Cinema Review: Homefront | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, October 2nd, 2023  


Studio: Open Road
Directed by Gary Fleder

Nov 26, 2013 Web Exclusive
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DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) hauls in the bust of his career when his undercover work leads to the arrest of an outlaw biker gang’s big cheese. With his cover blown and life in danger, Broker retreats to the bayous of Louisiana with his young daughter (Izabela Vidovic) and a fresh identity. Their new life is peaceful, until daddy’s little girl flattens the school bully in a fistfight; this leads Broker to clash with the boy’s mother (Kate Bosworth) and uncle, Gator Bodine (James Franco.) It turns out Gator is the town’s local meth kingpin, and happens to have connections to the murderous biker gang out for revenge on the agent who put their leader away.

The plot heads directly where you expect from there—Statham must roundhouse-kick every bad guy—but here that’s a good thing. Homefront has the vintage flavor of a b-grade 1980s action film, and hits all of the genre’s guilty pleasure notes spot-on. (Homefront wears its screenplay by Sylvester Stallone credit proudly over the opening credits.) Statham possesses the stone-faced charm necessary to make the one-liners which punctuate the violence less groan-inducing. The limits of his range are on plain display, of course: Statham looks more comfortable snapping bad guys’ limbs than he does skipping stones with his little girl, but that’s part of the film’s cheesy appeal. Franco plays his backwoods drug lord with a totally straight face, and provides a welcome dosage of charisma as the film’s barely-competent villain. Winona Ryder and Kate Bosworth de-glam for their roles, but are still among the prettiest fringe players in the meth industry. Even Clancy Brown is superbly-cast as the town’s crooked sheriff.

Prior to release, Homefront was promoted via social media using the hashtag #BadAssDad, which is a good indication of how tongue-in-cheek the whole production seems to take itself. Homefront is as gleefully dumb, and thoroughly entertaining.

Author rating: 7/10

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