“You trying to tell me we’re being chased by realtors?”
It seems that Mel Gibson has finally passed through that awkward “no one will work with me” phase onto the next stage of his Hollywood forgiveness story. “You can have this straight to VOD flick of you want it.”
So now that Jean-François Richet (the director behind Mesrine and the Assault on Precinct 13 remake) has got himself a little action thriller about a grizzly old ex-con getting a second shot, Gibson seems the perfect fit.
After his daughter Lydia accidentally kills the cartel higher up she’s been shacking up with, Mel Gibson’s Link (not the tiny dude from the Zelda franchise) finds himself on the bad side of a seemingly endless number of cartel hitmen when he takes in his long estranged kid. An AA attending, down-and-out, ex-con biker, living out of a caravan that doubles as his tattoo workshop; not only is this fucking guy a trope-laden stereotypical mess, but he’s the perfect guy to have looking after you if you’ve got a heavy (or forty) chasing you.
Racing across the state, hiding out in biker bars, seedy motels and dodgy warehouses, the tropes come thick and fast as the father/daughter team try to stay alive long enough to make sure the people chasing them aren’t.
Blood Father is a perfect Saturday night flick. Good for a few beers, a few mates and take out because you can literally not pay attention for half hour and still know exactly what is going on. It doesn’t really have a point outside of letting Mr Gibson swear a lot and look like a pumped up bad ass in a vest. But it’s something he does so well, you can forgive the shallowness of the rest of the film and just enjoy 90 minutes of quips and gunfights.
Okay, it gives the one-time superstar the chance to plead to the screen and implore to the audience to believe him when he says over and over again that he’s clean and sober and has been for ages. But honestly, this dumbass film is enough fun that you just can’t let it ruin your time with the film.
Basically taking all the over-used bits from every redemption themed action film ever, adding a few Sons of Anarchy rip-offs and the word “Sicario” a few times just to make themselves seem relevant now the world knows what that word means, Blood Father is a greatest hits compilation tape of all the straight-to-DVD films you have ever seen, with old Martin Riggs sporting a pretty cool beard dropped in the middle. Really fucking stupid name for a film though.
But you can’t take anything away from Mad Mel. He pours his heart and soul into this film and it’s much better for it. He’s trying so very hard to give a good performance and make a good film that he actually makes even the worst parts of this film watchable.
It’s never gonna win any of the good awards, and pretty much the only reason it’ll avoid the Razzies is the supreme amount of shit that has been released this year. But, that doesn’t stop it from being the perfect film to give you the chance to switch off your brain and watch a little mindless stupidity.