Homefront (2013)

Director: Gary Fleder
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Based on: Chuck Logan‘s novel
Cast: Jason Statham, James Franco, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth, Marcus Hester, Clancy Brown, Winona Ryder, Omar Benson Miller, Rachelle Lefevre, Frank Grillo
Seen on: 31.1.2022
[ETA, 5 minutes after publishing this review: I absolutely forgot that I had already seen the film, so here is my first review, but I won’t be labeling this a re-watch.]

Phil Broker (Jason Statham) used to be an undercover cop, but after his wife passed away, he took his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) and moved to a small town, looking for a quiet life where people don’t know about his past. But that quiet is threatened when Maddy fights a bully and Phil ends up in the crosshairs of the bully’s family, most notably his uncle Gator (James Franco), local thug and drug dealer. Gator just wants to scare Phil at first, get revenge for his nephew. But when he finds out about his past, things spiral out of control fast.

I didn’t know much about Homefront apart from the fact that Jason Statham is in it. So, it felt reasonable for me to expect some nice fights, but unfortunately, I did not get them. Instead I got a slightly confused storyline, tropey characters and a very boring film.

The film poster showing Phil Broker (Jason Statham) holding his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic), a USA flag superimposed over his jacket. Below this image is an image of Gator (James Franco) in a blaze of fire.

I probably should have quit the film when I saw Franco’s name pop up in the credits, the allegations about his abuse and general creepiness having seriously marred my previous enjoyment of his looks and acting. But I wanted to see Jason Statham kick some ass and I thought, why not watch him kick Franco’s ass? Unfortunately, there wasn’t so much kicking as there was shooting and gun fights are (mostly) boring as fuck.

That being said, Statham is still the best thing about the film because he is really good when he gets to be warm and caring, something that not enough films capitalize on. This one does, and Phil’s relationship with Maddy is honestly sweet. It almost makes you forget that they cast him as thei All American Hero nevermind that he can’t get rid of his British accent.

Phil Broker (Jason Statham) waiting under a wooden structure, rifle in hand.

But other than that, the film really doesn’t have all that much to offer. It’s that same old, same old stuff that wasn’t really great to begin with and hasn’t become better by being used so often. Violent gangs, unpredictable drug users, somewhere between pitiful and aggressive, the Black friend, and the lone wolf ideal of masculinity that is all about protecting things, by any means necessary.

I will admit that I checked out of the film, mentally, rather early-on. So maybe the story isn’t quite as confusing as I thought it was and I just didn’t pay enough attention. But I was frequently left with the vague sense of having missed some important connections between plot elements. Then the next gunfight came along and I didn’t care anymore anyway. Overall, it’s just a forgettable film.

Phil Broker (Jason Statham) holding his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic), behind them an ambulance and a burning house.

Summarizing: look for your Statham fix somewhere else.

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