Anyone who has seen a Jason Statham movie more or less knows what to expect by now. The adrenaline-junkie, action hero has made a name for himself. People can instantly link to any film that involves the following ingredients of massive explosions, tons of guns, and an overkill of violence, finished with a side of sub-par acting. His latest starring role in Homefront wasn’t out of the ordinary, but caught my attention over Spike Lee’s Oldboy because of the diverse cast and promise of over-the-top action.
In this film, the plot clearly wasn’t made out to be a driving force. Statham plays Phil Broker, an ex-DEA agent who moves himself and daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) to a small, quiet town to settle down following the death of his wife. The rather lame event of Maddy beating up a school bully brings Broker to the attention of the bully’s mother, Cassie Klum (Kate Bosworth), as she is the sister of Gator Bodine (James Franco), the loud-mouthed, short-tempered local meth dealer on the rise.
It’s not long before Gator and his girlfriend Sheryl (Winona Ryder) connect Broker to an undercover job he did two years prior, which resulted in the incarceration of meth kingpin Danny T (Chuck Zito) and the brutal shooting of Danny’s son Jojo (Linds Edwards). Thinking they can exchange the lives of both Broker and his daughter for a complete and absolute hold on meth distribution in the area, Gator and Sheryl hire a squad of hitmen goons to kill them off and claim revenge for Danny T. Little do any of them realize, Broker is the last person to roll over and die.
The story is much more interesting on paper than witnessing it unfold, trust me. Many of the major moments feel extremely forced and not genuine. In some instances, serious situations inadvertently become comedic and the looks on the lesser-known actors’ faces are too funny not to chuckle at. On top of that, the script is nothing out of the ordinary from typical cookie-cutter action movies laden with painfully awful catch phrases and shots at emotional content that end with airballs.
When I mentioned the variety in the casting I bet you didn’t expect names like Franco, Bosworth and Ryder to come up. Neither did I. To be completely honest, Bosworth was surprisingly the only one to earn her keep. It was interesting to see Franco in such a different role than we’re used to, but his performance was hit-or-miss. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hysterical to see his rage meter fly off the charts riddled with expletives, but the southern accent he leads with becomes almost completely diluted by the time the credits roll.
I feel the same way about Ryder. Her presence not only shocked me, but disappointed me. Her role is so minor that it seemed like a complete waste and almost demeaned the abilities she portrayed in other movies. Bosworth’s role is nearly as minor; however, she does much more to make her presence known. The role of meth head tweaker is displayed very well with dark eyes, pale face, and pasty skin. She not only looks rough, but acts it, harshly heckling Broker every chance she gets and even almost fights him herself.
I would by no means run to the cinema to see this movie. In fact, I would urge you to wait until DVD, possibly even Netflix to see this, with only two exceptions: if you’re a fan of Statham or desperate to see a movie this week as there are no better options aside from the previously mentioned Oldboy. Keep in mind, I never said the movie wasn’t entertaining, because action-packed blood baths are a great way to kick back and take a load off, but in this case definitely nothing to write home about.