Aside from his cartoon villain roles in the likes of Machete Kills (2013) and The Expendables 3 (2014), we haven't properly seen Mel Gibson in action since How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012). That is about to be remedied by the gnarly thriller Blood Father, in which a grizzled Gibson takes arms against a desert of bad guys.
If Gibson's recent form and shenanigans don't quite have you cheering for this, it is worth noting Blood Father's promisingly heavyweight pedigree. The director is Jean-François Richet, who made both parts of the stunning Mesrine (2008). And it is based on a novel by Peter Craig, who also wrote The Town. Craig shares the screenplay's credit with Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton).
Blood Father sees Gibson as down at heel tattoo artist John Link, throwing his parole into jeopardy when he gets into a spat with some drug dealers who have taken issue with his estranged daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty).
"This scene is an important one because it is the first time that Link and Lydia speak openly with each other," Richet tells Empire. "It's actually the only time that Link apologises and faces up to his errors in front of his daughter."
The scene comes just before Lydia finds herself in deep with her boyfriend's (Diego Luna) gang, and her old man is forced to put some old style Gibson hurt down.
"I wanted to shoot this scene as simply as possible, without any effects," the director continues, "so the actors could fill the whole space and fully convey the emotion between them. The motorbike represents the past that Link has fled, but it also represents the future because it will allow them to escape together. Thanks to Link recognising and accepting his failings, they will both be able to rebuild a new relationship."
William H. Macy (Fargo), Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Thomas Mann (Project X) and Michael Parks (Kill Bill) co-star, and the film is out in the UK on 7 October.