REVIEW: Blood Father (2016) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Blood Father (2016)


The only movies I’ve enjoyed as much as Blood Father in recent years have been The Revenant and John Wick.  I had high expectations for this thriller, directed by Mesrine (seriously, check those movies out) director Jean-François Richet – these expectations were met.  Blood Father is Mel Gibson’s best starring/acting role since 2002’s Signs and some may chalk it up as his best acting work since Braveheart.  Not since that movie has Gibson really taken an alpha male role by the teeth and really shaken the life out of it, like he has done in this movie.

The film follows Lydia Link (Erin Moriarty), a 16 year old missing girl who has fallen in with the wrong crowd, a cartel-affiliated gang led by her sleazy boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna).  But worse than falling in with these types is falling out with them, which Lydia does in a big way.  On the run, she’s now alone and will be killed as soon as she is found.  Elsewhere, at a shack resembling Martin Rigg’s old abode, ex-biker and murderer John Link (Mel Gibson) is earning pennies as a tattoo artist.  He’s jacked, rugged and looks like he’d tear those clean-cut Sons of Anarchy posers apart with his bare hands.  The phone rings, it’s his daughter asking for help.  Link directs her to him, he has found his half grown, missing child and is going to violently protect her.  Even if he has to call in some favours.

This is a hard bitten character that Mel Gibson is playing, the glint in the eye that we may have seen from his character in Payback, for example, has faded.  Weary of life, trying to stay sober and wise to the intentions of every scumbag in the world.  All intentional of course, not a sour depressing performance that someone like Bruce Willis might cough up.  John Link is a real biker and Gibson brings nuance to his quiet scenes, yet is totally and utterly monstrous when he goes to war.  Bouncing off his performance, Erin Moriarty is also having fun and handles the trickery of a teenager being weaned off drugs and the various degrees of acting needed very well.  Her’s is not a pesky or screaming character, rather a chip off the old block.  Often, she and Gibson are the only people on the screen, but fun to watch.

In this movie, you really can’t tell where it is headed narratively.  That’s down to The Town writer Peter Craig’s ability to keep us guessing, along with his knack for keeping parent-child dialogue and relations grounded and realistic.  I mean, one thing that highlights this is the lack of the ‘you sucked as a dad’ teen angst trope.  Mercifully, that’s absent from the get-go (until it’s handled with class, in a slight manner, at the end), the film is too clever for that.  As far as action is concerned, there isn’t much there but when it does become kinetic, it’s filmed as smooth as butter yet violently and brutally.  You can see what happens, the editing is fine, too.  One favourite scene of mine was when Gibson and Moriarty are being pursued by two bikers.  Fans of the Mad Max series will catch the nods to Mad Max 2… at speed, Mel turns to his right and blasts someone to hell on the highway with a 12 gauge.  It should have theatres roaring.

I shouldn’t forget William H. Macy either, who is in this brilliant movie.  His role is small, but cool.  He’s playing a foul-mouthed Ned Flanders of sorts, it just adds to Richet and Craig’s at times superbly crafted black comedic undertones.

Bottom line, you’re not going to get any better than this in 2016.  Take some time out this weekend and catch this old school classic at the cinema.  Fuckin’ loved it, you will too.



  1. Mucho Macho

    August 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Congrats to 1 of the greatests of all time..
    Mr. Mel Gibson
    We applaud you sir

  2. Lt_Cobretti

    August 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    This is a huge relief, glad we’re ending up with at least one R rated action classic this year.

    • Luke

      August 10, 2016 at 10:48 am

      John Wick Chapter 2 is coming out this year as well, so we might end up with two…

      • Lt_Cobretti

        August 10, 2016 at 11:56 am

        It should be great but it doesn’t come until February next year.

        • Luke

          August 10, 2016 at 11:58 am

          Is it? I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me that

  3. Mucho Macho

    August 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    This review makes me really want to see this film.
    I would like to watch it on the big screen but it’s getting a limited release.
    Yet there’s a stupid Kevin Spacey movie in which he turns into a fucking cat thats playing in thousands of theaters across the country.
    That’s some fucked up shit👎😡

    • AlTeo

      August 9, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      That Spacey one is bombing hard though, I’m just loling at the critics getting trolled

      “I’ve been to wakes funnier than this”

      • Mucho Macho

        August 9, 2016 at 5:48 pm

        It’s the type of movie that looks bad looking at it from 10 miles away with your eyes closed

    • Slater93

      August 9, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Wut. I’ve never even heard of that

      • Mucho Macho

        August 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Lucky you
        Even the trailer made my eyes hurt

    • Mainline DnB

      August 9, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Every time i see a TV ad or trailer for that piece of shit, i feel like weeping. He definitely does not need the money like some people claim, someone in Hollywood has something big on him guaranteed.

      • Mucho Macho

        August 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm

        Them Hollywood guys are always talkin about how greedy people are & yet they take a lot of times the shittiest of jobs for a shit load of money they sure dont need.

  4. Just Some Polack

    August 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Holy shit, you’ve seen it?! Where, if I might ask?

    • The Night Rider

      August 9, 2016 at 12:53 pm


      • Just Some Polack

        August 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        Lucky you. Can’t wait till I have a chance to see it. Of course legally, because GOAT needs our support in this fag day and age.

  5. CyrusTheVirus85

    August 9, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Yes! Glad you enjoyed it man

  6. Andymovieman

    August 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I’m sure I will love it. I hope its real good. I’m gonna have to prepare for it by watching some action movies with Mel Gibson and the other action heroes.

  7. jim

    August 9, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    About time..We’ve been talking about this for so long I feel I’ve already seen it..

  8. Barney Ross

    August 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    90’s style edit of the trailer by me:

  9. Barney Ross

    August 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm

  10. Barney Ross

    August 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Fanmade EX3 trailer when Gibson was cast in the film

  11. Barney Ross

    August 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Sounds good for Gibson, but now we need a review from someone who dislike Gibson.
    People will say we are blind Gibson fanboys and this is understandable. I’ll let you know what i think when i see it, but my opinion is The Mechanic 2 will be better.

  12. AlTeo

    August 9, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    In Mel we trust

  13. ColonelBobi

    August 9, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    This sounds great, can’t wait to check it! Mel back in his natural habitat where he belongs. So many wasted years but maybe now we can get some more Mel movies worthy of his inclusion.

  14. Slater93

    August 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    The Revenant blows

  15. Serbius

    August 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Great to hear! I’m sure I’m going to enjoy this one. Mel delivers.

  16. Andymovieman

    August 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I’ve been a fan of Mel’s since lethal weapon. The man is awesome and a legend at best.

  17. Saverio

    August 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Cannot wait!!!!!!!

  18. The Fanboy Perspective

    August 10, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Sounds great! Glad they toned down the ‘You’re such a shitty dad and it’s all your fault’ trope. I only wish it was being screened where I am, but I don’t think it will. I’d gladly pay money to see this.

  19. Walter S.A. Iego

    August 11, 2016 at 1:09 am


  20. trands adhor

    August 24, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    W4tch Blood Father Fullm0vie CLICK HERE


    April 11, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Finally saw this awesome badass brutal movie. like a real world ‘Logan’. some of the best acting from Mel I have ever seen -e.g. that bit with Mel talking to his daughter as he fixes the bike (just after the DuskTillDawn/Grindhouse guy gives the daughter as berating on the sofa) Mel gives this look as he talks about his poisoned soul and sort of shakes his head.. its the character but also we know Mel is talking about himself, his regrets ..very powerful. had to watch that bit again

    shame he didn’t do Fury Road as this gave a glimpse of what he could’ve been like in that..