Blood Father (2016) Review

father1A father helping a daughter in trouble is a cliché, but Blood Father (2016) does it right.   I think Mel Gibson knew everybody was going to watch how well he performed in this movie, given his previous controversies, and I think he knocked it out of the ballpark.  He carries this movie.  This isn’t the same flimsy movie Taken was, although Mel Gibson and Liam Neeson are both the angry father type.  Both Taken and Blood Father have similarities, but Blood Father plays it straight because the father doesn’t try to impose some sort of morality on the daughter, like when she starts swearing or something.  The characterization works.

Mel Gibson wears his emotions on his sleeve and there’s no room for calm in this guy.  He’s a man of action.  He has some good chemistry with Erin Moriarty (not Sherlock’s nemesis), who plays Gibson’s daughter.  She’s not a one note character and she’s not just a flimsy plot device either.  She actually interacts throughout the plot.  She does a good job.

The desert location reminds me of Kill Bill, but there’s a vein of desolation and emptiness running through this movie, as father and daughter search for the real person in each other.   The dialogue is sharp in a lot of places and has plenty of zingers I was laughing at.

father2The movie actually has some build to it and action set pieces to deliver.  Amazingly enough.  William H Macy throws in a good performance and adds to a great supporting cast.  I think the supporting cast is one of the movie’s great strengths.  

Overall, this is a good movie.  It has some of the clichés of Taken, but not all of them, which makes Blood Father a better movie for it.  Mel Gibson has some great dialogue and works well with Erin Moriarty, William H Macy, and the rest of the supporting cast.  He acts like a father might, but doesn’t try to impose his morality on his daughter by telling her to stop swearing, for example.  He just starts swearing right back at her.  Blood Father has a good combination of action, drama, humor and suspense.  Great work!

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