action movie freak    

Homefront movie poster





(27 Nov 2013)  Director: Gary Fleder

Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone (based on novel by Chuck Logan)


The story of Homefront is painted in broad strokes, and the Action stands out in bold color. It delivers the fight scenes you are hoping for, and by that I mean Jason Statham beats the shit out of everybody.  Even his daughter fights. In an increasing trend in movies, girls are fighting.

"Think it's good idea teaching your little girl to fight?"
"No. Defend herself?—Yeah."

What Jason Statham's character and his daughter have to defend themselves against is a family of set-in-their-ways, backwater, drug-addled white trash, with a biker gang bent on revenge thrown in. Sure, there are cliches but, like I said, broad strokes; it gets you there faster.

Into the idyllic "cottonwood-fallin'-like-snow-in-July" New Orleans back country, widowed "Phil Broker" (an ex-undercover-DEA Agent using his real name) settles in to a rural lifestyle with his 10-year-old daughter, "Maddy". When she gets the better of a school bully, things start to 'go South', and it becomes a twisted revenge story (but I put it under the Fight subgenre). These townspeople don't need much to feel out-of-their-minds slighted.  It brought First Blood to mind, and like First Blood, the bad guys here are way out of their depth. We have Moron #1 and Moron #2, as well as #3, 4, and 5, etc. That's what we came for. To see Jason Statham shut everybody down.

From the first big 3-against-1, close-quarters beatdown at a gas pump, it's BOOM SHAKA-LAKA! They are not prepared for the iron fists and lightning reflexes of Statham's training. This fight scene looks truly painful!  There's just something so satisfying about seeing somebody asking for it, get it! 

Batman caption fightsThe villain in the movie crosses the line with some "Country Payback" meant to make Broker feel unwelcome. Big mistake. Without spoiling too much, I have to say I really enjoyed watching someone get clocked with a car battery.  SMACKA! It was a little like the old Batman TV show (copying comics), all that was missing was the sound effects in lettering. That would have been hilarious, and SO fitting.

In true Action Movie fashion, there is Trash Talking and a fight for Dominance, as well as a couple Gnarly Kills. It was really enjoyable to watch things escalate. There was enough background to make you root for Statham's character, but if there was something the first villain, "Danny T", had done to make it personal for Broker (other than just being a bad guy) it would have made the ending more satisfying. 

There is Drama, but there are also explosions, fighting, car chases, big guns, shoot outs, and lots more.  The supporting cast is good even though they are largely two-dimensional. We hardly get to know anyone. I think all the parts except Winona Ryder's and Jason Statham's could have been played by anyone. Winona's performance and her fear comes across as very real and her character is particularly creepy. James Franco was shown in extreme close up a lot. That became kind of funny.  I really think this movie is just on the edge of campy.

Bottom line, it's highly entertaining for the fight scenes. If you're going for something else . . . why?!  Action Movie Freaks will feel totally satisfied.


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