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Release Date: November 27, 2013
Director: Gary Fieder
Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, and Winona Rider.
Mister Marquee Says: Action At Its Best
DEA Agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) moves with his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) to a small town in the middle of nowhere after an undercover mission in a drug pushing biker gang goes wrong. Not long after, Maddy beats up a bully on the playground and draws the ire of the boy’s junkie mother Cassie (Kate Bosworth). Cassie goes to her brother Gator Bodine (James Franco), who runs a meth monopoly in the area, and asks him to intimidate Broker.
Homefront, aside from having a deceptively terrorist-ish sounding name, is based on a novel of the same name by Chuck Logan. The screenplay was written by Sylvester Stallone, and finding the fact out is one of those “oh, that makes sense” moments.
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Oh, you want to try to mess with an action hero? Sign me up!
The main strength of this movie is how raw it feels. The set design and locations are very rustic and earthy. The costumes are grungy. The fight scenes are quick and brutal. There is nothing pretty about the fighting in Homefront; it’s strait up carnage. Jason Statham once again demonstrates how few people can kick an ass as many ways or as decisively as he can.
Don’t get the idea that this movie is nothing but Jason Statham kicking ass for and hour and forty minutes. Homefront’s formula flows suspense first > story second > action third. The plot builds slowly, and director Gary Fieder does a great job of building anticipation for the climatic gunfight. My main complaint production wise is an over reliance of quick cuts that make certain scenes nearly unwatchable, what I like to call “Marc Foster Syndrome”.
James Franco and Kate Bosworth steal the show as Gator and Cassie. For someone with so much swag, Franco sure pulls off the dirty low life well. His performance as Gator Bodine is similar to his performance as Alien in Spring Breakers, only more subdued. Kate Bosworth is entirely believable as a methed-out, crude, in-your-face hick.
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It really kills me that Statham doesn’t end up in more quality films. He has a very captivating aura to him and is just about as good as an action star can be; yet he continually gets stuck in crap. Here, Statham is put in a movie with a decent concept and surrounded by quality co-stars and the result is a wholly entertaining movie. Homefront is a simple film, but it is a very likeable one.