Mel Gibson is back on the silver screen in Jean-Francois Richet's Blood Father. Gibson plays John Link, an ex-con who must re-visit some of his old ways in order to protect his estranged teenage daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) from the drug dealers that are trying to kill her. William H. Macy co-stars as Kirby; Link's friend and AA sponsor.
At the same time, Gibson does a good job of showing Link's inner turmoil. On the one hand he's on parole and is working very hard to turn his life around. Then his daughter reappears in need of help and Link is hit by all the emotions of a parent who will stop at nothing to protect their child. Moriarty and Macy deliver good performances as the incredibly naive teenager who thinks the gangster boyfriend really loves her and the friend who's trying to keep Link on the straight and narrow. Link has a violent criminal past and what's fresh is the movie doesn't try to excuse it. It's not like Ocean's 11 where they go after the bigger criminal or Sons of Anarchy where law enforcement are made out to be the bad guys, he was a nasty piece of work who went to prison and reformed. He's not a superhero, he's not even equivalent to Liam Neeson's Bryan Mills, he's just doing what he can to protect his daughter. Most of us have a protective nature when it comes to the ones we love. The fact that you can relate to Link is what makes this movie so good.
Between this and Hacksaw Ridge - his first project as a director in a decade - Gibson could be making a real comeback. But will he ever regain the level of popularity he used to enjoy?
Blood Father hits UK cinemas on 7th October.
With this review I'm introducing a rating system:
I'm giving Blood Father 7/10
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