Blood Father movie poster
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Blood Father
Blood Father movie poster

Blood Father Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

Mel Gibson is back. Take my money now!

Since his well-publicized career-killing incidents in 2006 and 2007, the talented actor/director has only appeared in a smattering of films, but there’s indication he may be on his way back. Though his upcoming war film Hacksaw Ridge is getting most of the attention, it was good to see him reemerge in this summer’s revenge thriller Blood Father, because if there’s one thing Mel Gibson can do well, it is play a haggard, pissed off dude who won’t let anyone stand in his way.

Too bad the movie doesn’t have a bit more bang.

In a nutshell, Blood Father has Gibson playing an ex-con who sets out to save his daughter (Erin Moriarty), who has fallen in with some bad dudes. It’s a fairly straightforward action-thriller, with Gibson and Moriarty escaping a few close calls and Gibson eventually going on the offensive with a rifle and a couple grenades.

Blood Father operates in fits and starts, with director Jean-François Richet unloading bursts of action and violence followed by several shrug-worthy sequences to advance the extremely basic plot. A couple moments—a motorcycle chase and the climax—serve as standouts, but the action is too fleeting to make it an action movie, the rest not thrilling enough to make it a legitimate thriller.

Gibson gives it his all, turning in a fine performance as he barks, yells and snarls his way toward the film’s almost inevitable conclusion. Without Gibson, Blood Father would just be another forgettable direct-to-video flick; with Gibson, the movie at least has a faint heartbeat.

Blood Father is an easy watch; at only 88 minutes, it’s fast (though not furious) and never boring. But a little more action and greater dedication to a high-octane pace would have helped the film tremendously. As is, it’s merely a footnote in Gibson’s career--a movie worth seeing for his diehard fans, but not worth remembering.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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