JASON STATHAM   JAMES FRANCO   WINONA RYDER   KATE BOSWORTH

HOMEFRONT

 Homefront is a guilty pleasure type movie. It’s about standing up to bully’s in a very violent and aggressive way. Jason Statham films (Transporter, Crank) are all the same, he is a killing machine, whether good or bad, and he rules the day with violence and adrenaline. He couldn’t have been more perfectly placed in this redneck, campy, macho movie that is written by Sylvester Stalone. The director, Gary Fleder, really shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to thrillers, as his 2001 Don’t Say a Word was memorable, taught and twisted; lets also not forget about Runaway Jury and Kiss the Girls. Homefront is a movie I shouldn’t like as good as I do, but it just has all the right elements, including another great evil turn by Oscar nominee James Franco (Spring Breakers, 127 Hours).

 Following the death of his wife, and an undercover DEA raid gone bad, Phil Broker (Statham) leaves the city with his 9-year-old (Izabela Vidovic) to enjoy the open spaces in the woods of Rayville, Louisiana. Instructed to stand up for herself, his daughter defends violently against a bully, which creates hostility with the local redneck, meth addicted family. Gator (Franco) who is cooking the and selling the drugs discovers Broker’s past and puts out the word for those looking for him and forces a father trying to start a quiet new life to make it very clear to an entire town he is not to be messed with.

 We have seen a lot of films shot in Louisiana in the past ten years due to the attractive tax breaks, but finally a film that chooses a location other than the city to showcase a greener more pleasing looking place. Of course the character’s in this film are anything but pretty, Bosworth does a pretty impressive meth addicted, trailer trash mama. Franco is described as “crazy waitin’ to happen” but never really showcases his talent in this part, he could have been a lot more disturbing and unforgettable as Gator. Ryder (Iceman, Girl Interrupted) continues working on that comeback and is quite entertaining here.

 Sometimes it’s a bit entertaining to watch a character like Broker stand in the face of and beat down a bunch of adult bully’s. There is never any doubt that this character will fail or his little girl be harmed. Even tied up, Broker is an unstoppable killing machine. I really liked Clancy Brown as the local Sherriff, who appeared to have an entire untold backstory. Franco does manage to get out the best use of the word “retarded” I’ve seen all year. Homefront is a guilty pleasure that allows the audience to really enjoy violence being distributed to those who seem to be just eager and evil in this film.

 Final Thought – Pretty hard not to enjoy this violent film about standing your ground.

 Grade B               

 By: Dustin Chase