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Watch Mel Gibson take on a drug cartel in the new trailer for 'Blood Father'

They say there is nothing a parent wouldn’t do for their child, and Mel Gibson’s character is out to prove it in the new trailer for Blood Father. He plays John Link, a tattooist and ex-convict, who takes up arms to protect his teenage daughter, Lydia (played by Erin Moriarty), when dangerous men from a drug cartel come after her.

The family dynamics at the center of the story are complicated, because John has hardly been an involved parent. In fact, as he says in the trailer, his daughter was raised by her stepfathers instead of him. Now that Lydia is back in his life, though, he plans to keep her alive, even when doing so very clearly puts him at risk as well.

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At first, it appears to him that her biggest problem is needing detox, but major trouble soon arrives at his front door — literally. Led by Jonah (played by Diego Luna), the members of the cartel are determined to get revenge on Lydia.  As it turns out, she shot her boyfriend, who was their boss.

The trailer is full of intensity and suspense, plus plenty of shoot-’em-up action. With the desert setting, there is a bit of a modern Wild West feel, and Gibson is believable as the hero willing to work outside the law to keep his progeny safe. He plays the determined and dangerously protective father well; you’d want a guy like him around if you were ever in Lydia’s shoes.

“People get caught when they make mistakes,” says John during the preview. “You stick with me, I give you everything I’ve got.”

The film is directed by Jean-François Richet and written by Peter Craig. William H. Macy and Michael Parks also star. Blood Father is due out in theaters on August 12.