Mel Gibson. Think what you will of his past indiscretions; he's one hell of a screen presence. A talented director with old-school charisma and charm, the world is a better place with Gibson on both sides of the camera. Blood Father is his first onscreen appearance since 2014's The Expendables 3, and his first lead role since 2012's How I Spent My Summer Vacation. We loved them both.
The set-up is simple. An ex-con reunites with his estranged 17-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her. An ex-con with a drinking problem. Sound familiar? Directed by Jean-Francois Richet (Mesrine), Blood Father is a gritty revenge thriller light on laughs but high on determination. Mel reminds the audience of his undeniable screen presence, though he does it with a little less humour. It's a burnt out Mad Max, an even less conventional Martin Riggs. John Link didn't even know he had a reason to live until his wayward daughter waltzed back into his life.
Haggard, battered and bruised, Mel Gibson pretty much plays himself in Blood Father and is all the better for it. With William H. Macy and Michael Parks offering solid support, Blood Father is a satisfyingly brutal low-key offering that rarely threatens to break new ground. It's assured stuff though, and Richet continues to impress even if he phones it in at times. Do you really wanna jump? Do you wanna? You bet your ass we do.