Blu-ray Review: Blood Father

By , Contributor
The best reason—the only real reason, come to think of it—to see Blood Father is for the supercharged lead performance by Mel Gibson. If you were ever a fan of Gibson's and were looking for a real return to form (after supporting roles in Machete Kills and Expendables 3), this is it. Too bad the movie itself can't quite back up his impassioned acting.

Now available on Blu-ray via Lionsgate, Blood Father is a B-movie action flick that isn't bad as a time passer, but clearly Gibson had a vested interest in re-asserting his star power and natural charisma. (There's probably no better time for it, on the eve of his upcoming highly-anticipated directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge.)

In Blood Father, Gibson stars as ex-con John Link, out on parole and eking out a living as a tattoo artist. Link works out of his single-wide trailer. He's a recovering alcoholic and his sponsor, who lives in the same trailer park, is his best friend Kirby (William H. Macy). At the center of Link's discontent is his missing teen daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty). When Lydia calls him out of the blue, on the run from murderous drug dealers and badly in need of cash, Link's simple existence is turned upside down. 
rsz_bloodfather_title.png Despite the miscasting of Moriarty (she never feels authentic as the strung-out Lydia), director Jean-Fran├žois Richet keeps the father-daughter bond believable. Richet also propels the action forward at a steady clip, staging shoot-outs that are technically on par with some of this year's more highly-regarded genre flicks like Hell or High Water. Committed to aiding his daughter, no matter how messed up and ungrateful she may be, Link utilizes a lifetime of street smarts to help his daughter evade the cartel with which she unwittingly became entangled.

Lionsgate's Blu-ray offers an attractive transfer of Robert Gantz's cinematography, which captures the beauty of the film's New Mexico locations. Audio is presented in lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 that does great justice to Mel Gibson's commanding voice—whether speaking in a thick, low monotone or yelling hysterically, his voice sounds more seasoned than ever.

Not much accompanies Blood Father in terms of supplements, but there is a fairly informative 'making of' featurette that runs just under a half hour (and demonstrates just how involved Mel Gibson was during production). The Blu-ray also includes a Digital HD download.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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