Homefront (15)

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Review byMatthew Turner05/12/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Watchable thriller, enlivened by colourful supporting performances from James Franco and Winona Ryder, but Statham is on auto-pilot throughout and it suffers from an underwritten plot and lacklustre action sequences.

What's it all about?
Directed by Gary Fleder and written by Sylvester Stallone, Homefront stars Jason Statham as former undercover DEA agent Phil Broker, who relocates to a Louisiana bayou with his young daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) after making powerful enemies on his latest drug bust. However, trouble seems to follow Phil wherever he goes and after falling out with local woman Cassie (Kate Bosworth), he's targeted by lowlife criminal (and Cassie's brother) Morgan 'Gator' Bodine (James Franco), who tells Phil's enemies where to find him.

The Good
Jason Statham is as watchable as ever, but he's on comparative auto-pilot here, barely bothering with what's meant to be a Boston accent and kicking relatively little in the way of ass. On a similar note, his supposedly romantic subplot with Rachelle Lefevre's schoolteacher barely registers, although his track record with love scenes isn't good, so perhaps that's just as well.

That said, James Franco is excellent as Gator, who's surprisingly thoughtful and considerate for a meth dealer and general lowlife – in many ways, he's the film's most likeable character and he's certainly the most interesting. There's also colourful support from both Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder (as Gator's friend Sheryl), both of whom make much more of their roles than you might expect (Ryder is particularly good – here's hoping her career revival continues).

The Bad
Stallone's underwritten script is disappointingly weak, with a predictable plot, perfunctory dialogue, a general lack of suspense and some gob-smackingly lazy contrivances, such as the easy way that Gator works out Phil's real identity. Even the action sequences are uninspired and there's nothing for Statham to really sink his teeth into. Also, it's a small point, but why bother setting a film in the Louisiana bayou if you're not going to have Jason Statham fight an alligator at some point?

Worth seeing?
As Jason Statham thrillers go, Homefront remains watchable thanks to the efforts of its supporting cast, but it should have been a lot better and you can frequently sense the film it should have been struggling to get out.

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Content updated: 22/09/2018 13:38

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