Sneak Peek: Blood Father
BLOOD FATHER stars Mel Gibson as John Link, an ex-convict who fights to protect his estranged daughter from the drug cartel that is hunting her down. In this thrilling action film, John must use his connections from his past life and his skills as an ex-criminal to keep him and his daughter alive.
Cast: Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Michael Parks and William H. Macy
Directed By: Jean-François Richet
Written By: Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff
Distributor: Lionsgate Premiere
This transcript has been lightly edited:
The Referee: Guess what? The Critic got a “Sneak Peek” of a new movie coming out August 12, called “Blood Father”! It stars a very familiar actor —
The Critic: No!
Ref: — who’s back, who’s name is Mel Gibson. Yup. He is back.
Critic: Mel Gibson?
Ref: Mm-hm, (laughter) as Link. This is directed by (with French accent) Jean-François Richet.
Critic: Oh-oh. Wait a minute.
Ref: See, you can do the Spanish; I can do the French.
Critic: Wait, say it again! (laughter)
Ref: Peter Craig, actually, did the novel. He also was a screenwriter, along with Andrea Berloff, who wrote “Straight Outta Compton” and was nominated for an Oscar for that.
Ref: So, this is quite the controversial movie. Some of the critics like it; some of them don’t. But, we’re going to get the real deal, here on “Why Watch That.”
Critic: (laughing) Well, before we get to that real deal, here’s the story: Mel Gibson plays an ex-con, on parole, and he is an alcoholic. You know, he has drug-addiction problems.
Ref: Whoa! Whoa! Are you sure this is a movie?
Critic: Hey, you know, he’s in a 12-step program. Yeah, I mean, this is what you — we’ll hold on that. We’ll come back to that. (laughter) … That’s his character, and he is a tattooist —
Ref: A tattoo artist?
Ref: Oh, wow! OK.
Critic: He lives in a trailer-park community, where he does his tattoos, with William H. Macy, who’s one of his neighbors.
Ref: (laughing) Oh, of course, of course, of course.
Critic: And, William H. Macy is his sponsor, as well.
Critic: Yes. OK?
Ref: (laughing) I don’t know if I’d want William H. Macy to be my sponsor.
Critic: (laughing) Well, this isn’t “Shameless” William H. Macy.
Ref: (laughing) OK.
Critic: It’s the nerdier William H. Macy.
Critic: OK? Like, “glasses” William H. Macy.
Ref: Like, “The Lincoln Lawyer.” That one. OK.
Critic: Yes. So, that’s him. … He [Gibson] has a daughter, who’s been missing for four years.
Critic: So, since she was 14. We, at the beginning of the movie, she her — and this was the best part — it starts off with her, in a store, buying bullets and … some gum. (laughing) OK?
Ref: So, this 18-year-old is buying bullets —
Ref: — and gum.
Critic: And gum. OK?
Critic: Yes. So, that’s that whole opening: She tries to get the bullets. But, then, she tries to get something else, and that’s when (laughing) they want to ask her for her identification — not for the bullets. So, when they do little winks at American society —
Critic: — and the different contradictions that come up, I think that was strong in the movie. So, she is with a drug cartel. The leader of this particular segment of the cartel is her boyfriend. How did this start? We don’t know. Did he kidnap her? Did she run away on her own? Is she really in love with him or not? Is he in love with her? So, there’s this whole thing going on, but they want her to come along on one of their jobs. And, it doesn’t turn out well. She ends up running away. And, they end up coming after her, and they want her dead.
Critic: OK? Now, of course, she runs away to her father.
Ref: Of course, she does.
Critic: And he helps her to stay … alive! And, that’s “Blood Father.” That’s it. That’s as far as I’m gonna go.
Critic: Now, you started alluding to it earlier: Mel Gibson is winking at his past. OK? So, that was interesting. It’s like, “Wait a minute. Are you playing yourself? Are you trying to redeem yourself in film?” That was interesting, and that is about it for me. (laughter)
Ref: OK. Wow!
Critic: I mean, it’s that — those, again, nods to what’s going on in society, every now and then. It does have violence. If you want to see some violence, that was presented well. There was one shot where I even thought of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which was interesting. I’m going: Mel Gibson, Mad Max, you know, his past — all of that. So, that is really what’s driving it, for me, if you want to see it. Otherwise, moment to moment, it wasn’t working. Sometimes, Mel Gibson would yell; there was no buildup to it. So, just as a film, put together that way, I thought it wasn’t as convincing, for me, to watch. But, it’s not that kind of film. It really is trying to be ridiculous. It could’ve been more ridiculous, in my opinion, if that’s what they wanted. So, I mean, if you like that kind of B-movie feel and you wanna see Mel Gibson in this role where you go, “Is that really him or not?”: OK. Otherwise, do what you will with it.
Ref: Well, a little trivia for you, Sylvester Stallone was eyeing to direct this movie. So, I wonder if it could’ve been even more ridiculous — you know what I mean? — in a good way. (laughing)
Critic: Yeah. No, look, it was ridiculous. It did have its moments that worked. It’s just, overall, no … no.
Ref: OK. Well, listen: August 12, “Blood Father” opens. If you want a taste of Mel Gibson again, he’s back. But, he’s also going to be directing something, so you can maybe watch that, instead. (laughter)