By Christian DiMartino
I have a not-so secret confession to make: I love Mel Gibson. Yes.
Yes, he made mistakes. Yes, he might seem a little… mad, for lack of a better term. But you know, I don’t look at Mel Gibson the man. I look at Mel Gibson the actor/director, and I think he’s just terrific. If we’re being honest though, he has really just earned a free pass for life because of Lethal Weapon. And really, any time he shows up to a movie, I’m there. And I’ll probably like it, because it’s a pleasure to see him on the big screen again.
HENCE, why I enjoyed Blood Father. Or, partially why I enjoyed Blood Father. It gives us the pleasure of letting us fans see him in full boss mode yet again. While I won’t tell you it’s a great film, I’ll also say that it cuts a little deeper than one might expect from this genre as well.
Erin Moriarty plays Lydia, a drug-addicted girl who obviously just doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. After she shoots her crime-lord boyfriend (Diego Luna, who is far too old for her) in the neck, she flees and runs to the only person that she can trust: her estranged father.
So, enter said father, Link (Gibson), a former convict and current tattoo artist desperately trying to avoid breaking his parole. Oh, but we know that THAT isn’t going to last, because this is a Mel Gibson action movie called Blood Father. As soon as some goons attack, Link brings out the big guns, and goes into full boss mode as the two of them go on the run.
This is a film that made me smile. I smiled because of the ass-kickery. I smiled because William H. Macy holds a shotgun (it really doesn’t take much, does it?). And I smiled because, after all these years, it’s obvious that Mad Mel still has it. So many action stars are really just kind of dull, so it’s always nice when the old school guys can remind us how it’s done, while giving us a good performance in the process.
Gibson and Moriarty actually play a good team as a father/daughter duo. We begin realizing that both of them have their regrets, and that’s kind of what brings them together. The story doesn’t add much new. Actually, the movie might not add much new in general. But hey, I’m fine with a little throwback here and there.