Saturday, 1 March 2014

Blu-ray Review - Homefront

Director: Gary Felder
Starring: Jason Staham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth
Studio: Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 11,2014
Retail: $34.98
Running  Time: 101 minutes
Rating: R
Buy Link: Amazon


It seems like a new action-film starring Jason Statham is released quarterly every year, when he isn't busy making another Expendables sequel. His latest outing Homefront sneaked into theaters at the end of November taking in only $31 million on a $22 million budget. For the moviegoers who missed the film because they were busy watching Hunger Games Catching Fire around Thanksgiving, now have a chance to see the film as it is being released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on March 11th. Special features include deleted scenes and a "Standoff" featurette.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Logan and it was adapted to the screen by Sylvester Stallone. After a DEA undercover drug-bust went terribly wrong, Phil Broker (played by Statham) retires from the law enforcements and moves to a quite Southern town to raise his ten-year-old daughter, Mandy.

Being a single-parent, Phil taught his daughter to always defend herself by teaching her a few fighting moves, which comes in handy when Mandy knocks down a school bully during recess. Mandy's actions tick's off the bully's meth-addicted mother, Cassie Bodine (played by Kate Bosworth), who enlists her drug lord brother, Morgan "Gator" Bodine (played by James Franco), to seek vengeance against Phil and his daughter. Phil has no other choice, but to fight back.

Ever since the first Transporter movie was a box-office success, Jason Statham has been typecast as the anti-hero, normally as an assassin or a hired gun, but in Homefront he plays a father who will do anything to protect his daughter. With an all-star cast as co-stars, Homefront has a better look than most Statham outings, but the lack of a plot focus and cliched characters holds the film back from being perfect. I'm not familiar with the book the film is based on, but Stallone's script is a little bit wooden at times. James Franco does a great job, but he never really came across as a "evil," as to me he came off as a crazed meth head. The same goes for Kate Bosworth's character. Winona Ryder's character felt like she phoned in her performance.

The only glue holding the film together is the chemistry between Jason Statham, who once again finds himself stuck in the same type of action-film, and the young Izabela Vidovic, who plays the daughter Mandy. Clancy Brown has a small bit in the film as the sheriff, a similar role he played on  Fox's Sleepy Hollow last year, but the character is one-dimensional. A romantic plot was hinted at between Statham's Broker character and Rachelle Lefevre's character, but it went nowhere. Overall, Homefront is slightly better than Statham's last few solo action films, but thanks to a cliched script, the film feels a little water-downed.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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