18 April 2015 | ArchonCinemaReviews
The term 'pleasant surprise' was made for this good ol' fashioned crime thriller
Sylvester Stallone writes the screenplay for the Jason Statham and James Franco led Homefront, and we love it! Yes, you read the right.
For all intents and purposes, Homefront should be a train wreck of an abomination in film-making. But if you squash your preconceived biases that will doom Homefront to failure, you open yourself to watch a supremely entertaining, funny and highly thrilling film.
Phil Broker recently widowed and struggling to raise his 9-year old daughter Maddy the only way a father knows. Broker also happens to be a well trained DEA agent who chooses to leave the dangerous action and retire to a small town in Louisiana to care for his daughter. With small town life comes small town trouble, and Broker is quickly thrust into the drama despite his fervent effort to remain impartial and uninvolved. Unfortunately, his past history and the criminal occurrences of his new residence makes matters more complicated and he must soon use his skills to protect his daughter the only way he knows how.
Homefront has an energy and vibrancy about it, a spark, that revitalizes the potentially stagnant action film type. It does not deviate from the formula too much to make it feel forced and contrived, but it has a well formed and original enough plot thanks to the source material from Chuck Logan's original and synonymously titled novel. Sylvester Stallone, the film's screenwriter and executive producer, who never makes a token egotistical cameo, translates Logan's narrative into an un-caricaturized action-crime-drama, a pride worthy feat. The difference between Homefront and its inferior counterparts is Homefront focuses on the story and the characters and the creative direction of Gary Fleder never veers into nonsensical excess.
Jason Statham is quintessential Statham as Phil Broker, bringing his stoic charisma and martial arts ability to be used perfectly in this film as the steadfast protagonist. No protagonist is complete without an equally matched antagonist, of which Homefront has several players, all of which fully formed and complete characters. Kate Bosworth, James Franco and Winona Ryder are all notable in their acting and contributing to the film's overall success.
At first glance, Homefront should be an uninspired derivative action flick solely for box office numbers. But, it is not. It is a surprise of a film and a shame that some potential viewers may choose to overlook this film due to their misinformed prejudices for the actors, crew and subject matter. Anyone willing to take my word for it and give this film a chance will not be disappointed.
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