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Film / Blood Father

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Blood Father is a 2016 action film directed by Jean-François Richet. It stars Mel Gibson as John Link, a recent parolee and recovering alcoholic who winds up going on the run with his runaway teenage daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty), when she unexpectedly resurfaces after being missing for years. As Link soon learns, Lydia is being pursued at the same time by the authorities and by a Mexican drug cartel for reasons related to the fate of her last boyfriend, Jonah (Diego Luna). William H. Macy has a small role as John's sponsor in Alcoholic Anonymous.

Tropes appearing in this film:

  • The Alcoholic: Downplayed. John is a recovering alcoholic, but he doesn't slide back into it during the movie. His daughter is a drug addict.
  • Alliterative Name: Lydia Link. Subverted because she uses her mother's last name, as she was mostly raised alone by her.
  • Badass Biker: John is an ex-member of a biker gang, and served several years in prison for it. He and his daughter visit the old Neo-Nazi biker he used to work for to retrieve his old motorcycle and use it as transport from there on out.
  • Beardness Protection Program: Inverted. John begins the movie with a long beard, which he shaves after going on the run.
  • Big Bad: Jonah drives Lydia to go on the run after forcing her to participate in his criminal activities, even after she guns him down. Especially since he's revealed to still be alive and leading a group of criminals after her and John.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Jonah is the most personal threat to John and Lydia but it's obvious his scheme of robbing his uncle has bought him a ticket to an early grave and he's an extremely small fish in the Cartel overall.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Jonah outlives both John and the sicario, but is caught and incarcerated, and finds himself surrounded by vengeful cellmates.
  • Book Ends: The movie begins with John at an AA meeting, and ends with Lydia in the same place one year later, sitting on the same chair and saying almost the same words.
  • Cover Drop: The movie poster is the climatic scene of the film.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Lydia's last boyfriend was a Mexican gangster, John has disdain for both gangsters and Mexicans.
  • Disappeared Dad: Inverted by way of Perspective Flip. The movie is told from the POV of such a father, who went to jail while his daughter was little, and she later run away.
  • The Dragon: The sicario is the most dangerous member of Jonah's entourage, implied to terrify even him. Probably has to do with the fact that he is actually in the employ of Jonah's far more powerful uncle and has been sent to keep watch and possibly assassinate Jonah once suspicions of his treachery are confirmed.
  • Enemy Mine: Invoked and exploited by John, who uses Jonah's fear of his uncle to keep Lydia alive until he reaches her.
  • Exact Words: After Preacher and his wife turn on him and his daughter, a livid John overpowers and threatens them. Preacher jeers he wouldn't dare kill him with his daughter around. He's right. John comes back later and nonchalantly shoots him.
  • The Ghost: John's ex-wife and Jonah's uncle don't appear on the screen.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Jonah's uncle is a high-ranked and dreaded gangster, who can clearly have his nephew snuffed out if he feels like it but never shows up himself, with Jonah, still alive, remaining the constant and more persistent threat for John and Lydia.
  • The Hero Dies: John is gunned down by the sicario and dies in Lydia's arms, though he manages to kill the sicario first and save his daughter.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Invoked by John during the final shootout when he tells Lydia to run while he covers, and defied by her when she refuses to leave him behind. It ends up happening anyway: John dies in the shootout, but he saves Lydia.
  • Impaled Palm: John stabs one of the gang members in the hand with a knife when they attempt to shoot up his trailer.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: When Lydia panics, she winds up shooting Jonah in the throat.
  • Insane Troll Logic: When John berates Mexican illegals for "stealing jobs", Lydia sarcastically asks if he was planning to pick up fruit as a career. He says he didn't, but that someone must.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Preacher. "I can't believe you'd have the nerve-" *BLAM*
  • Missing Mom: Neither John nor Lydia have contact with their ex-wife and mother by the time of the film, and she stays that way.
  • Mutual Kill: John and the sicario shoot each other dead in the finale.
  • Not Quite Dead: Jonah, who gets shot in the neck early in the film but turns up later.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: As Jonah and his men walk towards the house in the opening raid, the former is seen tucking his pistol into the back of his pants.
  • Papa Wolf: John Link, who is an ex-convict living in a trailer trying to eke out a living as a tattoo artist. Then his runaway daughter comes to him for help because she got involved with the Mexican cartel, who are now hunting her down. Asskicking ensues.
  • Professional Killer: The sicario, a heavily tattooed hitman working for The Cartel. It turns out that he's not just there to hunt down John and his daughter, but also to keep on eye on Jonah on behalf of his higher-ranking uncle.
  • Punny Name: John's tattoo business is called "Missing Link". His last name is Link, and he later goes on the lam.
  • Reflexive Response: Awakened by a phone ringing in the motel room, John sleepily answers "Missing Link Tattoo."
  • The Runaway: Lydia ran away and disappeared. Years later, she comes back with a drug addiction and being pursued by police and gangsters alike after being involved with them, and she confesses that it is because she is guilty of murder.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Kirby, John's sponsor, is killed by Jonah after he tortures him for information. The trope then happens to John himself.
  • Stealing from the Till: Jonah. The tenants his group attacked early in the film were hiding what he stole.
  • Stupid Crooks: At the start of the movie, one of Jonah's goons insults Lydia for buying them 9mm ammunition instead of .45 because he considers 9mm to be weak, even when Jonah himself points out that the goon is using a 9mm pistol.
  • Stupid Evil: Jonah bites off more than he can chew by stealing from his powerful uncle, and the movie makes it clear that his time is limited, as evidenced by the Sicario his uncle sends to watch him and kill him if he steps out of line.
  • Tattooed Crook: Most of the criminals in the film have them, due to being gang members. John easily identifies them being from various gangs as he's familiar with these from his time in prison (along with being a tattoo artist). The sicario sent by the cartel is the standout example, as his facial tattoos are very distinctive.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: John Link is a recovering alcoholic. He frequently attends AA group sessions with his neighbor and best friend Kirby serving as his sponsor, who often gripes that John doesn't make it easy for him.