After the death of his wife, Phil Broker (Jason Statham) and his young daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) to a small Louisiana town. What starts out as what was supposed to be a new beginning quickly changes. After an altercation with a local hick family, the wife Cassie (Kate Bosworth), enlists her brother Gator (James Franco) to put a scare into him. But what starts out as a few minor threats quickly begins to escalate and become more personal, and Broker is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his daughter and his homefront.
Jason Statham has been known for his past non-stop action films. While entreating and fun, most of them lack a lot of substance. Homefront is a change of pace. Instead of playing the normal character he usually does, Statham is family man this time around. He’s trying to provide a better life for his daughter by trying to avoid conflict, but conflict seems to follow him amongst the townspeople. At the film’s core it’s about a man trying to do his best, but like many people, he has his limit. What sets it apart from Statham’s other films is that there’s more to the story than him running around beating the hell out of everyone. There is also more substance to his character. But it certainly wouldn’t be a Jason Statham movie without some good fight sequences. While we are treated to minor ones throughout the movie, the biggest one of all, of course, is in the final act of the movie. The film does a good job of balancing the story with action which should be please most audiences However, one of it’s weaknesses is that it has more villains than necessary, and it ultimately leaves the viewer wondering who the real villain is. It also suffers from some weak character development with some pretty important characters including Kate Bosworth’s character who essentially is the one who sets things in motion, she pops up every once in a while and randomly shows up at the end. Rachelle Lefevre who stars as Maddy’s school psychologist isn’t given much to work with either. She’s introduced and it’s evident there’s chemistry between her and Statham’s character and that’s really it. And while she’s present through a good chunk of the movie as Franco’s girlfriend, Winona Ryder has a character that should have been given a bit more history, as she’s an integral part when it comes to the “other” villains.
Jason Statham gives a very credible performance. As noted, we typically see him as the all-around tough guy with nothing much else to show. Here, we see him as a father caring for his daughter, plus that, and he balances both really well. The moments between him and newcomer Izabela Vidovic are nice to watch as their chemistry as father and daughter really works. Vidovic also gives a very good performance as Maddy, she portrays a tough young girl well, but plays the emotional moments when discussing her deceased mother very well. James Franco stars as one of the major villains in the movie. After his villain-ish performance in Spring Breakers, Franco takes on a more legitimate villain role. The thing about Franco as the villain here is that we never know what his next move will be, he does a excellent job of keeping the audience on their toes. The rest of the cast (at least what we see of them) do a decent job, though nothing spectacular or memorable.
For a film of a new nature for Jason Statham, Homefront does a well-done job, as does Statham and Franco. The story is one that can appeal to both genders. It’s not all action, but offers plenty of thrills and dramatic elements to keep the story going until the big fight scenes occur. Despite some of the weak character development, and the over-abundance of villains, Homefront is an above average film that is easily Statham’s best.
My Rating: 8/10