homefront horsesWe were lucky enough to be able to see homefront at an advance screening this past November, thanks to Action Elite.  As usual, it’s a bit of a “to-do” to get to go anywhere these days, as people who have a young child, living away from close relatives can tell you.  Funny thing about the whole event was that the theatre admission (had we paid) would have been the least expensive part of the evening.  But a night out is a night out and a Jason Statham movie rarely disappoints.

As usual, because I have followed Jason Statham so closely over the past 8 years, I knew a lot about the movie, and it’s plot without having read the Chuck Logan novel.  Piecing together snippets of the story from various teasers, trailers and promotional clips, I had a good idea of what to expect.  The best part of this was after seeing the movie; none of this left me wondering, or wanting more.  Parker and The Killer Elite left me thinking something was missing.  Homefront was a pretty entertaining movie.  Sure, you know Jason is going to come out on top, he’ll save the day and beat the living hell out of everyone on his bad side.  A recipe for success.  Thank you very much.

I enjoyed how Jason’s role as a father was made to be his main focus, and spent a lot of time giving us the docile, don’t want any trouble dad and daughter.  But of course there is trouble.  Maddie (the daughter) puts a bully in his place and soon after Phil (Jason) puts the bully boy’s father in his place.  Prompting the bully mom to call up her meth making/dealing brother to go over to Broker’s house and “mess with their heads…you know, scare ’em.”  Gator (the bully’s uncle and one James Franco) discovers Phil Broker is the DEA/Interpol agent who brought down a bike gang, known to Gator’s girlfriend.  Well, this is not good.  Gator decides to serve up Phil and Maddie to the biker gang in exchange for distributing Gator’s meth.  Fortunately, retired Phil Broker hasn’t become a fat and lazy retired agent, and is prepared for and able to handle any trouble coming his way.

The Gator character was pretty awful at being a bad ass.  He had promise, as in the beginning, he scares the hell out of some young kids cooking up meth, and you think he must be the business.  Then he turns into the most ridiculous idiot by the end of the movie.  He steals Maddie’s kitten during the break in at the Broker’s house and this is where the potential bad ass turns into a wimpy goof.  He gets his girlfriend to do the dirty work of meeting up with and sorting out a deal with the bikers, and when the ambush of casa Broker happens he sends his girlfriend to “oversee” part one of the deal.  When it all goes pear shaped, he shoots his sister and takes off with the kidnapped Maddie…all the while giving off the vibe of “fuck sakes…all I wanted to do today was play xbox.”  Like an episode of worlds dumbest criminals.  Broker catches up with him (of course) and beats the living hell out of him very easily.

I thought the women in the movie were excellent.  Kate Bosworth was amazing.  She nailed her character, without being too over the top, or a bad parody of the strung out mom.  Isabela who played Maddie wasn’t one of those child actors who annoy the shit out of you.  Very real, and a cool kid.

Jason Statham was great.  He was great as a dad, laughing and joking around with his kid.  His vibe was definitely “authentic bad ass, so don’t tempt me.”  I laughed at his “you don’t need to know” comment to the sheriff asking, “what are you son, ex military? ex-cop?”.  I do love these characters.  Capable, strong, and sexy as you can imagine guys…doing what is right, defending and protecting what is important.  Characters that Jason can do justice to very easily, and yet, I like when there are new elements thrown in there…like this one, where he is a caring dad.  Gave up his career for the sake of his daughter.

A couple of things went through my mind besides noting how stupid Gator was, and how NOT a threat he would be…

– Breaking Bad had such an impact on me, I actually thought Walter White would have a fit if he had to work in either of those labs depicted in Homefront.

– what happened to the kitten Luther?  There should have been an ending scene where the kitten was curled up on Jason’s chest…all is right with the world…ahhhhhh…..

-what happened to the school psychologist?  And how is it that a small town is able to have a school psychologist on the payroll?  Add this onto my ending…kitten curled up on Jason’s bare chest as he lies in bed with a smile on his face, and as the camera pulls back we reveal the school psychologist curled up beside him, stroking the kitten…HA.  Gone too far?  Too Cheesy?  Maybe so, but fun to think about…

I thought the movie was pretty good.  Predictable, but entertaining.  I thought it was great for drama, lightheartedness, and action moving along well and giving us some suspense.  Reading some of the reviews on Homefront, I wondered if the critics had actually seen the movie.  They had pointed out things that they thought had been laughable oversights, like how do you explain Jason’s British accent…well, the fact that he worked for Interpol might have done that, and one critic had mentioned that the character had used his real name as an undercover cop in the biker gang…well, no he didn’t, and that was quite obvious.  I guess when you really admire someone, it’s hard to handle when someone “poo-poos” their efforts.  I had hoped to be able to get back into the cinema and pay to see it, but wasn’t able to organize it.  Maybe I’ll just send my $10.50 directly to Jason Statham shall I?



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