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CITY PRESS REVIEW: One tough daddy-o

2016-11-20 06:00

Johannesburg -  Wonder why you haven’t seen Mel Gibson in a movie in years?

It would have something to do with Hollywood having blacklisted him after his drunken tirade a decade ago, during which the actor made disparaging remarks at the police ­officer who accosted him and shouted: “F**king Jews ... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?”

Then there was the threatening phone call he made in 2011 to then girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva – with whom he has a daughter, Lucia – telling her that if she got “raped by a pack of n*****s”, she would be to blame.

Given these outbursts, many people did not want to work with Gibson. But audiences are a more forgiving bunch, and it seems the industry has thawed as Gibson can be seen on the big screen in two films: the critically acclaimed World War 2 epic Hacksaw Ridge, which he also directed, and in French director Jean-François Richet’s new flick, Blood Father.

In the latter movie he plays an ex-convict and a recovering alcoholic who reconnects with his estranged daughter. But she’s in deep with some baddies, and he has to save them both. Brazen, unapologetic, balls-to-the-wall action ensues. The result? Blood Father is surprisingly good.

I’m more into cerebral fare, but was enthralled by the guns, motorbikes, blood and grit. Don’t ­expect much nuance; this is perfect brainless fodder and Gibson is superb as the imperfect, weather beaten patriarch set on saving a damsel in distress. Ditch the Bechdel test and your liberal sensitivities, and sit back and enjoy the high-octane ride.

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