Explosions, killer action sequences and lots of tough talk are just about what you’d expect of the Sylvester Stallone brand. In fact, he would be terribly amiss if he didn’t deliver just this. The Action Legend brings to the big screen an Adaptation of the Novel of the same name by Chuck Logan, not only taking on the role of Producer but also Screenwriter here. Much reliant on a no-nonsense performance from buttkicking-Brit Jason Statham, who channels his inner Stallone with with a silent strength, quick wit and a presence which is menacing, but just as quickly capable of turning friendly.
Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Phil Broker (Statham) is and his nine-year-old Daughter Maddy, played by Newcomer Izabela Vidovic are faced with a saddening loss and decide to start anew living a quiet life together in a small town. After getting into a schoolyard altercation with a Classmate, matters escalate when the Parents of the Child become involved – particularly a volatile, drug abusing-Mother in Cassie (Kate Bosworth). Despite multiple attempts to seek vengeance against the tough-as-nails Phil with none quite tough enough to rival him, the Townspeople growingly become suspicious of him, questioning his past. Cassie then calls upon her powerful Meth-making Brother Gator (James Franco) to teach Phil a lesson. Gator soon discovers Phil‘s true identity, alerting others who might have a stake in ridding of the “Narc” and his Daughter. When it becomes clear to Phil that both he and his Daughter are in serious danger, he must take matters into his own hands in a Town fearful of the corrupt Powers that be.
Despite being completely implausible, Homefront undeniably is entertaining. Fans will get exactly what they bargain for: gritty battle scenes involving a super-agile Statham and a touch of sentiment with a Father-Daughter Storyline. And yes, we can even overlook the odd Transatlantic accent – basically we’re unsure where Phil is from. Is he from the South? Is he British? These are questions inquiring minds need to know.
An enraged Franco is remarkably engaging, almost at times a caricature of what the stereotypical Drug Kingpin should be, much in the same vein as his scene-stealing performance in the epic Spring Breakers. If anything could be faulted, it would be that Director Gary Fleder perhaps fails to deliver us enough vulnerability from Statham and Vidovic, a bit too invincible to draw us in further. The latter however delivers an impressive performance in this her first Feature Film with a maturity beyond her young age. Also, an over-abundance of Key Players complicate the Story more than needed, some with meagre Subplots including a tepid romance between Rachelle Lefevre’s Susan and Phil. Another revenge Subplot involving an in-prison Danny T (Chuck Zito) is under-developed. That being said, we love Winona Ryder, who is is well-cast as Franco’s sketchy love interest, adding dimension to the Story.
VVS Films release HOMEFRONT on Friday, November 27, 2013.