Blood Father

Blood Father

They left him no choice..

Between his alchololism, domestic violence, homophobia and antisemitism, Mel Gibson has not made a lot of friends the last decade or two. Aptly his new film Blood Father starts in an AA meeting where we meet him as Link, a man who has done his time in jail and is now living an isolated life as a tattoo artist trying to stay out of trouble. He hasn’t seen his daughter Lydia for over four years but he has been looking for her, to the despair of his estranged ex-wife who just wants to close the chapters and both Link and Lydia.

One day Lydia calls Link, for help of course. As it turns out she has been hanging out with some seriously shady characters; her boyfriend Jonah heads up the local arm of a major drug cartel, but after a botched job where she ended up shooting him, she is now on the run from him.

There is of course no easy running from such a drug cartel, so wherever Link and Lydia try to go, escape or hide, they always pop up again. How, we are not sure, but the consequence is always another fight-and-flight scene.

Gibson looks pretty good as worn, bearded has-been, and if you see Link as an older, somewhat wiser, somewhat mellower-but-still-crazy-and-got-nothing-to-lose-so-don’t-push-him Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon days, you sort of get the picture.

The key transition or intervention points that move the plot from one situation to the next feel rather klunky at times, and therefore leave you a bit wanting if you start to wonder about any Hows or Whys.  It lacks the suspense of a real cat-and-mouse game; by expecting us to just buy into the next plotpoint thrown at us, we are left with a more straightforward chase plot.

But fair is fair: the movie is fun to watch, Gibson is in his groove, and with a bit more depth and backstory to a few selected plotpoints it could have been a pretty good film.




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