Thursday, August 14, 2014

Homefront

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Homefront...all the splendor of a Direct-to-DVD feature that you only know exists because you saw it at the RedBox.




Homefront – 1 out of 5

With an action film this generic, I am at a loss on how to adequately start this review. Normally, I talk about how the subject material relates to me but since the film is about a man battling against a meth dealer, I have literally no connection to this film in my real life. So, let’s just get to the synopsis…

But first, here's a pic of Statham looking sad and realizing that his gambling
debts is why he does most of these kinds of movies and why he says "yes" to
scripts without reading them.


Jason Statham is Phil Broker, a former DEA agent who was once undercover with a biker gang that dabbled in the meth-making/meth-selling business. After his cover is blown, a shoot-out begins and the head biker's son is killed. He vows revenge and Broker decides to leave the life behind and raise his daughter alone in a small town…a small town that just so happens to have a meth dealer in it. Well, as luck would have it, his daughter is tormented by a bully and she breaks his nose for him. This results in some angry parents demanding satisfaction from Broker. So, Broker does what anyone else would do, use his DEA fighting skills to humiliate the boy’s father in front of the boy and his wife. Now the wife is all pissy (but that might because the wife is played by Kate Bosworth and she looks like she hasn’t eaten in her entire life) and she goes to her brother Gator (James Franco)—who just so happens to be the meth dealer in this small town—and now Gator is declaring war on Broker. Gator finds out that Broker was once a law enforcement agent and gets in contact with the pissy biker. This pissy biker sends out another biker (Frank Grillo) to kill him but, since this is Jason Statham, he won’t go down easily and he’ll make sure to spit out some one-lines along the way.

If those blinds were vertical, Kate Bosworth would have disappeared from sight.



Okay, so the title is pretty generic and, when you combine it with the absolutely needless inclusion of the American flag on the poster, you would think the movie would be actually some sort of Red Dawn-esque film that involves some sort of attack on American soil from a foreign entity. Instead, it’s just a sloppy, very boring action film that has Jason Statham and James Franco doing their best to look like they didn’t do the film for just the paycheck.

"The check cleared, let's Franco this bitch...or, at least 45% Franco."


The story is pretty self-explanatory and doesn’t really offer up anything original or new. In the end, this one just feels like a Direct-to-DVD film that appears more like it belongs in the era of the 80s than it does in today’s day and age. Aside from this, the film also decides to have a lot of really strange sequences that, in the end, do little for the film—and I don’t mean that because Winona Ryder is needlessly in the film (and by needless, I don’t mean her but the film could have easily existed without her character and with a minimal amount of rewrites).

Still, she is giving it her all to the role...so, kudos for that.


First off, the whole conflict that sets up Broker being outed as a DEA agent feels like some sort of ridiculous Rube Goldberg action movie device. It all begins with a bully that starts shit with Broker’s daughter (I won’t even get into the fact that prior to the bullying, we see the daughter looking very upset about doing playground stuff and her looking at the monkey bars like they killed her mother and she’s trying to overcome her fear of swinging on them—it’s very strange and I’m not entirely sure why this sequence was even given such deep consideration).

So, was this included just to eat up a couple of minutes?


I don't know why the little girl was so worried about, that
bully is clearly not of human origin and looks too soft
and weak to bother fighting back with.
Bullying is real and parents get involved—I know that but the reaction from the boy’s mother (Kate Bosworth’s skeleton) is a little much. Sure, she’s a meth addict but getting pissed because of a playground incident and thinking a man humiliated your husband and then requesting that your meth dealing brother go about a route of having him killed seems to be a little much—even for a generic action film. It only gets sillier as the character Gator seeks counsel from his ex-girlfriend (Winona Ryder)—a character that just so happens to know that there are people looking for Broker (what a small world!). And I’ll just mention that the film seems to begin with Statham trying to do what I think is an American accent but seems to give up after two lines and go back to the voice we known him for.

The long hair at the beginning was very unsettling, too.


This dynamic just made a lazy action film feel even lazier but it gets worse as the film establishes the fact that Gator is paying off the police (in the form of the awesome Clancy Brown as the town sheriff) but this fact literally never comes into play. When I heard this, I thought that Broker would be left alone as a meth dealer tortures him but he doesn’t want to get violent because of his daughter so he goes the legal route but this never happens. In fact, in the end, the Sheriff goes out of his way to uphold the law and his corruption is never ever mentioned again or even shown that it exists. So, why even mention it and have it in the film?

"Wouldn't it be great if my corruption had a more palabable reason to exist in
the story?"

"Nah, it's fine the way it is..."


Okay, so the story has some major problems and it is clear that the writer of the script (none other than Sly Stallone) didn’t really put much effort into it (it was, after all, something that was originally suppose to be a Rambo film) but there has to be some decent action, right? Well, actually, there are some okay fight scenes but that’s about it. Beyond that, the movie just sorta trudges along and looks like it doesn’t feel like doing much of anything…kinda like the cast.

I'm starting to really enjoy Frank Grillo's work...too bad Homefront clearly doesn't.


It seems at one point, Franco starts to turn into a gorilla.
As much as I like James Franco, he really didn’t look too interested in the part and Jason Statham kinda follows along those same lines. I’m not the biggest fan of Statham (I’m a bigger fan of his earlier work than his later stuff) but he could not have looked more disinterested in this film. His character is constantly watching his surroundings like he’s worried that he’s going to get jumped but I can’t help but wonder if it was actually just Statham looking for a way to escape the film. The only one who looks like they give a shit about the film is Winona Ryder…and, I already explained how she could have easily been written out of the movie and you probably wouldn’t have noticed that much.

"If I run now, I will be able to squeeze passed the catering table and make it to
freedom before the director realizes I'm gone..."


In the end, there’s nothing really special about Homefront and the end product just feels like an action film that is lost and confused and can’t quite get onto the straight and narrow path. Even with the inclusion of some decent fight scenes, nothing about this movie really warranted the time I used to view it.

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