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Homefront - Review

Homefront

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

JASON Statham is nothing if not prolific. Homefront marks his third release of the year, after Parker and Hummingbird and is easily the best of the lot.

Inspired by Chuck Logan’s novel of the same name and boasting a script from Sylvester Stallone that was reportedly once an early draft for a new Rambo film, this still offers pretty standard Statham fare but is elevated by a strong supporting cast and a decent director in Gary (Runaway Jury/Kiss The Girls) Fleder.

Statham plays ex-drug enforcement agent Phil Broker who moves to a small town with his daughter (Izabela Vidovic) determined to start afresh. But a falling out with a drug addicted trailer trash mum (Kate Bosworth) places him on a collision course with her wannabe drug baron brother (James Franco), who also unearths some ghosts from Broker’s past.

Playing out much like a contemporary Western, Homefront is a true guilty pleasure of a film that knows not to take itself too seriously while serving up characters who have a little more depth than is the norm for this kind of thing.

Franco is particularly effective as the ambitious brother, while Bosworth also impresses as his desperate sister and the likes of Winona Ryder, Clancy Brown and Omar Benson Miller also make thier mark. Statham is Statham and isn’t stretched too far out of his comfort zone, albeit playing a little more with the sensitive side he also tapped into in Safe.

Fleder, meanwhile, also tosses in some decent fight scenes, a couple of which arrive with bone-crunching intensity to satisfy most Statham fans.

There are disappointments that do threaten to hinder the overall enjoyment. One big fight between Statham and Frank Grillo underwhelms, while Franco never gets the big showdown his character really merits. And as tense as certain moments are, the film doesn’t really take any risks with the fate of its good and bad characters, which makes it a little too predictable.

In that sense, Homefront is mutton dressed as lamb given the quality of its ensemble cast. But it has its merits and still has to go down as one of Statham’s better efforts.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 100mins
UK Release Date: December 6, 2013