Bullet Points: Homefront
I have to try pretty hard to come up with a bona fide “star” in the action world today. If I had to come up with an answer then I would probably say that Tom Cruise is the only “star” who consistently makes movies which more or less do well at the box office. That is not to say that there aren’t better action guys out there. Jason Statham has been a staple of the “greatest genre in movies” since he kicked a whole lot of ass in The Transporter. While his movies don’t normally top the box office, he pretty much always delivers the goods when it comes to fight scenes, shoot-outs, and the quiet type of hard ass that Charlie Bronson would tip his hat to. Not many people would argue for Statham getting an Oscar for “Best Actor” since he plays a similar (very similar…ok, the same) character in all of his films. Luckily for us at Bulletproof Action, people continue to mess with him and that character deals in the currency known as ass whoopin’s.
The Gist: A former undercover agent for the DEA movies to rural Louisiana with his daughter after the loss of his wife. After an incident at his daughters school draws unwanted attention, Phil Broker’s past comes back to haunt him as a local meth distributor takes interest in him and eventually learns of his past. The dealer takes advantage of the situation and tries to make a deal with a biker gang that was taken down by Broker and wants vengeance. The stage is set for an explosive showdown between Broker, Gator, and a death squad sent by the Outcasts Motorcycle Club.
The Cast: First and foremost, this is a Jason Statham movie so you should know exactly what to expect when you watch it. I always get a kick out of it when Statham shows up wearing a ridiculous wig. For some reason he just doesn’t look right with hair. The little girl that plays his daughter is ok and not the normal annoying kid that is in most action movies. If anything, she may be a little too smart for her age. Statham has the token black friend who I was just waiting to get killed sacrificing himself for Broker and I was sort of right as he did get all shot up. The awesome Clancy Brown plays the sheriff and I was hoping for a serious dark turn for him to be running the whole drug operation or something but his role doesn’t really amount to anything more than your normal law enforcement fella.
Clancy was wasted in what amounted to a nothing role.
The Villain: Since most of Statham’s movies kind of run together, this movie will most likely be remembered for James Franco’s ridiculous accent and overall bizarre performance as Gator Bodine. I can’t even say it without busting out my Southern twang. His introduction paints him more as a tough guy who doesn’t put up with shit after he beats the crap out of some kids “cooking” in his territory but for the rest of the film he’s a total pansy. I would have been ok with him being the villain if he had a couple of tough dudes runnin’ with him for Statham to fight in the end. Frank Grillo showed up as the leader of the biker gang but him and his bros don’t last long once Broker gets pissed off enough. Winona Ryder was good as the junkie partner to Gator and I have to say that she looked pretty darn good for her age.
I feel like James Franco picks his roles out of a hat. Frank Grillo, on the other hand, simply chooses them based on whether “he has to cut his hair differently or not.”
The Action: As I said, Statham didn’t have much competition when it came to the fight scenes. His brawl with Grillo was decent as it had a real MMA inspired feel to it. There were a couple of mediocre shootouts but my biggest problem was the time wasted with the relationship with the teacher and Kate Bosworth’s character taking away my action time. Couple that with the backbone-less Gator in the finale and you have yourself a rather forgettable action movie. I had high hopes as I had heard this was a throwback action flick but it didn’t really do anything to push me into that hardcore action zone.
Nothing says “home protection” like a shotgun folks.
Take it Home:
- What’s in a name?: Gator Bodine is an illegal producer of meth. Gator McCluskey was dealin’ the shine. I wonder if Franco’s character was an homage to Burt Reynolds’ Gator in White Lightning and its sequel Gator?
- Meth or catnip?: After filming wrapped, James Franco adopted the cat and its double from the film.
- Sly like a fox: Based on a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone. Originally Sly was going to play the character and there was even talk at one time of it being a Rambo film but he let it go to the younger Statham.