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Blood Father (2016)
Dir. Jean-François Richet
Starring: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty

Blood Father is the story of John Link, an ex-convict who is unexpectedly reunited with his estranged, runaway daughter while she's trying to escape from her boyfriend's gang. John is forced to confront his own life choices and past mistakes while he gives everything he has to try to protect his daughter and make amends while he still has the chance. Technically the story does centre around Lydia (the daughter), not John, but let's be honest here: if you're going to sit down and watch this movie, chances are it's solely for Gibson. Luckily he doesn't disappoint.

The biggest draw for me wasn't the action, but rather the relationship between John and Lydia. They're very believable characters, and their dynamic was a pleasure to watch. John has a bad temper, and Gibson is scarily intense whenever it flares up, but the quiet moments between the two of them, and his funny, snide comments to her when she's talking about unimportant drama were very engaging as well. Moriarty is not overshadowed in these scenes, and manages to hold her own against the seasoned actor. They end up working really well together on screen.

It really is the two of them that sell the film, because otherwise it isn't anything special. Blood Father is your typical action/thriller with a fairly predictable plot. It does have quite a bit of charm though, and thanks to the excellent father-daughter dynamic, a bit of heart as well. There is an intensity to the action sequences, though they're secondary to the drama and never go on long enough to overstay their welcome. It does sort of peak a bit early, and ends up feeling anti-climactic, but it's an enjoyable experience all the same.

Blood Father is exactly the kind of movie I've been wanting to see Mel Gibson in for a long time now. It's a shame that this got such a limited theatrical release, because I would've loved to see this on the big screen. I really hope it gets more attention with its upcoming BluRay release and current VOD availability, because fans of the genre shouldn't overlook it, thinking it's just some direct-to-DVD trash. It's a B-movie, but that doesn't mean it's not as good, if not better, than many of the high-budget, high-profile action films that came out this year.

Definitely check out Blood Father if you want to see Mel Gibson
return to form, or if you're a fan of B-movie thrillers.