Mel back on track

BLOOD FA­THER (MA15+)

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

Di­rec­tor: Jean-Francois Richet (As­sault on Precinct 13) Star­ring: Mel Gib­son, Erin Mo­ri­arty, Diego Luna, Wil­liam H. Macy, Michael Parks

FOR a long time now, Mel Gib­son’s ca­reer has been a dump­ster fire burn­ing away on the out­skirts of Hollywood.

Only the man him­self will ever be able put out the damn thing, and this just might be the year he does it. In fact, Gib­son is about to get two shots at re­demp­tion in quick suc­ces­sion.

Early next week, a pres­tige war pic­ture he di­rected here in Aus­tralia, Hack­saw Ridge, pre­mieres at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val. If that gets the right re­cep­tion, many pun­dits be­lieve gen­uine Os­cars con­tention is not out of the ques­tion.

Just as im­por­tantly, a film in which Gib­son flexes some ma­jor mus­cle as an ac­tor is sneak­ing into lo­cal cine­mas with­out much fan­fare. Though Blood Fa­ther is very much a de­riv­a­tive re­venge thriller that owes a mod­er­ate debt to Liam Nee­son’s Taken se­ries, it ben­e­fits big-time from a crack­ing lead per­for­mance from Gib­son.

He plays John Link, a weath­er­beaten, soul-sapped tattoo artist see­ing out what’s left of his life in a trailer parked on the edge of the Cal­i­for­nian desert.

That is un­til his es­tranged daugh­ter (Erin Mo­ri­arty) ap­pears as if out of nowhere, with a posse of mur­der­ous drug deal­ers hot on her trail.

As corny as it sounds, Link’s last chance to be­come the fa­ther he might have been – which will call on his ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence run­ning wild with rene­gade biker gangs and spend­ing sev­eral spells in the slam­mer – be­comes an ar­rest­ing odyssey that trashily pays and slays its way.

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas (Glenorchy only)

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