AVClub: Would it be easier for Mel Gibson to make a comeback if every attempt wasn’t some kind of self-reflexive star text? There are Hollywood stars (and respected filmmakers) with worse misdeeds and uglier personal lives, but Gibson, the traditionalist Catholic fixated on torture, is hell-bent on suffering for his sins on screen. Five years after starring as a personally fractured family man in The Beaver, and after an assortment of high-profile projects that fell apart (including one about the Maccabees), he returns in Blood Father, a pulpy father-daughter action-comedy that plays like a mea culpa. Alcoholism, racism, anti-Semitism, men abusing women—just about anything Gibson has ever been documented doing or accused of is there, with the star on hand to acknowledge that it is in fact bad, as though asking for a reduced sentence in the court of public opinion. Having a reformed outlaw biker mutter, “Still backing the losers, I see,” while glancing at the Nazi and Confederate flags hanging in a former friend’s garage is funny, but what does it mean coming from Gibson?