Have faith in the Stath. Even if the film’s a little . . . Well . . .
Do you love action movies? Do you love Jason Statham? Do you care about plot or feasible story lines? No? Let me guess. Do you like your movies served explosive with a side order of violence? Then this is for you.
If you’re a Stath nut, then in the roster of his works, this falls short. Although not his worst, I’ll leave that to Hummingbird, it still had nothing on Crank or the epic Transporter films (Minus Part 3).
Written by Sylvester “The Expendables” Stallone, Homefront is about a former DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham) who retires to the rural Deep South, after a botched operation, with his young daughter (Izabela Vidovic). What starts off as a little playground fight between Stath’s little ‘un and one of the local kids, escalates into a bitter community feud, which in typical fashion, leads to all-out mayhem.
The cliches are all there. One on one knife fights (Check), random weapons scattered across the house (Check), the usual “Trust me baby, Daddy’s coming” rubbish (Check, check, check). BUT for the first hour, I was able to enjoy it. In fact, it was actually quite watchable.
All thanks to a surprisingly decent cast. Kudos to Kate Bosworth as the nagging heroin white trash neighbour. However, it was a shame that her character faded further into the background as the chaos ensued. Clancy Brown was wasted as the Sheriff with his Django-esque delivery, “You got my attention, son”. Clearly, the point of his character was to establish that the police don’t run things in this town BUT to have such a great actor in such a small passive role, it felt like a missed opportunity.
I was surprised to see Winona Ryder in this and looking good (Steady now). Even managed to bag the best (or worst) character name of Sheryl Mott. Sly you dirty old man. Unless he’s not familiar with the expression? Moving on . . .
Stath applies his usual gravitas to yet another stocky role. However, the chemistry between him and Vidovic was quite good and made that inevitable Commando-esque father/daughter relationship much more bearable. I was glad to not actually hate the kid, which is normally a given in these sort of movies.
James Franco was brilliant. He stole the show. Bringing his squinty eyed menace to the meth dealer and “town authority” Gator Bovine (What a name!). He managed to make a memorable turn with the cardboard material he had (Sorry, Sly) and inject some much needed tension to the more heated exchanges with Stath’s Broker.
The action sequences were impressive. Most notably with Stath’s fighting scenes. You could feel every punch and hear every crunch. It’s a shame that what could have been a tense action thriller combining Breakdown with a hint of Deliverance had to crash and burn into the same old cliched guff.
It fizzled out far too quickly and we were left with numerous explosive endings with the inevitable OTT shoot em up, punch first questions later spiel taking over. It was just so predictable and felt like all the other action flicks out there that have done before and much better.
Despite being watchable, it was hardly memorable or outstanding BUT if you really fancy giving it a go, I could think of worse ways to kill 90 odd minutes.
Not bad BUT certainly not great.
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