Homefront

PLOT:

DEA agent, and ex soldier, Phil Broker (Jason Statham) sees his quiet family life turned upside down when his path crosses with a band of drug traffickers, led by Gator (James Franco), a meth kingpin

REVIEW:

I’m in a bit of a rush today, so I need to be sure to finish Homefront before I need to be heading out the door. As a big Jason Statham fan, I am always looking forward to his films, but lately they haven’t been as impressive as they could/should be. Hopefully, this outing will return him to form.

What is this about?

When ex-DEA agent Phil Broker is widowed, he moves with his 10-year-old daughter to a small town in pursuit of a quiet life, but he finds his dream destroyed by a murderous drug trafficker, Gator, and his gang of meth-making thugs.

What did I like?

Action. One of the reasons we all love Jason Statham is because he kicks ass and takes names. We get a plenty of that in this film, even though he does try to not fight everyone in the small redneck town (not too far from where I’m from, as a matter of fact). Seeing Statham back in action, breaking bones, leaving guys bruised and bloodied, and doing so without really getting riled up about it reminded me of The Transporter franchise, which some would say are his best films…at least the first two.

Franco. James Franco has had an interesting career playing a variety of characters, but he really hasn’t played a sadistic, meth dealing, evil mastermind like he does in this film to my knowledge. I appreciate the guy is stretching his wings and doing something different. True, he shines in the stoner roles he normally is cast in, but he is more than capable of playing bigger and better roles, such as this one, the reluctant antagonist.

Writing. Believe it or not, this is a film that was written by Sylvester Stallone. Statham takes the material and really makes it pop. While this has all the makings of Stallone’s film, just with Statham in the lead, he does manage to make it his own and with a pretty solid cast to bring this story to life on the screen. The script leaves you wondering what is going to happen in the end, especially when an alternate element, not spoiling anything, comes in and tries to get revenge. The way all this is accomplished is quite impressive, especially for someone who I really didn’t know was a screenwriter.

What didn’t I like?

Surfs up. Remember in the early 2000s when everyone was so in love with Kate Bosworth? Ever wondered where she disappeared to? Well, she turns up in this film as a strung out, meth head, redneck who is the mother of the boy whom Statham’s daughter beats up in the playground. Apparently, this chick is a bit unstable. So much so, that the sheriff has to come to the school when she does to make sure she doesn’t do anything rash. In a previous meeting, she apparently threatened the principal. Nothing against Bosworth, but it just seemed as if this wasn’t the role for her. The way they were describing her, I expected someone a bit more detached from reality, not to mention the effect meth would have had on her looks. Bosworth didn’t portray these things to me, personally.

Can I get a laugh? As I was sitting here watching the events of this film play out, I was hoping for some comic relief, but didn’t really get it. On first appearance, one would think that Omar Benson would have played it, but that was not the case. As a matter of fact, the only real funny moment in this flick is the wig Statham is wearing at the beginning of the film. For me, I need comic relief to break up the seriousness. I’m not saying this needed to turn into a comedy, but a couple of light jokes would have been nice.

He started it. The bodies pile up, a mother is shot by her brother, a kitten is stolen from a little girl, a marriage is strained even more than it already was, Wynona Ryder pulls a swerve on James Franco that just makes things worse, etc. All of these things happen because one little boy was bullying Statham’s daughter on the playground. Yes, she did kick his ass, but had they just let this go, there wouldn’t have been any of these problems. If ever there was a case for not bullying, this is it, as you can see it snowball from those actions.

Final thoughts on Homefront? I think this is a film that is underrated. It dug Wynona Ryder and Kate Bosworth out of whatever hole in the wall they had been hold up in. The action is bad ass, the story is decent, and the subplot involving the biker gang (which seems to be forgotten until the second half of the film) isn’t horrible. Do I recommend this flick? Yes, while the film has its problems, it is enjoyable. Give it a shot sometime!

4 out of 5 stars

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