Today with the movie 'Homefront' we have a
Jason Statham movie and Jason Statham rarely, if ever,
disappoints. This isn't to say that every Jason Statham
movie we've seen is a good movie, oh good heavens no, but it
is to say that Jason, maybe more than any actor in the history
of movies is so consistent and constant in what he does, that
he's a factor in a movie that we don't have to worry
about. Usually it's the stuff around Jason which makes a
movie good or bad, not necessarily Jason himself.
'Homefront'… well… I think it is a bit of a disappointment
because there are some things in it which should've made it
better than it was, as opposed to the completely basic action
set piece that it turned out to be.
Today's badass that Jason is playing is Phil Broker, and
undercover narco about to bring down a biker led meth
lab. The sting goes all to hell, basically with armor
clad DEA agents allowing bikers to walk up to them and
casually shoot them in the head. One DEA agent, in the
midst of bullets flying, death, and bloody destruction all
around actually yelled 'Freeze!' He got murdered.
During this op the leader of the gang watches his son get
gunned down, because his son is stupid, and he blames Broker
and swears undying revenge.
Having had enough of this, Broker retires, along with his ten
year old daughter Maddy (Isabella Vidovic) to the bayou to
ride horses and do other stuff that doesn't involve having a
real job, until that fateful day that Maddy retaliates against
a bully. Turns out this bully was the child of Cassie
Bodine (Kate Bosworth) and this sets in motion a series of
very unfortunate events for the Brokers. Cassie wants
revenge against Broker, and thus contacts her meth cooking
brother Gator (James Franco). Gator discovers some info
about Broker's previous dealings which could be beneficial to
his meth dealing distribution efforts and thus contacts his
girl / meth whore / biker groupie Sheryl (Winona Ryder).
Turns out Sheryl used to kick it with the head of the
currently imprisoned biker gang and gives the current biker
gang leader Cyrus (Frank Grillo) the heads up and now is
really looking forward to ending the lives of Broker and his
The bikers have Broker severely outgunned,
outmanned, out flanked and any other kind of advantage you can
think of, plus Broker has the misfortune of trying to protect
a hysterical, unarmed ten year old girl. What chance
could he possibly have? I'm sorry, I'm laughing
uncontrollably right now. Those bikers have no chance.
'Homefront', directed by Gary Fleder and screenwritten by no
less an action luminary than Sylvester Stallone himself, is
pretty darned basic action fare when you get down to it.
For starters we have Jason Statham playing a razor stubbled,
retired, balding, not very tall, borderline invincible
badass. Think he can do that? Sure he can.
It would help us, as film watchers, if at some point we
actually feared for the life of our hero… say when three
bloodthirsty, armed, inbred biker dudes have Broker with his
hands zip tied behind his back, drowning him, and punching him
in the face… but we knew he had them exactly where he wanted
them. The fact that we know what we are going get, as
far as basic action sets in this movie, is neither a good
thing or a bad thing, it's just a thing that we know is going
to happen. We need other stuff to raise this movie up.
But this is where we are disappointed because this 'other
tuff' should've been James Franco playing a character called
Gator Bodine. Now I've seen 'Pineapple Express' and
'Spring Breakers' and I figured that this was something that
my man Franco would've chewed up, spit out, picked up what he
spit out and chewed it up some more, but Jimmy never did
completely embrace his inner meth dealing hillbilly in this
movie. Kate Bosworth on the other hand? Since she
is naturally rail thin, this girl did bang up work as a methed
out, completely unstable, PTA mom. Wynona Ryder did well
too, maybe not quite matching Ms. Bothworth's level in methed
out intensity, but she did well. We did like Frank
Grillo's menace as one of our heavies in this movie, but Mr.
Grillo's bad guy mojo is geared more towards mob heavy than
Biker Gang heavy.
Thus the ultimate problem we had with 'Homefront' is that
there just wasn't an appropriate foil to offset Statham's
stock action hero character. And we also didn't care too
much for the neat and tidy ending either, though we knew it
had to happen this way.
'Homefront' gave us what we expected, basic, standard, linear,
action fodder. If only James Franco had dug a little
deeper, which I know my man can do, this might've been a
slightly better Jason Statham movie as opposed to just another
Jason Statham movie.