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September 25, 2016 | by  | in Film |
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Blood Father

★★½

Director: Jean-François Richet

 

This movie has flown so far under the radar that even the person who served me at the cinema didn’t know it existed. A minute later the guy that took my ticket looked over it with an equally perplexed look. Rest assured, I found my way into a theatre where it did exist.

Earlier this year I listened to a podcast that proclaimed “the movie star is dead.” The podcast was brought on by the fact that Money Monster, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, bombed. Maybe the concept of movie star is dead, or maybe it’s the previous generations movie stars who are being slowly abandoned, but it does seem like films these days are being sold on brand rather than star power.

Enter Mel Gibson’s latest film, Blood Father. As an unabashed Mad Max franchise fan, and if Mel Gibson is involved and there’s a vehicle nearby, I’ll be in that theatre. Mel Gibson plays an ex-convict who, alongside his estranged daughter (Erin Moriarty), is on the run from her drug-dealer boyfriend (Diego Luna) and his vicious cartel.

In the Mel Gibson area the film certainly doesn’t disappoint and he gets plenty of opportunity to curse and bellow. Unfortunately the movie disappoints in the director’s approach to plot and pacing. Gibson plays a trailer park ex-con who is suddenly reunited with his missing daughter and who must protect her from vicious gang members who are after her blood.

There’s a lot of screen time between Link (Gibson) and his daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) but it often doesn’t quite land and the sympathy that the film sends Lydia’s way seems thoroughly undeserved. Furthermore, at 88 minutes, the film has some slow spots, which is unforgivable considering the fact that they are being chased by seemingly all-powerful, all-knowing, and murderous hit-men.

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