How far would you go to save a loved one? That is the question Mel Gibson’s character must ask himself in Blood Father when his daughter calls him out of desperation. She is in a lot of trouble and he knows that he might be able to help. If he does anything right in his life, this is the moment to do right by her.
In Blood Father, Mel Gibson plays ex-con John Link who is trying to live his life on the right side of the law. He lives in a trailer and works as a tattoo artist. He has very little in material goods and even less in relationships. His only friend is his sponsor, played by William H. Macy. Unfortunately, that is just about all he has, as his ex-wife won’t speak to him and his daughter is missing and hasn’t spoken to him in years.
One day, going about his normal routine in his life of recovery, he gets a collect phone call. His estranged daughter is on the other end. So shocked, he is barely able to gather his wits to even tell the machine that he will accept the charges. Once they are connected, she informs him that she is in terrible trouble and needs his help immediately. Desperate to reconnect with her and do anything of value, he races out the door to pick her up.
Once they make it back to his trailer and begin to gather their thoughts, she tells him a little about her troubles. Little time passes before her ex-boyfriend’s gang visits them. They lay waste to his trailer before Link’s neighbors chase them off. Link and his daughter run from the police so that they aren’t arrested, as she would be vulnerable in jail. The next hour of the movie is half cat and mouse chase between the father-daughter pair and the gang, and half action as they encounter obstacles. The end result of the movie is the inevitable showdown between her father and her ex for their lives and freedom from pursuit.
While Blood Father is a thriller, the story is more about Link and his daughter reconnecting. This shows that (real life nonsense aside) Gibson is still a capable actor. The scenes with him and his daughter often carry authentic weight and sensitivity. The direction is competent and Gibson delivers with sincerity. Erin Moriarty holds up her end of the scenes as Gibson’s daughter. Also lending some humor and a friendly touch is William H. Macy popping up throughout the movie.
Blood Father is a bit of an odd piece because it bounces back and forth between run and gun action and chase scenes, and softer scenes between Link and his daughter. Fortunately, the directing is done well in both situations. The pacing never quite goes into just full out action, but keeps you pulled in during all the subdued, quieter moments. All in all, this is a solid movie that is certainly worth watching. Additionally, I think that this will probably age pretty well because the character moments are done well and the action is decent.
Blood Father features a pretty solid transfer. Clarity is very good throughout, in wide and close up shots. The colors look true underneath what seems to be a bit of a tint, to promote the mood and setting. The surroundings and scenes look properly gritty instead of overly polished in a lot of the settings. Everything looks pretty much as it should with great detail.
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Blood Father features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Occasionally, I felt like the dialog was a little quiet, but clarity was quite solid throughout. The surround wasn’t overly utilized through parts of the movie, but was strong in some of the action scenes. The directionality felt right when active as well.
Special Features and Packaging: 3/5
Lost Souls on the Road with Blood Father: Behind the scenes interviews with cast and crew. This one is nearly thirty minutes and has a lot of good content. More enjoyable than the average on the set featurettes you typically get.
Blood Father comes in a standard case and slipcover that we’ve come to expect from big studio releases. The art is the same on the slipcover as the case.
Blood Father Overall: 3.5/5
I actually didn’t have any real expectations when I put in Blood Father for a watch. I missed it in the theater and never even saw the trailer. I’m not really familiar with the director aside from Assault on Precinct 13, so I didn’t know what to expect there either. I was pleasantly surprised by a character driven action film. I thought the directing and acting were largely on point. Also, despite Mel Gibson carrying the movie for the most part, the supporting actors are also contributing well. I think it is worth a viewing and will hold up well. I’d say it is not only worth seeing, but definitely worth owning. The limited supplements do hurt a little, but I still strongly recommend Blood Father.