UK Release Date: 6th December 2013
Runtime: 100 minutes
Director: Gary Fleder
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Izabela Vidovic
Synopsis: When a former DEA agent relocates his family to a quiet town, he finds himself embroiled in the dealings of a local drug kingpin.
Jason Statham is currently releasing his trademark brand of mindless action movies at a rate of about two or three a year. Some of them feature sublime mayhem (Crank) and some of them try to push the envelope beyond the usual brain-bashing tropes (Hummingbird).
Others, however, are merely mildly entertaining, cookie cutter actioners like the slightly disappointing Homefront.
Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is a DEA agent who has just nailed a major gang leader. Relocating his daughter to a quiet town, Broker eventually crosses paths with another parent (Kate Bosworth) and her thuggish brother (James Franco), who is a local drug kingpin.
Homefront is about as generic as action movies ever come. Bits seem as if they are intended as an homage to genre flicks of the past, but nothing ever rises above the dour, boring tone.
Jason Statham does his usual shtick well enough, growling his way through a by-the-numbers script courtesy of none other than Sylvester Stallone. Only James Franco truly stands out, full of wide-eyed menace as the drug lord causing all sorts of problems for Stath and his kid.
Unfortunately, the story of Homefront never really feels like it’s going anywhere. Twists are telegraphed way in advance and, although the violence is well-worked and genuinely bone-crunching, it never has any real impact. This is mindless beat-down without consequence, and it just doesn’t work.
By the time the third act arrives, there is a glimmer of tension beginning to appear. However, it doesn’t take long before things follow the Anchorman rule (really get out of hand fast) and everything explodes in a fireball rather than anything of substance happening.
This is just another pay cheque for Statham and not a film he’ll be filing away in the folder marked “success”. This more of a bruisee than a bruiser.
Pop or Poop?
Homefront has the seed of a good idea blossoming within it, but slightly lame direction and a painfully generic script consigns it to the supermarket bargain bin on a 2-for-1 with a silly 80s action flick.
Statham is perfectly okay and James Franco excels, but there’s nothing here that really threatens to impress audiences.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.