Director: Jean-François Richet.
Jean-François Richet, French director of the highly acclaimed Mesrine bring to life the titular novel by Peter Craig, who also wrote the screenplays for both Mockingjays and Affleck's The Town. A story about an estranged daughter who's being hunted by the worse kinds has no choice but seek out her father, John Link who happens to be an ex-worse kind himself.
She's a runaway, mixes with the wrong crowd, the dangerous kind and ends up on the run. Link, her father, is an ex-con, recovering alcoholic and is her only hope and possibly she's his only chance of having any paternal responsibility. It's similar to Run All Night where a father will do whatever is absolutely necessary to keep their children alive.
I hope I look as good as Mel Gibson when I'm his age, looking awesome and comfortable with that worn, rugged, tough look still emanating to be a force to be reckoned with. John Link is like an amalgamation of many of Gibson's past characters bearing unintentional similarities to Lethal Weapon's Riggs, Payback's Porter, the gringo and even a little of Mad Max. One thing all these characters share is that Gibson psychotic rage and the controlled calmness he does when the shit is hitting not just the fan but everything else.
Kudos to newcomer Erin Moriarty who superbly acts up against Gibson as his endangered, rebellious troubled teen. Having briefly seen her only last month in Captain Fantastic, it's impressive to see her take on a role opposite Gibson. The volatile relationship between the two is captivating enforced by their quick-fire and sometimes amusing dialogue.
There's quite a supporting cast too with legendary Michael Parks, William H. Macy and the usual gangbanger Richard Cabral. Parks is brilliant, having a presence of sinister grandeur and Raoul Max Trujillo stars as a sicario which is a little ironic being that he also starred in last year's Sicario.
The violence is abrasive and abrupt but it's more dramatic with John Link battling and reconnecting with his old demons to secure the safety of his wanted daughter. There's nothing fancy, no spectacular sequences, but that gives the film a better sense of realism. There's a little of annoying shaky cam to begin with but that soon fades.
It's a riveting movie from start to finish and well paced. It's good to see Mel Gibson back on the big screen, and be on such good form too. Fans of the tougher, rougher Gibson shouldn't be disappointed.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for good ol' Gibson
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.