Posted December 1, 2013 by editor in Film Reviews
 
 

Homefront Review


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Jason Statham quite often delivers 2-3 films a year. Often there will be the film that seeks to be less of an action film and one that is more character orientate. He will have his mid-budget high octane action flick, and sometimes he’ll even up a multi-star franchise (Expendables). This year he kind of already did the drama with Hummingbird, which leaves Homefront ready to fill the action slot. Amazingly this one also falls more directly in with the drama.

True the film has its fair share of action beats, but they are often very short and over with as quickly as they were set up. Which means Statham and the motley crew of support are left to do a lot of character interaction.

Statham is an ex-law enforcement officer living out in the southern states with his young daughter hoping for a peaceful life. That is until his Daughter defends herself one day (rather brutally) whilst being picked upon at school and the parents of the beaten kid take offence to her and Stahtam’s presence.  This is hick town territory where apologies matter for nothing, and in-laws are called in to get even with you. It’s from here that everything escalates from one bad scenario to the next to the point where out of town goons with heavy artillery are called upon to get the job done.

There are some terrific performances here: James Franco tries to make us believe he can go toe to toe with Statham’s hard man (Boy is he in for a surprise); Frank Grillo pops up as a bad guy for hire – perhaps working his villain routine until Captain America 2 next year. Winona Ryder does southern sleaze pretty well, but it is Kate Bosworth who has really gone the extra mile to really muck up and foul down for a stand out performance as Franco’s white trash sister and mother of the beaten school bully.

Sylvester Stallone penned the script for this one, and it’s a show that you could have perhaps seen him being interested in playing himself once upon a time. Statham takes the reins and gives perhaps one of his most charming performances since Safe (which also called upon him to share the screen with a child actor).

Amazingly the drama for the first two thirds of the film works surprisingly well. It’s the third act that decides it needs to pick up speed and then rush to a ludicrous end that perhaps lets it down. There was so much potential and fire being fueled early on in the film through multiple characters that to see it all fizzle out through unsatisfactory resolutions instead of pushing the film into unknown territory as it could have is the films only major fault.  It just needed to go with the courage of its convictions.

That isn’t to say that action towards the end is no good, merely pedestrian in its intent coming from a big studio. But Homefront is certainly one of Statham’s better films from his back catalogue.

3 Stars

 

 

 

Steven Hurst


editor