Blood Father

 

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Mad Mel is back on form in this French action-thriller, although it’s newcomer Erin Moriarty who steals 

the limelight.

 

Blood Father

Erin Moriarty 

 

This is a highly watchable thriller from Jean-François Richet, the director of the acclaimed Mesrine Parts 1 & 2. It tells the story of 17-year-old Lydia (Erin Moriarty), who goes on the run when her boyfriend frames her for stealing a fortune in drug money. Lydia has no alternative but to turn to her estranged father John Link (Mel Gibson) for help...

 

This action-thriller works well thanks to the striking presence of Erin Moriarty (Captain Fantastic), who manages to grab our sympathy from the very beginning. She is vulnerable and touching as the drug addicted teenager desperate to reconnect with her father. Gibson’s ability to portray ‘madness’, his effortless charm and leading action man charisma are used well here as the ex-convict who will resort to any means to protect his daughter. Diego Luna’s brutal drug dealer leans towards the stereotypical but the film’s action sequences are so well choreographed that one easily forgets that.

 

The film also brings to mind Luc Besson’s 1994 classic Leon even though Jean Reno and Natalie Portman’s relationship was very different. This is Gibson’s best film for ages but it will most probably be remembered for Moriarty’s illuminating performance. A new star is born.

 

GEORGE SAVVIDES

 

Cast: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Michael Parks, William H. Macy, Thomas Mann, Dale Dickey.

 

Dir Jean-François Richet, Pro Chris Briggs, Peter Craig, Pascal Caucheteux and Sebastien K. Lemercier, Screenplay Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff, Ph Robert Gantz, Pro Des Robb Wilson King, Ed Steven Rosenblum, Music Sven Faulconer, Costumes Terry Anderson.

 

Why Not Productions/Wild Bunch-Warner Brothers.

88 mins. France. 2016. Rel: 7 October 2016. Cert. 15.