Movie Reviews

‘Homefront’: A dated, predictable action film

By Zul AndraMovies - 05 December 2013 12:00 AM | Updated 12:35 PM

‘Homefront’: A dated, predictable action film

Movie details | Photo gallery | Buy tickets

Ratings: 2 / 5

I’m going to be upfront. The Jason Statham’s character cliche — of saving the day against all odds with his bare hands and with little to no emotion — has a new successor.

And she is just a little girl.

Playing Statham’s onscreen nine-year-old daughter Maddy, Izabela Vidovic, a promising child actor, has all the makings of a sweet, battle-lorn, cold-blooded heroine.

In a scene from the action flick, daddy’s little girl confronts a school bully by, well, turning on him Statham-style. Here, Vidovic proves that she has just enough apathy to dodge baseball bats and flying bullets in the near future. (‘The Transporter-ess’ could be in the making)

But wait. That little bully happens to be the son of a psychotic woman called Cassie (Kate Bosworth) and whose brother happens to be “Gator” Bodine (James Franco), an equally psychotic meth kingpin in the neighbourhood.

Read also: Interview with James Franco

So all hell is going to break loose for nothing.

Jason Statham, James Franco and Kate Bosworth in an emergency meeting to find out what's wrong with 'Homefront'

Phil Broker (Statham), of course, didn’t see this coming. The former undercover DEA agent’s itinerary was to settle in a tiny Louisiana town. 

Why? Because two years ago, Broker shot the son of a biker gang leader Danny T (played by ‘Sons of Anarchy’s’ Chuck Zito) in a messy drug bust.

Broker goes around the little rural community and tells the menacing-looking residents to back off. This doesn’t sit well with them and soon, his foes are at his door.

SNARLS, FIGHTS, AND NOT MUCH MORE

What you basically get is a bombardment of intense one-liners with Franco and Broker trying to out-scare each other, death stares, explosions, gunfire, fist-fights, people camping in the shadows, a ‘Taken’-style kidnapping and all the scowls and growls you can stomach.

The best scenes take place from Broker’s front porch. No prizes for guessing how they came up with the film title.

Also, no prizes for guessing why the film’s pace, style and story arc look so dated. The answer: Sylvester Stallone.

Stallone, whose best screenplay was the Oscar-winning ‘Rocky’ in 1976 and, debatably, ‘Rambo’, pulls out all sorts of high energy and emotive tricks from his earlier penmanship to make ‘Homefront’ a rather tepid piece.

In retrospect, ‘Homefront’ is cast-perfect with Statham, Franco and even Vidovic interworking believable dynamics in unbelievable circumstances. But even so, the film is as predictable as they come. 

‘Homefront’ opens in cinemas 5 December 2013