How can anyone hate Mel Gibson?
Just listen to the ramble that gets him in trouble every time, and not just with God.
OK, I understand, it’s fashionable and since he made The Passion of the Christ, 2004, slandered the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and let a Russian song-writer record him in the hopes of extortion, which never happened (ha), he’s been consigned to B-movie hell, but shines nonetheless every now and then in films like Edge of Darkness, 2010 and more recently in the brilliantly acted, clattering with irony and hardcore and gruelingly archaic and protracted, Dragged Across Concrete, 2019 by S. Craig Zahler (the new underdog in town). It’s not appropriate to like him, but hey, I still do and with much more fervor than ever before.
Speaking of which, he makes fabulously detailed films that don’t seem to make the viewers any more optimistic about life in general. This is in spite of his critical and box-office success, to-date. The films earn the viewers’ despite their stylishly violent (pretty amped up and ‘lessons to learn‘ gory in some cases) visuals and extinct screenplays (in, er, some cases).
And no, I ain’t “got a dog in this fight“. Even though I’m brown and the chances of Gibson wanting to stay away or badmouthing the fanboy outta me, are high. Well, never meet your heroes is something I hold onto with filial piety. Sticking to their art and letting the personal lives slide away from the corner of the eye, deliberately. Miss Chopra (7 Khoon Maaf) being an exception. She’s no Lt. Martin Riggs, or even Warrant Officer Ripley or the badass cyborg buster, Sarah Connor. No, ma’am, she isn’t – she’s just another pretty (pretentiously hypocritic and canting) face from an industry that Hollywood, unfortunately, can’t do without these days; Extraction being a great reference point.
Gibson as an actor has a solid body of work that could dismiss all bad press, it can shoo away the bad word of mouth, his performances are the reason, among many (like Paul Newman perhaps?), behind making and the showing of movies. All of it can just dust off the dirty reputation with the swipe of a hand or a slight gesture that makes you think that if Captain Martin Riggs’ life took a, well, not a turn for the better, then he could actually be Link the Dad of Blood Father.
Speaking of hands, I keep returning to one single thought of Brad Pitt swiftly and unhesitantly slicing off a hand, which belongs to a person who works for the Israeli army. I made the mistake of making this a double-bill weekend and now this review is gonna be all over the trailer park.
Speaking of trailer parks, IMDb says that – spoiler – the trailer-park accommodation being crashed by the baddies – spoiler end – is a reference to one of the scenes from the Lethal Weapon films. It might as well be a nod because the film did remind me a little of Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon, with its recovering alcoholic, the self-aware Lethal Weapon glimmer (a fond memory for the derelict star), a character trained in heavy-duty combat, with its props and getting ideas of sobriety and also that teenage kid with a meth habit is from hell. This is the Gibson hysteria, an angry Gibson, talking trash to his own kid Gibson, Gibson the could-be-cop, Gibson the beard. Gibson covered in gangster and inmate ink, Gibson covered in blood, a poster for The Fast and the Furious (where the fuck did that come from?), Gibson saying ‘motherfuck‘ like he really means it, hand-to-heart.
Again, speaking of which, he is also a tad bit apologetic and sincere to the point of hurting. Blood Father is about Gibson, it is about getting the celebrity in front of the man and consequently, in this case, bring the guy to our full attention, not that he didn’t have it before – before Machete Kills, before The Expendables 3; heck even then this man had our attention. There is so much going on in this person’s life that for a moment you forget this film also has the pleasant and brilliant William H. Macy as Link’s best friend and parole sponsor and the peculiar Michael Parks (Tusk, 2014), albeit only for a brief while. But then the film is about Gibson and how he saves people, kicks ass, rides a Harley softback, looks old in a beard, shouts at an old man, looks great throughout (action film, rugged weather-beaten good looks, not the good looks from What Women Want, 2000 – goodness, even I was young back then) has many conversations with his daughter, the bond between them seems tertiary at best, and not because of Gibson’s performance). It could be because Blood Father is Gibson’s film even with all that talk about jail-time and drugs and suicide attempts with his seventeen-year-old.
Blood Father is a smart and sassy ‘Action, Thriller’ by Jean-François Richet (Mesrine, 2008), with impressive pacing, just enough character-icing, and pretty impressive shootouts and it has Mel Gibson written all over it – However, despite all the jazz, this is his film and nobody forget that.
The Israeli soldier takes a good five to seven seconds to realize that someone just sliced off her left hand with a fucking ax, and she begins to scream as Pitt starts to count to twelve…
Stupid, fucking pandemic.
Blood Father is streaming on Netflix and a copy can be bought by clicking on the image above or by leaving a comment in the section below.