you tell I didn’t watch the trailer before seeing this movie?).
Blood Father follows Link and Lydia as the avoid violent gangs and cruel mercenaries. There are pitstops along the way where violence becomes necessary. The father-daughter combo un-ravel the true conspiracy that has put them in danger, resulting in a final confrontation that pins wits versus fire-power.
Again. I will say it again. Super simple.
The most innovative scene of Blood Father is the motorcycle chase and kill sequence in the second half of the film. Link reveals his bike and looks to drive Lydia to safety, but things are never that simple. Getting on the bike may is an act of symbolism showing how Link is back going down the road of criminality and violence and he knows best. It is also a sequence that is really well directed and staged. This is the second movie I have seen of director Jean-François Richet, the other being the Assault on Precinct 13 (2005). I can tell you I do not remember ANYTHING from that remake, but this motorcycle scene from Blood Father is still in my head.
The story progresses at a fairly quick clip, but most importantly it doesn’t dwell on TOO many unnecessary details. It doesn’t overpopulate the criminal storylines with unnecessary double-crosses or inter-family drama. The audience knows RIGHT AWAY who is good and who is bad. They know which characters are in jeopardy of violence and which are comedic foils. Blood Father is the perfect example of where predictability it okay. It’s comfort food. It is exactly what you’d like to shut your brain off to. Violence, sassy dialogue, and a pension for vengeance. Fuel for any cliché action movie lover.
Blood Father is available for streaming on Netflix.
STANKO RATING: C+ (2.5/5 Stars)