Movies reviewed this week: Blood Father, Hands of Stone, Kickboxer: Vengeance and Bollywatch: Madaari
Mel Gibson may have spent the past five years in the acting/directing wilderness thanks to his drug and alcohol addictions but it has to be said that 2016 could just be the year that he’s found his redemption.
At the ripe old age of 60, there’s no doubting that Gibson tapped into his real-life experiences as John Link in Blood Father, which also stars Erin Moriarty as his wayward 16-year-old daughter Lydia, and the ever-brilliant William H. Macy as his friend, Kirby.
Link is a recovering alcoholic and ex-con who spends his days running a tattoo parlour from the back of his trailer when he unexpectedly receives a call from Lydia, who’s been hanging out with a Mexican drug cartel.
What follows is a thrilling action film that sees Gibson back at his best, with hints of humour à la Lethal Weapon, as he fights to save Lydia being killed by the drug cartel.
Link has to tap into his skills as an ex-con, as well as his contacts, as he and Lydia head off on a road trip like no other, with the cartel in hot pursuit.
Also starring Diego Luna as Jonah, the head of the cartel and Lydia’s ex-boyfriend, Blood Father is packed with violence – but rest assured, Gibson has lost none of his talent during his years in the acting wilderness.
Review by Felicity Glover
Hands of Stone
Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) is a Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut as a 16 year old in 1968. Coaching him is legendary trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro), who gives the young boxer some much-needed confidence and tactical tips. However, after taking on his opponent, world-class boxer Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond), he is now faced with the daunting task of rewriting history, by retracing his path and becoming the undisputed champion.
Kurt (Alain Moussi) and Eric Sloane (Darren Shahlavi) are descendants from a family of martial artists. Kurt has always been in the shadows of elder brother, Eric. However, when Eric loses to a pitiless Tong Po (Dave Bautista) with calamitous results, Kurt is left to seek revenge. He now has to go against all odds, and train himself to take on the monster of a fighter who took away the soul of his family.
Madaari focuses on all the sins that are prevalent in the Indian political scene today. In this film, we follow the story of Nirmal Kumar (Irrfan Khan), a man who has everything taken away from him. As opposed to trusting the system, Nirmal takes things into his own hands and goes on a mission to seek answers, which leads him down a deadly path. While the story resonates the life of a motivated individual, the storyline is borderline unimaginable.