Jason Statham faces off against James Franco in this preposterous action flick
Based on the novel by Chuck Logan and with a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, Homefront is about an American hero hounded by hostile small-towners, in the manner of one of Stallone’s finest, First Blood. Except this time our hero, Phil Broker, isn’t even a little bit American. Broker is played by the stubbornly British Jason Statham, whose vice-like grip on Hollywood action cinema means he’s fast becoming a Great British hero. Of sorts.
With Homefront, Stallone passes his action-man mantle to his Expendables co-star. The bombastic opener sees DEA agent Broker involved in a bloody gun battle with a biker gang he has (oh so cunningly) used fake hair to infiltrate. Fleeing the fallout, a less hirsute Broker and his daughter Mattie (Izabela Vidovic) relocate to rural Louisiana. When Mattie proves she’s her father’s daughter by laying the smack-down on a local bully, the pair antagonise the bully’s mother Cassie (an impressively ragged Kate Bosworth). Cassie calls upon her psychotic meth-manufacturer brother Gator (James Franco) and his lackeys for assistance, and it’s not long before Broker’s old foes join the menacing throng.
Statham shows his clout by attracting a knockout supporting cast, which also includes Winona Ryder. Although Franco’s initially scenery-devouring performance loses momentum, the superior ensemble add lustre and (some) weight to proceedings. Underneath, Homefront isn’t any more sophisticated than your average Statham vehicle, but if you like your movies daftly quotable and preposterously exciting, then Stallone and director Gary Fleder (Kiss the Girls) deliver, until the seemingly slung-together final act.
Additionally, God loves a trier and, as ever, ‘The Stath’ visibly strains in his effort to look permanently peeved – something that has over the years become almost endearing. His fans will no doubt have a blast. And this time it’s highly likely that everyone else will too.
General release from Fri 6 Dec.