In theaters this week from director Jean-Francois Richet and Lionsgate is a chase from mistakes led by “Blood Father.”
Link (Mel Gibson) is an ex-con who doesn’t have much contact with his 16-year-old daughter. Living in a trailer part out in the middle of nowhere, he tattoos to make a few bucks. Kirby (William H. Macy) is Link’s sponsor to help keep him clean and sober.
That can’t be said for daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) who, along with boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna), are on the road to destruction. When an accident happens Erin runs and the only place she thinks to go is Link.
That doesn’t stop Jonah along with Joker (Richard Cabral) and Choop (Daniel Moncada) from going straight after Lydia. They use Links’ friend Kirby (William H. Macy) and Link uses his contacts in prison with Arturo Rios (Miguel Sandoval) to come to a meeting when Lydia is captured.
Now a showdown is inevitable and there will be no prisoners!
Gibson as Link is living a quite life out in the desert staying clean and sober while doing tattoos to earn a living. Knowing he has made mistakes to get in prison and not able to fix them outside of prison is quietly frustrating. That is until he receives the ‘help me daddy’ phone call. Gibson keeps his character a sliver above the law and bends that line when he needs to.
Moriarty as Lydia is the kid who thinks she knows how to live life better than anyone else. Hooking up with a guy that she ‘had a connection with’ was enough to make me laugh. That’s what happens when no one is watching the chick coup — the fox is waiting eagerly.
Luna as Jonah gets to also be the crazy gun toting youngster who thinks he knows everything. The problem is when it comes out he doesn’t panic ensues leading down the dirty road of really bad ideas. Cabral as Joker gets to be a badass (for a while) but has definitely made a name for himself in the television series “American Crime.”
Macy as Kirby says to Gibson’s character ‘it’s really difficult to be your sponsor’ but I took it more that it was difficult to be Link’s friend. Sandoval as Rios gets a shot at the screen being the man in prison who knows pretty much everyone which isn’t good for those who think they know everything.
Two characters I thought were more menacing than any others were Michael Parks as the Preacher with the speech to Lydia and Dale Dickey who always looks like she is going to rearrange someone’s life in a really bad way. Well done by both!
Other cast include: Ryan Dorsey as Shamrock, Raoul Max Truillo as The Cleaner, Brandi Cochran as Lydia’s Mother, Katalina Parrish as Tattoo lady, Cameron Cipta as Freckles, Dale Dickey as Cherise and Michael Parks as The Preacher.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Blood Father” three of popcorn out of five. I have to say that even though I saw where the plot of the story was going, I enjoyed the film. Playing a crazy gun toting type isn’t a new character for Gibson and that’s because he does it exceedingly well.
With a cast that includes Macy, Luna, Sandoval and Cabral it is made solid in their performances. Moriarty is a girl who thinks she knows everything — that is until she doesn’t and we all know a 16-year-old who is exactly like that.
The premise is simple, the cinematography is equally as simple and sometimes that makes the telling even better. No distractions, just straight forward telling that is run through the dust of the desert. I recognize many of the places where the film was done and saying it is hot in those areas doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s definitely a wild ride and a cautionary tale of living life on the edge.
In the end — a father makes his own justice!