Homefront: Rated R (100 minutes)
Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth
Directed by: Gary Fleder
Phil Broker (Statham), is a DEA agent who is working undercover attempting to bust a Meth ring that is being run by an outlaw Biker gang. When, during a critical bust to take down their entire operation the raid goes south and several cops and bikers get shot, including the son of the gang’s leader, who is shot to death in a hail of cop gunfire. The event takes its tool on Broker, and he quits the force, eventually (after the off-camera death, a year after the event of his wife) moving him and his young daughter (Vidovic) to a remote place in the state.
Unfortunately, shortly after they move to a quiet town, his daughter runs afoul of a schoolyard bully and bloodies his nose (naturally enough, dad taught her to a) stand up to bullies, and b) fight) . This — naturally enough — greatly irritates the boy’s mom (a Meth-head) who then eggs her week-willed, hen-pecked husband to physically confront Broker, who (as we can predict) drops him like a bad habit, which again (of course) pisses off both mom and dad, plus has the added benefit of getting the attention of the local sheriff, who warns Broker to keep a low profile.
Well, as it turns out, the boy’s mom is the sister to the local meth drug lord (Franco), who is also something of a bully. So, naturally enough, the mom asks her brother to screw with Broker, which he sends his boys to do, only they also get their backsides handed to them, thus upping the stakes, causing the brother to discover Broker’s former law-enforcement status, and then sell out Broker to the biker’s old gang, who come seeking retribution.
Just so we’re clear, this is a pretty typical Jason Statham film in that he spends a good deal of his screen time beating the Bejesus out of some otherwise scary men, but given that it is actually written (and produced) by Sylvester Stallone, the script exhibited a very layered story that allowed Statham to deliver quite an interesting and nuanced performance. All of which made this a very watchable film that was fun to watch, and held our interest throughout — heck, the film even contained one of the finer James Franco roles we’ve seen of late as well, so it also has that going for it.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.