Director: Gary Fleder
Cast: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Rachelle Lefevre, Frank Grillo, Clancy Brown, Omar Miller, Izabela Vidovic
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language, Violence and Sexual Scene)
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & InnoForm Media
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/HomeFrontMovie
Opening Day: 5 December 2013
Synopsis: "Homefront" stars Jason Statham as former drug enforcement agent, Phil Broker, a family man who moves off the grid with his daughter, to a seemingly quiet bayou backwater to escape his troubled past. However, Broker's world soon becomes anything but quiet once he discovers that an underbelly of drugs and violence riddles the small town. Soon, a sociopathic methamphetamine kingpin, Gator Bodine (James Franco) puts Broker and his daughter in harm's way forcing Broker back into action in order to save his family and the town.
No one messes with Jason Statham. Come on, have you seen the dude in film series like Crank and The Expendables? This guy is bad ass, and when we say that, no one had better piss Mr Statham off. Sure, he isn’t as beefed up as The Rock or Vin Diesel, but the British actor is a perfect example of how mean things come in small packages. So, it makes perfect sense for the filmmakers of this action thriller to cast Statham as its protagonist, an undercover agent who gets pissed off when his quiet family life gets turned upside down by a band of drug traffickers.
Good luck then, to James Franco (127 Hours, Spring Breakers), who plays the kingpin leading the bad guys to upset Statham’s life.
Statham, in his lean and mean frame, moves to a quiet town after completing an undercover operation which lands a biker gang leader in jail. In his new home, he crosses paths with the mother of a local bully, and things change when she tells her brother to scare our protagonist. After a series of events, our good man’s daughter is kidnapped and as you would expect, violence gets loose and at the end of the day, there are punches, gun shots and the bad guys will get a piece of what Statham is worth.
We have always rooted for Statham, hoping that he will be known as the action star of our generation (like how Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger took that title in the 80s), but the 46 year old (who would have guessed) former diver never shot to the top of the charts with a big hit. However, he has gotten some very good commendations for his screen presence (try harder, Channing Tatum). With his latest big screen outing in this Gary Fleder directed movie, Statham has once again proven his worth as an action star.
Unfortunately, there is only so much this 100 minute production can do for one of our favourite actors. The screenplay by Mr Stallone himself, based on a novel of the same name by Chuck Logan, isn’t the most exciting to unravel on screen. The story of an antihero fighting his way to have justice prevail at the end of the day? You’ve probably seen movies like that countless times. Next, we have Franco, who comes off as trying a little too hard to play the bad guy. The 35 year old spouts quite a bit of vulgarities in the movie, but if that’s what he thinks will make him a bad ass, there is more than that to be a antagonist opposite Statham.
Elsewhere, we are pleasantly surprised by Kate Bosworth’s (Blue Crush, Superman Returns) performance as a druggie who overprotects her son. Whenever the 30 year old actress appears on screen, you can feel how messed up her character’s life is, as she tries every desperate measure to piece her life together again. There’s also Winona Ryder (the golden girl from the 80s has turned in some very surprising career choices recently, like Star Trek and Black Swan), who plays Franco’s partner in crime. The actress delivers a decent performance as well, especially with her tiny frame and dark eye circles.
When the movie ends, you’d be satisfied with yet another Statham performance, but unfortunately, be wondering what impactful punch the movie lacks.
(Jason Statham proves himself again to be a bona fide action star, but is let down by an inconsequential thriller movie)
Review by John Li