Reviews

Homefront

2

Stath versus meth...

“Whatever you’re thinking, rethink it!” glowers Jason Statham. Homefront’s prospective viewers would be well advised to do the same.

Despite starring action cinema’s most charismatic cue ball, being based on a Sylvester Stallone script, and featuring a starry supporting cast (James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth) playing strung-out meth-heads, Gary Fleder’s fight flick is liable to disappoint all but the least demanding of viewers.

Pedigree doesn’t always equate to quality, of course, but this first adaptation of Chuck Logan’s series of novels has a curiously passed-round-the-posts feeling. Statham wasn’t the first actor attached – Stallone wrote it for himself 10 years ago, which is how long it’s been since Fleder had a high-profile cinema release (Runaway Jury).

We begin with undercover DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham in a glorious mullet) caught up in a drug bust going south. Then it’s Broker who’s going south, to New Orleans, to try and start over with his young daughter (Izabela Vidovic). But it’s not long before they fall foul of redneck dealer Gator (Franco) and his family, including an excellent Bosworth as a skinny addict.

Although Franco’s clearly enjoying himself, and Statham smashes faces with finesse, two warring films emerge, neither of them particularly convincing. The first is pure daddy-daughter cheese, with Broker reading his daughter bedtime stories and romancing her school counsellor (Rachel Lefevre).

The second is straight-to-DVD fight-flick filler, with savage fisticuffs and soft-headed dialogue sharing equal billing. “I want my kid’s cat back – today,” threatens Statham with an admirably straight face, “Not a hair out of place!” Frankly, it’s hard to imagine anyone who’d be satisfied with either strand, let alone both.

Neither Friday-night fun, nor Sunday-night serious, Homefront short-changes its cast and its audience, while its greatest asset – the sizeable WTF? factor – soon dribbles away into boredom.

Verdict:

An unfathomably airless B-movie that betrays its USP by spreading the thrills too thinly. You can see why Stallone had second thoughts...

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Film Details

User Reviews

    • FBKTudor

      Dec 18th 2013, 15:13

      2

      I went to see Homeland on a Sat night. It was ok, but not great. It is a shame the action genre likes to finish its films the very moment the main bad guys been defeated. So many set up all these narrative threads and then just finish the film without explaining, even by use of text, what happened next. Did the feud between their families resolve? (You'd assume so, but the character who took a bullet in defense of Broker's daughter may have used that as an escalation of hostilities. Did Broker and the teacher get it together? Did Broker's friend who got shot loading the horses survive? What happened to Gator (what sentencing did he get)? What happened to the Sheriff who had "an understanding" with Gator and was letting him cook Meth? None of those plot points were answered. As soon as Gator was caught and down and beaten the film promptly finishes. This appears to be a recurring trend with modern action films. Many only seek to resolve the main plot between the main good and bad guy. But if the subplots weren't important enough to resolve, why mention them or focus any screentime on them at all? (All the cheesey father/daughter moments were very "movie of the week" levels of simplicity and cheese).

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    • FBKTudor

      Dec 18th 2013, 15:15

      2

      Statham also appears to be gunning for Nicholas Cage's crown for the most awkward hair-do sported in a film. Statham has the odd dos from Parker, Homefront, Cellular, etc. Cage is still in the lead with Next and Con Air.

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    • hermes16

      Dec 21st 2013, 0:04

      3

      I really enjoyed this. Defo at least a 3 star film.

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