Jean-Paul’s Rating 2/5 stars
Bottom Line: A sub-par cliché ridden Jason Statham action movie. The action is decent, but nothing special. Everything else was pretty bad.
What happens when you cross Jason Statham with James Franco? Not a whole lot if “Homefront” is the best they can do. This is going to be very spoilerific because I just have to rant.
The movie starts out with Phil Broker (Jason Statham) undercover in a meth dealing biker gang. He’s from Interpol because…the British accent? I have no idea, but he sure can’t pull off a convincing American one. While in the production room in the back of a bar, his DEA friends decide to raid the building with full knowledge that he is in there. Picture how a raid would go if you and your friends were in charge of it. Now make it more idiotic. You have full battle gear agents storming the bar and then they just happen to march in one by one to get blown away by the bikers. Despite all the agents starting with assault weapons, one happens to turn the corner with just a pistol in his hand only to get blow away.
The head biker , Danny T, and his son get away in a car because apparently none of the DEA agents considered that there may be a back door to the bar and Broker gives chase after about a million repetitions of “don’t shoot, I’m a cop”. And what does he choose as his mode of transport? A motorcycle, of course. The police soon have the car boxed in, but that doesn’t stop the silliest game of chicken from occurring between the car and the motorcycle. Statham wipes out causing the motorcycle to hit the car and make it crash. Soon, Danny T is in Statham’s custody but his son gets gunned down by not Statham which causes Danny T to hate Statham forever because…well, because.
Fast forward two years because…well, because. Broker and his daughter, Maddy, have moved to Hicksville, Louisiana because…well, because. There is actually some explanation for it; his wife has died. And that’s it. I have no idea how she died. There’s no explanation for leaving the DEA or why he would choose this small little backwater. It would have been interesting if he had to go underground because a hit was put on him as a result of the undercover work but they only ended up killing his wife. But no.
And now we come to one of the only good parts of the movie. Maddy is being picked on at school by a bigger kid and she totally kicks his ass. I don’t know what it says about me that I get such a thrill at seeing a girl beating the crap out of a boy that has it coming, but it’s like chicken soup for my soul.
Maddy’s fight causes the bully’s bat-shit crazy mother, Cassie (played convincingly by Kate Bosworth), to sick first her husband and then her meth dealing brother, Gator (James Franco) against Booker after Booker makes a fool of her husband. Gator starts to intimidate Booker in various petty backwater ways and breaks into Booker’s house at one point and discovers what I can only describe as a dimensional portal into the complete police archive. Booker apparently keeps all the records of every case he ever worked on in his attic. Because…well, because. Gator discovers that Booker was an undercover DEA agent and that Booker was responsible for the fall of kingpin Danny T from way back in Act I. Gator thinks he can use this leverage to convince Danny T to make him the meth distributor for the area.
Gator sets up the hit on Booker through a woman who worked with Danny T and it works out about how you’d expect when a group of people go up against Jason Statham. As the hit goes south, the woman kidnaps Maddy and brings her to Gator who is really upset with this turn of events. Booker is clued in on where Maddy is because she had a cell phone and called him and soon it’s Booker to the rescue!
In the meantime, though, Cassie confronts Gator about what’s going on and discovers that he has Maddy hostage. She goes to rescue Maddy and turns on the power to the boat house they are in which causes the booby trap that Booker set earlier to explode completely destroying Gator’s meth lab. Why does there need to be an explosion? Because EXPLOSION!, that’s why! Cassie and Gator struggle over Maddy and Gator accidentally shoots Cassie in the struggle.
Gator then takes Maddy and drives away with her just as Booker arrives. This leads to a fairly dull chase scene that ends up on one of those weird bridges that opens by twisting 90 degrees in the middle. Booker and Gator have a fairly boring showdown that ends in Booker only sparing Gator’s life because his daughter is looking on. The end.
Oh, wait. There’s still a drug kingpin controlling stuff from jail that could just send more people to kill Booker, isn’t there? I know! Let’s send Booker to visit Danny T in jail and threaten him a little. Certainly that will stop him from sending more people! Loose end tied off! The end!
And then there’s all the stupid little things thrown in that had absolutely no impact to the story at all. Like the school counselor agreeing to throw a 10th birthday party for Maddy because Booker “isn’t good at that kind of thing”. And Maddy wanting to set her up with Booker despite still being really sad about her mom just dying a year ago. And the scene with the bully kid crying in bed while his mom argues with Gator and asks for more meth. And…nah, never mind, I’m done.
If you’ve read this far, you get to read about the things I liked about the movie. I really liked the small town criminal feel portrayed by Gator and Cassie and her husband. It was the perfect mix of small town prejudice and bruised honor and stupidity and delusions of grandeur that you would expect from two-bit criminals. Ok, thing. You get to read about the thing I liked about the movie. No, it’s still not worth watching the movie, but it’s there. So there’s that, I guess.
Oh, and why is the movie called “Homefront”? It’s a mystery to me. I would humbly suggest “Don’t Ever Eff With Jason Statham”.