Here’s the official synopsis for Blood Father:
After her drug kingpin boyfriend frames her for stealing a fortune in cartel cash, 18 year old Lydia goes on the run, with only one ally in this whole wide world: her perennial screw-up of a dad, John Link, who’s been a drunk, a drug addict, a motorcycle outlaw, and a convict in his time, and now is determined to keep his little girl from harm and, for once in his life, do the right thing
Gather around, children, and let me tell you the tale of a man named Mel Gibson. Some of you may not know this, but once upon a time, Mr. Gibson was one of the biggest and most beloved movie stars in the world, capable of headlining bloody action movies and goofy romantic comedies while making it all look effortless. So young ones, when you hear the older folk speak kindly of this actor and Oscar-winning director, know that our affection for him was cultivated before he started getting arrested for drunk driving, spewing anti-Semitic comments, getting slapped with restraining orders following domestic abuse allegations, and generally burning down his career.
But Gibson’s dark and checkered past may serve him well in Blood Father, where he plays a total screw-up who must pull himself up by his bootstraps to save his daughter from vicious drug dealers. Watching this older, more grizzled, and infinitely more troubled Gibson embark on a private war against his child’s tormenters in this new trailer seems to carry some actual weight.
Blood Father, which is directed by French filmmaker Jean-François Richet, feels like an off-shoot of the Taken school of action filmmaking: take an aging actor, place him in a paternal role, give him a dark past that allows him to be capable of excessive violence, and let him go to town on a bunch of villain-types. And if the trailer is any indication, Blood Father will be chock-full of stylishly shot Gibson-related violence. This movie looks rough and tough and stylish and potentially very good in a down-and-dirty, B-movie kind of way.
Of course, Gibson is the centerpiece here and we know he can do the action hero thing. He’s been doing it for decades. But this Gibson, unkempt and bearded and literally running a disgusting tattoo parlor out of his trailer in the middle of the desert, can’t help but trigger some instant reactions. Gibson faced semi-exile after a string of controversies in 2006, only appearing in a handful of movies since then (often playing against type). Gibson starring in a movie where he plays a self-loathing screw-up who’s forced to return to his old ways is a classic case of movie star auteurism.