“Blood Father” is a conventional, mostly unoriginal thriller but it still is a bit of good, campy fun. This riff on the popular “Taken” movie formula centers around Link (Mel Gibson), a gruff ex-con who now runs a tattoo business out of his desert trailer. When his estranged daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty) accidentally kills her criminal boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luna), she calls her dad for help. The two go on the run when a Mexican cartel crime family begins hunting them down and looking for answers.
There’s nothing new on display here, but there’s plenty of bloody good action and violence. The film is capably directed by Jean-François Richet, a man who is talented at visualizing tense situations (“Assault on Precinct 13“). Gibson is campy gold as a tough protector who laments violating his parole and, in between murdering the bad guys, takes a minute to call his AA sponsor (the underused William H. Macy) so he can stay on track and not hit the whiskey.
Gibson is obviously having a blast chewing the scenery, and his enjoyment of the role is a bit contagious. Too bad Moriarity is totally unbelievable as his druggie daughter; she’s far too poised and polished to be credible.
“Blood Father” would make a bloody good rental if you want a satisfying action thriller. It won’t change your life, but it’s also not a waste of 90 minutes.
Matt was unavailable for review.