This review would just be a gigantic cliche if the first thing I mentioned was how insane James Franco is. Due to his current status of being a renaissance man of sorts, it seems that upon mentioning his name that’s all anyone ever talks about. But mentioning his ability to completely transform himself as a person and as an actor on a consistent basis is necessary, as that was the only positive to Homefront, a trainwreck of a movie. To put things into perspective: the film stars action star Jason Statham, features Winona Ryder, and Sylvester Stallone wrote the film’s plot hole-filled screenplay which is as follows:
Jason Statham stars as retired DEA agent, Phil Broker. The movie begins with Broker making an arrest during a job where he is undercover as a biker with long, grungey hair. Fast forward 2 years, Broker is bald and living in a small Louisiana town with his 9 year old daughter. Out of nowhere, we’re told that he moved because wife/her mother passed away. If that’s why he moved, then why is the first scene with the undercover arrest relevant? The movie is filled with scenes like this that make you ask, “Why is this relevant?”,and for the most part those questions aren’t answered at all. Also randomly placed is a potential romance between the school’s psychologist and Broker (Spoiler: nothing comes of it). And why doesn’t anyone ever question Phil’s British accent at all in the movie?
The real story begins with Phil’s daughter at school. As she’s being teased by a bully she uses the fighting skills that her father taught her and takes him to Ghetto University. The bully’s parents are meth heads and promise to take revenge on Phil and his daughter in some way. They enlist their friends all over town to abuse him in some way, but Phil is the ultimate fighter and he beats everyone up. The bully’s family is so driven on getting revenge that they hire their psychopath meth dealing relative, Gator Bodine (James Franco), to take care of him in some way.
Despite the film’s many flaws, I must admit that the Gator character had the potential to be great. James Franco has proven time and time again that no matter what material he is given, he can turn a lousy written bore into a work of art. He almost does that here with his performance, but it isn’t quite enough to carry this terrible, nonsensical film. Jason Statham is the exact same in every movie and none of the actors besides Franco impress.
It seemed like Sylvester Stallone wanted to make a modern day Rambo or Commando, with gratuitous blood, swearing, bad acting, and very basic plots. I don’t recommend seeing this movie to anyone. To put it simply, this movie is quite awful.
3 out of 10
Review by David Samuels