I eagerly awaited Homefront last year, after watching a succession of trailers for it and I was kind of excited for it considering I’m not the biggest Statham fan. (Most of his films are pretty similar, you’d have to admit that). Anyway, it slipped through the cracks largely unnoticed as it’s release date came around. Come around to this week when it got added to Netflix and I thought I’d check it out.
To be honest, I was quite excited to see James Franco is a villainous role, but he mostly takes a backseat to Statham doing Statham things, considering that James Franco’s Gator is something to marvel at. His approach to his small town is strange and always speaks highly of reputation, despite his opening reputation to be that of someone beating up the younger generation because they were cooking meth.
As always with these types of films, Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is the newcomer to the town and his daughter (bereaved by the loss of her mother still) beats up the wrong kid. The nephew of Gator. Cassie and Jimmy Klum are furious and want Broker scared a little and call on Gator to rough up the house and scare them out of town. He goes snooping whilst Broker and his daughter go horse riding in the nice picturesque scenes of what I assume is the Louisiana area.
Gator finds the police files that Broker has kept (for some reason) and finds out he used to be a undercover DEA agent that worked with Danny T in an undercover assignment, someone whom Gator has worked with. He gets his girlfriend/arm candy Sheryl Mott (Winona Ryder) to go see one of Danny T’s associates so he can get his revenge for his murdered son, Jojo, which was shown in the opening scene.
Of course the events after this discovery are pretty self explanatory, with Statham becoming hunted by Gator’s men and him flattening them. The thing I mentioned about Gator getting all high and mighty about the meth smoking teens was interesting considering that in later scenes, he cooks and distributes his own meth, probably wanting to be the only meth distributer. A hypocrite. Broker discovers his operation to be quite substantial after breaking into his meth lab and sabotaging it. (which of course becomes influential in the finale)
One thing I found interesting in the film was the feud between Cassie Bodine and Phil Broker, naturally she escalated things in the beginning with the situation of her son and Maddy (Brokers daughter). By the end of it, she is screaming for Gator to let Maddy go after Sheryl took her and ends up getting shot, by Gator, for trying to save Maddy. Then it all boils down to a final showdown on a bridge in which Broker miraculously gets out of a car in seconds when Gator’s back is turned.
(END OF SPOILERS)
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Jason Statham fan and often find his films boring with him just beating up people. That being said, I did enjoy this film, the acting was subpar considering it was mainly Statham threatening people. Gator was the surprise, I’d say, being this villainous redneck with a cool alligator tattoo, however, as I mentioned, he is featured far less than I was expecting. The change of heart from Cassie Bodine was appealing, considering she knew where the line was and Gator didn’t. At the end of it, this film is no different to what Statham is expected of doing, apart from the change of themes, the framework is all there. That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable, because of course it is. I suppose the story, not being groundbreaking in anyway but compelling, kept me from switching off. Especially with the ins and outs, Broker fighting two battles, one with Danny T and the other with Gator. And considering the film runs for just over an hour and a half, it’s not too long and the story progresses smoothly over that time period.