Whilst ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ remains one of the most anticipated films of the upcoming Oscar season it’s safe to say that not many have been too excited for ‘Blood Father’. Continuing the trend in recent years of geriatric action stars rescuing family members from the bad guys, Mel Gibson stars here as motorcycle riding, ex-alcoholic, tattoo artist daddy to Erin Moriarty’s character. Could ‘Blood Father’ be set for the same success, as say, ‘Taken’?
The short answer to that question is no, but there is some merit to the film. Things don’t start well though, with Moriarty’s character Lydia being so unlikable. Gibson’s on screen daughter is such an idiotic human being that you may find yourself routing for the not so nice people that she has got herself mixed up with. Her character goes from being just plain stupid to engaging in deep intellectual discussion showing her intelligence and then once again acting completely obliviously to the pretty awful situation she has got herself into. Due to all this Moriarty has a tough time with her performance and unlike previous roles in films like ‘The Kings of Summer’ she doesn’t show much natural ability here. Thankfully Mel Gibson and his character make up for this. Many of the comebacks Gibson delivers to the idiocy spurting from his precious little girl’s mouth is so satisfyingly hilarious as more often than not the dialogue just completely takes the piss in brutally honest fashion. My view of the two lead characters couldn’t have been more contrasting, the fact that I hated Moriarty’s character so much only helped to enhance Gibson’s not giving a shit performance. Gibson clearly had fun with this role and he brings along the audience with him with every put down and glorious one liner.
Other than how brilliant Mel Gibson is here ‘Blood Father’ is a pretty terrible film. Most of the opening scenes are filmed by someone clearly terrified of what Gibson might do to them as the shots are always shaky and this was even before any action started. Speaking of the action there isn’t really a lot of it. When it comes it satisfies for the there and then but it’s largely forgettable and the sequences could have benefited from being slightly longer too. The narrative that paves the way for this lacklustre action is largely unoriginal as well and at many points brings about laughs that aren’t really intended. It leaves space for generic daddy daughter bonding and drama that no one cares about which can make the short running time feel quite bloated in points. All this meant that interest and regalement from the audience was fleeting throughout the proceedings.
Some will be able to forgive these flaws, you’ll know yourself what your tolerance for trashy action movies are, I only wish ‘Blood Father’ had maybe embraced it’s B-movie feel that little bit more. If the action and narrative could have matched the fun Gibson brought to the piece we’d be looking at a new cult classic. Unfortunately we’re not and whilst I wouldn’t recommend the film, if you do end up seeing it at least a very entertaining turn from Gibson will hopefully be able to salvage an otherwise poor film.
Rating – 5/10
Question: What is your favourite Mel Gibson performance?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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