Mel Gibson as a “rough around the edges” ex-con? Gibson plays John Link and Blood Father
is right up his alley. To set the scene, his runaway daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty), is purchasing not only a pack of gum, but several boxes of ammunition. Strange purchase, right? The funny thing is that the clerk doesn’t ask for ID for the ammunition, but cards her for the pack of cigarettes - - but wait it gets stranger.
Her boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna), part of a drug cartel, hides the drug money in the walls of rented houses. When he discovers that tenants have been stealing the money, he goes to the house to wipe them out. Jonah insists that Lydia prove her loyalty and shoot the female tenant. In all the commotion, however, Lydia accidently shoots her boyfriend. Ouch! Is he dead? Suddenly on the run, she contacts her dad for money, but ends up moving back into his trailer home. Here is where the picture gets particularly "draggy" as we watch Link deal with his AA issues and continue to work out of his trailer as a tattoo artist.
It’s here in this sparsely-populated, low-key trailer park that Jonah’s gang catches up to her, shoots up the trailer, and finally some action…Lydia and John are now on the run from the drug cartel.
This role is right in Gibson’s wheelhouse. He is not playing the typical action figure. He is an ex-con, recently on parole and definitely looks the part. Even with the scruffy beard, however, he can’t hide a well-toned physique. Think of a slightly older version of the Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.
William H. Macy is Kirby and plays his character to perfection as Link’s AA sponsor. In fact, if you liked Macy in Road Hogs and Jurassic Park, you’ll love him in Blood Father. Even while on the run, Link reaches out to Kirby several times, just to let him know that despite being in a heap of trouble, he is sober which makes for quite a few funny moments.
Not-so-great movie moments:
The movie seriously drags. You will be waiting for the action, waiting…waiting… Just when you think you were wrong about it being an action movie, the pace jumps from zero to sixty.
Trying find out why the cartel is so hot after his daughter, John visits an old buddy in prison Interestingly enough, he shows up in a suit and tie. What? Where did that outfit come from? Is there a backstory there somewhere?
The Blood Father story line is no different from any other estranged daughter-father movie. Other movies in this genre include every movie in the Taken series, Commando (1985) and Live Free or Die Hard.
The language is strong, liberally sprinkled with expletives throughout the movie. Overall, I give this movie a 2 out of 5.
R – Strong language, hard-core violence and drugs
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I rented this movie with my own funds and have not been compensated for this review.