Saturday, 8 October 2016

'Blood Father' Review

The movie 'Taken' starring Liam Neeson seems to have inspired or spawned many other films very similar to it. Mel Gibson is back in his first role since 'The Expendables 3', returning to the action genre once again and having his own shot at saving his daughter. 'Blood Father' isn't a carbon copy of 'Taken' straying away from the story that has been done to death in a fairly good story. Despite setting up something good, 'Blood Father' just seems to be lacking that special something.

Lydia (Erin Moriarty) looks to be in deep trouble as she hinders a robbery by accidentally shooting her boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna) and fleeing. She looks to get help from her ex-convict father John (Mel Gibson), who is out on parole. John is now drawn back into the drama as Jonah's thugs attack his home looking for Lydia leading the pair to go on the run. They are now targeted by a vicious drug cartel who won't stop until they are dead. John won't go down fighting as he looks to protect the daughter he never got to raise.

'Blood Father' showcases Mel Gibson back again as a badass and does a great job surrounding his character. In many ways, the character John Link reflects Gibson himself. Link looks to make up for past wrongdoings and looks to be on a path of righteousness. Gibson looks to be cleaning himself up in recent years and with this film and upcoming project 'Hacksaw Ridge', he looks to be doing so which is fantastic news. Gibson shows that he will do anything for his daughter and genuinely cares about her as he looks to make up for not being there. Gibson does bring a good performance that does allow him to branch out in scenes where he can let off some steam, much like you would do if someone was trying to kill you and your loved ones. An entertaining performance with room to still improve but it is a step on the right foot once again for Gibson.

Erin Moriarty plays the very troubled Lydia and is an interesting character. She is very flawed as she makes bad decisions due to influences such as boyfriends and drugs but you can see that she wants to change this and be free from the trouble. At times, Moriarty sold this fairly well and others not so much. It was an inconsistent performance for me but with some work and possibly better guidance, Moriarty could shine in another supporting role. The rest of the cast features your basic looking Mexican drug cartel thugs led by Diego Luna who does a fine job but nothing to really get you talking about. William H Macy is good working with Gibson as his sponsor who always has his back and even brings some badass and humorous moments. 

The trailer showcased this as a gun blazing action packed film which seems to be misleading as it focuses mainly on the relationship. There are some decent action scenes throughout the film but not as much as you'd expect. Due to this, the film does seem to slow down a lot and loses a fair bit of its tension. The performances aren't that compelling or dramatic enough to fully support this which does seem to hinder it. I do feel that they couldn't decide whether or not to go full out or keep the film fairly grounded. Instead, they seem to do both which isn't fully effective.

The ending to 'Blood Father' does elevate the film as it really gives you what you want. Clever with great action, the film delivers in the last act with their being apparent stakes. It doesn't follow the usual action ending which felt very fresh amongst the typical endings. This allowed the film to end on a high and effective note in a way that not many seem to be doing so right now. 

Overall, 'Blood Father' is a fairly entertaining movie which Gibson really helps with. Without him, this could easily have not been nearly as effective as he did a great job as John Link. Some minor problems including the focus but a strong ending has you leaving the theatre pleased with what you saw.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Blood Father'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor