Although it sports a solid cast and features a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, Homefront comes across as a generic action film with a plot so familiar it is impossible to care about the characters. Homefront has some decent action sequences, but it is nothing audiences haven’t seen from any other Jason Statham flick.
Based on Chuck Logan’s novel and directed by Gary Fleder (2008’s The Express), the film sees Statham joined by Winona Ryder, James Franco, Kate Bosworth (who delivers the best performance in the film), Clancy Brown, Omar Benson Miller, Rachelle Lefevre, and Frank Grillo.
Homefront opens with DEA agent Phil Broker busting a biker gang in a drug sting that goes bad. He leaves the agency and moves to a small town in the South to raise his daughter in peace and quiet. Still settling into his new life, Broker’s world is turned upside down after his daughter beats up a bully at school. A simple fight between school kids is turned into a larger issue thanks to the boy’s meth-addicted mother (Bosworth) who goes to her brother Gator (Franco) to have him teach Broker a lesson.
Gator happens to be the local meth drug lord and sees a chance to expand his operation after he discovers Broker’s DEA background. Using his girlfriend Sheryl (Ryder), Gator gets word to the biker gang about Broker’s location and the gang sends a hitman Cyrus Hanks (Grillo) to take out Broker once and for all. This leads to a showdown between Broker and all the bad guys in an extended action-sequence.[wpv-view name=”DVD Review Insert”]
Homefront is pretty much a “paint by numbers” action film that sees the good guy walking away from the job to live a quiet life but having to risk that new life to save his daughter. It isn’t a horrible way to kill a couple of hours and features enough action to keep fans of the genre satisfied.
Statham does a solid job in the role of Broker, but Homefront follows the genre’s formula so closely it is impossible to separate it from anything else the actor has done lately. The Broker role could have been any of the actor’s other characters – from Transporter to The Mechanic. He handles the action sequences with the same straight-forward grit he has brought to the screen before and never seems in any real danger as he takes on local rednecks with lightning fast kicks and punches.
Franco tries hard to be the film’s “bad guy” and it is interesting to see the likeable actor in the role. Unfortunately, he is horribly miscast for the film and comes off as more comical than menacing. Once Grillo shows up, Gator just seems like a waste of time. I couldn’t help but wish they would have used Grillo in the role, as he is much more believable as a villain who can go toe-to-toe with Statham.
On Blu-ray, the film looks solid with the location helping to add some colorful character to the film. It also comes with deleted scenes (that do little to help the film) and a “making of” feature.
Homefront isn’t a horrible movie, but it is instantly forgettable. Action fans will find enough to keep them entertained, just don’t expect Statham to break any new ground in the genre or the style of character he has become famous for playing.