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Rated 3.01 stars
by 261 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Definite Miss
by Diana Saenger

James Franco and Jason Statham, both admirable actors, could not breathe one interesting or original moment into Gary Fleder’s Homefront. One has only to look at the words in the rating -- strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality -- to realize it’s yet another takeoff on a world few want to be in or see played out on the big screen. Television is doing quite well with that department these days, so why think up an original plot?

Statham portrays Phil Broker, a former DEA agent whose past gets unveiled in a few scenes. Now he’s a single parent whose retirement has taken him and his 10-year-old daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) to a small bayou town.

When Maddy is confronted by a group of boys who try to bully her – one who pushes her to the ground – she comes right back at him. His wounds are worse than hers, and when the boy’s mother, Cassie (Kate Bosworth), comes to the school, she puts on a screaming tirade that would make a pig at slaughter look like a fashion show.

Cassie, who wants revenge on Maddy’s dad, commands her druggie, meth-selling brother, Morgan Gator Bodine (Franco), to call out his cronies and “urge” Phil out of town.

Except for young Vidovic’s performance, there’s nothing worth watching in this film adapted by Sylvester Stallone from the novel by Chuck Logan. The cinematography looks so grainy and dark it’s often hard to see who is swinging at whom. The characters are cardboard cutouts from past decades where strong actors actually were made for films like this. Stallone should definitely stick to acting, and let those who know how to create pictures with their words handle the screenplays.

It’s even hard to sympathize with Phil, because there’s nothing redeemable about the town he chose to drag his daughter to and where to begin a new life. The town is small but “Gator’s” large boat repair yard appears so big and his meth dealing so obvious, even the somewhat inept sheriff (Clancy Brown), who has little to do, should have figured that out.

Every plot point in Homefront can be seen coming and the result expected. What made it almost unbearable was the extreme overuse of foul language throughout the film.

As I was leaving the theater, a studio rep asked “What was your favorite part of the film?” -- and I was happy to reply, “The End.”

(Released by Open Road Films and rated “R” for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality.)


Review also posted at

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