10 items from 2016
Blood Father is yet another entry into the Aged-Action-Star-Still-Kicks-Ass subgenre (see the Taken franchise, Red movies, Expendables silliness), proving that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – and you might not have to.
Mel Gibson grows out his best Grizzly Adams beard and talks with a throat full a gravel, going the “ex-con with a heart of gold” route to brutally enjoyable extremes. Torn from the pages of Peter Craig’s adapted novel is a bloody, thug-riddled story of one father’s love knowing no bounds; sweet in sentiments, and salty in its gritty retribution. It’s nothing tremendously inventive, but director Jean-François Richet still paints a vengeful portrait of California livin’ in the scumminess of society’s underbelly – and the things we’d do to ensure our loved ones escape.
Gibson stars as “Link,” a sober ex-criminal who spent most of his life drinking, fighting and all the other dirtiness in-between. »
- Matt Donato
If this be the movie jail that Mel Gibson is destined to die in, it could be a whole lot worse. Blood Father, directed by Jean-François Richet (Mesrine, Assault on Precinct 13), works remarkably well as a grindhouse throwback, sporting a screenplay (from Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff, based on Craig’s novel) that’s better than it has any right to be.
John Link (Gibson) is a burned-out alcoholic who we meet in the middle of an AA meeting. He’s celebrating two years sober while still lamenting the bridges he’s burned and a daughter he hasn’t seen in some time. Only moments later, Link and his daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty), are reunited, a hail of gunfire and some bad men following them. “She’s every loser’s lucky day,” Link says of her, a drug addict who accidentally pulled the trigger on her criminal boyfriend, Jonah »
- Dan Mecca
Mel Gibson has been (very) slowly but (somewhat) surely reshaping his career after a long downhill spiral. Edge of Darkness reminded the world of his screen presence, then in The Beaver, he was a meek, shy loner, contrasting his performance in Get the Gringo, where he was a gruff, hard-edged con. Now, he continues the latter approach with the second trailer for Blood Father, directed by Mesrine helmer Jean-François Richet.
After years alone in the desert running a tattoo shop and always on the lookout for his wayward daughter, ex-con John Link (Gibson) puts both feet back into murky waters when she shows up at his door in need of help. It is scripted by author Peter Craig who, alongside Andrea Berloff (co-writer of Straight Outta Compton), looks to have chiseled a mean and enjoyable, if somewhat formulaic ride.
- Mike Mazzanti
If Mel Gibson makes a great movie, and no one in America wants to see it, does it make a sound? His last lead in a genre film, “Get the Gringo,” got positive reviews in 2012 but had a blink-and-you-missed-it theatrical release. It would be a real shame if his latest, “Blood Father” were to meet the same fate — it’s grungy and action-packed, yes, but it also features the kind of sharp characterization and clever dialogue that justifies the presence of an old pro like Gibson. We first meet a very craggy John Link (Gibson) when he’s celebrating his. »
- Alonso Duralde
With Camera's rolling in New Orleans, Louisiana, John Malkovich joins the cast of Supercon. The comedic feature follows a group of washed up television stars and comic book artists who make their living attending conventions. Down on their luck, the rag tag team hashes a plot to rob the convention and bring justice to a crooked promoter and an overbearing former TV icon.
With a body of work spanning almost three decades, industry legend John Malkovich is one of the most compelling minds in entertainment. His celebrated performances span every genre, and range from roles in thought-provoking independent films to those in big-budget franchises. In addition to being an accomplished actor, Malkovich is also a director, producer, clothing designer, and artist.
At one point, Mel Gibson was supposed to cameo in "The Hangover Part II" as a tattoo artist, but his tarnished reputation quickly proved that he couldn't play for jokes. In "Blood Father," Gibson finally lands that role under different circumstances. As a rugged ex-alcoholic who drops his needle to zoom through the desert on a motorbike — taking down hordes of bad guys to protect his daughter — Gibson inherits a less-than-desirable mantle from the likes of Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris. The punishment for his sins is a cinematic purgatory of mediocre genre fare. It's not the worst fate, but certainly a step down in terms of quality and innovation. Having anchored the 2012 shoot-'em-up "Get the Gringo" and delivered bit parts in "Machete Kills" and "Expendables 3," Gibson now solidifies his new stature as a B-movie star, fated to anchor discardable material readymade for the bottom-of-the-barrel VOD »
- Eric Kohn
There was a time when Mel Gibson was one of the most beloved movie stars in the world. His smiling face was on the cover of magazines everywhere. His movies were wildly popular and he could jump in and out of any genre, making a delightful romcom as easily as he could a period piece. And then the angry side of his private life became public and audiences, understandably, started to turn on him. The days of being People's Sexiest Man Alive are long gone for Gibson, but every few years a project comes along that seems like it could mark a career comeback for him. So far, though, that hasn't really happened. Edge of Darkness is a good, adult thriller, but it didn't hit big. Get the Gringo is a fun, gritty action movie, but it slipped out into the world with little...
- Peter Hall
Say what you will about Mel Gibson, but we’re still fans. Sure his off-screen antics were troublesome to family and friends, but for the rest of us — those of us who don’t know him personally — all we really have are his performances and films. Mad Max, Gallipoli, The Bounty, Lethal Weapon, Tequila Sunrise, Maverick, Ransom, Payback, The Patriot, Signs, Get the Gringo. The guy makes good movies, typically playing characters involved in violent situations, and now the first trailer has dropped for his latest film where he plays a character involved in a violent situation. Blood Father sees Gibson as John Link, an ex-con who works as a tattoo artist out of his trailer on the outskirts of an American desert. His teenage daughter’s been missing, but when she suddenly reappears it’s with trouble on her tail in the form of drug dealers who want her dead. We »
- Rob Hunter
It’s been four years since Mel Gibson last led a feature with 2012’s Get the Gringo, but he’s back this year on both sides of the camera. Later this year we expect his first directorial effort in a decade, the Andrew Garfield-led WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge, to arrive, but first we have Blood Father, an actioner directed by Jean-François Richet (Mesrine).
The first trailer has now landed today thanks to its Australian distributors, where it’ll arrive there in late August (it is still awaiting a U.S. release date from Lionsgate). The story concerns an ex-convict father who tracks down and protects his daughter from danger, and judging from the previews, there’s a good amount of action to be had. Also starring William H. Macy, Diego Luna, Michael Parks, and Richard Cabral, check out the trailer below.
After her drug kingpin boyfriend frames her for »
- Jordan Raup
You can do a hell of a lot with a prison film, which is perhaps what has made it such an appealing sub-genre for all kinds of filmmakers over the years. A prison movie doesn’t have to be depressing, after all – it can also be inspiring, touching or just plain exciting.
And a prison movie need not always be dramatic; it can be comedic, too. It can be about the incarceration of a character or their release into the wider world. It can be about prisoners of war, or it can be set around a breakout. The great thing about pretty much all prison movies, however, is that they set the stage for unforgettable characters.
Prisons are filled with all kinds of strange, colourful and enigmatic individuals, living at the extreme limits of characterisation, after all, and cinema has continually mined this fact for all it’s worth. »
- Sam Hill
10 items from 2016
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