Homefront should be a lot more fun than it is.
Jason Statham and James Franco squaring off over meth with a script by Sylvester Stallone? Sounds like a guilty pleasure, right?
Unfortunately, the result is a rather rote action thriller that only comes alive during the well-staged fight scenes. Fortunately, there are quite a few of them.
Statham is Phil Broker, a DEA agent who has retired to a small town in Louisiana with his young daughter (Izabela Vidovic).
His last big takedown the bust of a Shreveport drug ring and biker gang went awry with the son of the drug lord dying in a hail of bullets. So, Brooker, a single dad, decides a quieter, less lethal way of life might be in order.
Too bad he picked a town where a man named Gator (Franco) and his druggie girlfriend (Wynona Ryder) control the local meth supply and dont want some former fed snooping around. It doesnt help that Francos sister-in-law, a loud and mouthy Kate Bosworth, has it in for Broker since her bully of a son was beat up by Brokers daughter in front of the entire school.
The problem with this Statham-vs.-Franco showdown is that while Statham is his usual jaw-breaking, steely self, the Franco that shows up here is not that much of an adversary. He cant fight, and hes not too bright. Now, if the Franco character from Spring Breakers had shown up with his dreads, guns, bling and bucketload of crazy then Homefront might have been a better movie.
Gator does have some nasty-looking allies most notably a buffed-up Frank Grillo (End of Watch, Disconnect, Zero Dark Thirty) playing against type as a brutal biker. But its still not enough to make Homefront any more interesting, especially as it winds down to a predictable third act where Brokers daughter is kidnapped and the explosions start.
Based on a novel by Chuck Logan and directed by TV-series vet Gary Fleder, Homefront at least moves quickly. Still, it feels generic in the extreme. And thats no fun at all.