Now I’m a big Jason Statham fan. The Transporter films are masterpieces in the genre of “one guy beating up a ton of other guys.” He’s made a mainstream name for himself in The Expendables films and he’s now slated to appear as the villain in Fast and Furious 7, which is still going to be released, even after the unfortunate death of Paul Walker. So big things are in plan for him.
I didn’t really hear much about Homefront but I’ve never been disappointed by Statham, so I took a risk. Did it pay off?
The gist. Statham stars as an ex-DEA agent who is trying to live a quiet life in a small Louisiana town, when he starts to get noticed by a local meth addict (Kate Bosworth) and her brother/dealer (James Franco). The police (headed by Clancy Brown) look the other direction and it seems like Statham is all alone in a strange land.
I love that Jason Statham embraces his typecasting because he knows what he’s good at and he does it well. The fight scenes, though scarce, are impactful and are incredibly visceral. However, this isn’t like the Transporter films where it’s a string of fights. There are only a few big ones, which may leave some fans a little disappointed. But I was okay with it because it allowed for Statham and the others to actually act. Seeing Statham demonstrate restraint was actually a nice change.
And welcome back Kate Bosworth! It looks like she lost like 100 pounds (and she was already thin), so the moment she walks on-screen, you notice. She is perfect as the edgy meth-addict and she takes over the screen whenever she’s on. James Franco is the “villain” of the story, though he is one of the few that actually shows common-sense. Winona Ryder shows up and she’s crazy and Franco’s character clearly sees that she’s off her rails. The more diabolical villain here, though he only gets a few scenes, is Frank Grillo as evil biker Cyrus. Grillo is set to star as one of the villains in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so I’m excited for that. Though he only gets a few scenes in Homefront, he proves to be an equal to Statham’s fighting prowess, since Franco obviously isn’t.
The movie is basically an entire town versus Jason Statham. Even Clancy Brown as the Sheriff was basically against him for a majority of the movie. But that’s what you expect from a Jason Statham movie.
What didn’t work?
Since the movie lacks the traditional Jason Statham pacing, it can seem a little slow. If you don’t really buy into the story, it might seem like a lot of downtime. For me, I didn’t mind, but I could easily understand complaints about the pacing.
Homefront struggles to really fit into a genre, as it lacks the punch of other action flicks but its drama tends to be a little too underwhelming to carry the film by itself. Statham is exactly what you’d expect but Franco, Grillo, and Bosworth carry the film as believable and compelling villains. If you can go in expecting Statham to pull punches most of the film, you might find a few enjoyable moments, but if you really want the best of what he’s good at, stick to the Transporter series.