Mel back on track
BLOOD FATHER (MA15+)
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)