Review: Homefront


As opening scenes go, I enjoy a bunch of rednecks getting a good ass kicking after an annoying confrontation at a gas station. That was the first of several clichés that are all too familiar with when we watch a movie set in the Deep South. This is a film where we get to familiarize ourselves with the culture of a small hidden town that makes their own rules, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is an ex DEA agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a biker gang and their meth ring. He succeeds for the most part, but their leader yells at him with red in his eyes, “You’re dead,” as he’s being taken away in handcuffs. Well, we know we’re not going to see the last of him. So after a successful mission, Phil hides out in the deep South where no one would ever suspect anything more than that he is just another hard working American…with a British accent. So a couple years pass and Phil now lives a peaceful life with his daughter Maddy and all is well, until the school bully decides to pick on his daughter one day at recess. This reveals some suspicious fighting skills that seem unusual for a 9 year old girl and gives the bully an ego check. Giving the movie credit, people actually seem to want to know how a 9 year old developed the fighting skills of a UFC flyweight.

Kate Bosworth plays Cassie, the bully's meth head of a mom, and her performance is disturbingly effective. She reacts with outrage to the altercation between Phil’s child and her own, demanding that the daughter receive disciplinary action for hurting her angel. The cops know the situation and believe that it is under control, but the mom does not want to give up that easily. After that Cassie and her husband antagonize Phil with hurtful words demanding respect, the dad takes it a step further and from then on we know where her daughter got those skills from. A key part in this film is the stylistic approach of the fighting techniques displayed. Jason Statham turns it into an art-form.

After a humiliating beat-down, we know that these people want justice. Cassie calls up her brother, Gator (James Franco,) to teach Phil a lesson. Gator is the psychotic small-town drug lord who cooks and supplies meth for all the citizens of the town and he makes damn sure that no one else does. While Gator plans his sister’s revenge, he digs up some dirt on Phil and realizes who he is. That is where the real trouble starts and establishes brand new motives. The concern from good old fashioned small town interrogation builds to something much bigger than that.

The plot was well executed and fast-paced and made for an intriguing storyline. The fighting scenes definitely make you clench your fists and jump up with a surge of adrenaline and scream, “Fuck yea!”

I was, however, a little disappointed in James Franco’s character. The way his character was built up wasn’t convincing, and his character arc should have been better developed. Honestly I didn’t feel as threatened by him as I should have been. The way they were talking him up, you would think he would be some form of the devil, but his presence was ineffective and we all knew that Phil would most likely humiliate him just as bad as any other man that comes his way. Homefront is an effective film with a punch that takes you for a ride. Jason Statham fans will be pleased, and if you’re looking for a decent beat-em-up action film with some entertaining performances, you could do worse.

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