John Link (Mel Gibson) is a sober ex-con who scrawls tattoos on upper thighs out of his trailer in the California desert. When his long-disappeared daughter suddenly re-enters his life with a criminal past trailing her, he must take drastic actions to protect her.
Blood Father does not have a stellar narrative. It has a crass script with little nuance. But it is a fun experience. Watching Gibson reluctantly take place in a gunfight, rolling his eyes at the sight of bullets riddling his trailer, makes for an effectively humorous moment. This action sequence, too, is well designed. The action—along with Gibson’s gruff performance—is the best thing this film has to offer.
Blood Father succeeds because it almost never takes itself too seriously (save for near the end). This film has not the overwrought tension of the latest Taken sequel. It is light, even when it is tense.
The acting in the film may not be straight As across the board. Erin Moriarty is underwhelming, to say the least. However, small parts from the likes of Diego Luna, Michael Parks, and Dale Dickey keep the momentum going even when the script fails to hold traction. And Gibson himself has a return to form performance here.
Blood Father is not a great movie. Save for a handful of moments, it is not well-scripted. Some of the camera movements appear unprofessional. The story itself is nothing new. But is is an action movie that knows exactly what it is, and it makes good work out of that knowledge.
Blood Father is currently available to rent on Amazon Video here.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)