Self-exiled somewhere in the dusty landscapes on the outskirts of Los Angeles, John Link--a rugged former convict, and now, a tattoo artist struggling to stay sober--sees his quasi-orderly life turn upside down, when he receives a desperate phone call from his estranged daughter, Lydia. On the run from a ruthless Mexican drug cartel, John and Lydia must navigate through a dangerous world of frail allegiances and merciless cut-throats, as they seek shelter in an inhospitable city. Can the grizzled father save his teenage daughter from this nightmare?Written by
Erin Moriarity also played a missing teenager who was romantically linked to a significantly older man who manipulated her into committing criminal acts in the Netflix series Jessica Jones (2015). See more »
When Lydia and her dad check into the hotel room after going on the Run, she's looking at pamphlets for an amusement park that exists only in Denver,This Colorado. Elitch Gardens does not have any other locations, it is just a single park. See more »
After years of hard-drinking and heavily publicised, hateful rants, Mel Gibson has seen his career plunge from the A-list to the, well, non-existent list. He was once one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, handsome enough to draw a female audience with lighthearted rom-coms, and suitably bad-ass enough to tackle the meatier action roles. He of course only has himself to blame, but Gibson has been slowly and quietly carving himself a niche with the few features he's done over past few the years - Edge of Darkness (2010), How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012) - as a gruff enforcer not necessarily on the right side of the law.
With Jean-Francois Richet's Blood Father, the years of hard living etched on Gibson's face have never served him better. His character John Link, the recovering alcoholic ex-con getting by as a tattoo artist in a trailer park, acknowledges his past mistakes in the opening scene at an AA meeting, almost as if Gibson himself is pleading forgiveness for his behaviour. He is trying to live straight and keep his parole officer happy, but his peaceful existence is soon turned on its head when his daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty), missing for years, turns up with the police and a Mexican cartel hunting her down. Fearing losing the daughter he failed when she was still a child, John takes her on the road and uses the skills he learned as a criminal to keep her out of harm's way.
With Mad Max (1979) clearly serving as an inspiration, Blood Father is pure B-movie exploitation. It's the kind of film you could imagine being made in the 70's with Peter Fonda in the lead role and Roger Corman producing. That said, and despite the odd explosion of action and violence, the focus is mainly on character. While this would normally be a good thing, it does so via every cliché imaginable. There's the wanted posters, news reports in dingy hotel rooms, changing of hair colour, and a climactic shoot-out, and it frequently felt like I had seen the film before. It's best when at its most furious, racking up the tension as Link faces a neo-Nazi biker gang and Lydia's drug-lord ex-boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna). It might just be enough for Hollywood to embrace Gibson again, and from his performance here, I realised just how much I miss him.
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