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Gobble Up ‘Homefront’ This Thanksgiving Dinner (Movie Review)

Homefront TNWhen I first saw the trailer for 2013 action thriller Homefront I thought that “could” be a good one considering in my book Jason Statham films are usually hit or miss.  It has a great cast to roast and boast about with the likes of James Franco, Winona Ryder and Kate Bosworth, but perhaps one of the greatest assets it had going for it, again in my opinion only, was the fact that it was penned by none other than Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone.  Now I have to admit, I wasn’t completely sold on it until WSB reviewer Aaron Neuwirth got an early screening of it over at the Open Road offices last week and later exclaimed his enthusiastic love for it on our WSB chatline.  That’s when I knew that I could not pass an early screening of this upcoming Thanksgiving feature up.  Gobble, gobble.  Let’s talk some Homefront!

Homefront asks us the audience the age old question of how far would we go to protect your home and more importantly your family.  The plot is pretty simple here, but quite effective.  What makes Homefront work compared to the seemingly endless competition and similar stories out there is ultimately its tension, execution and the adrenaline ride it takes us on.  So scratching the surface of the familiar story, it goes a little something like this where there’s this meth Kingpin named Gator (Franco) and this DEA agent named Phil Broker (Statham).  However, we are first treated to a little back story about Broker’s character and his past and then thrusted into modern times with a haircut and a shave down in the swamps of Louisiana.  So when Gator and Broker’s paths cross and fate interferes, Phil sees his quiet life gone awry as he’s forced to protect his family and “homefront” from a band of Gator’s evil drug traffickers, rednecks and whatnot.

I have a confession to make.  Although the screenplay is penned by Stallone, he doesn’t deserve all the credit in the original story department.  He actually adapted the story into a script from the novel of the same name by Chuck Logan.  While there’s nothing wrong with that, I just wanted to let everyone know it wasn’t exactly a completely original idea by the man known to many affectionately as John Rambo.  But in the long run, who the hell cares?!  It’s still one hell of a ride!

So back in the day, Nic Cage had his shining moment in Con Air, which if you don’t count The Rock thrusted him into superstardom in the world of action adventure films followed by the great Face Off with Travolta.  Fast forward to the year 2013.  Jason Statham is absolutely no stranger to the world of action movies.  After all, he’s like the second major character in The Expendables.  That says a lot!  However, here’s the point I am getting at.  In my opinion, this is Jason’s Con Air complete with a “put the kitty on the floor” line and ugly long hair like mine.  This is his crowning moment in action movies.  And other the Crank flicks of his that I simply adore, this is the finest Jason Statham film ever made, again in my opinion.  It’s not only evident that he had fun with this one, but the guy owns the screen in every single scene he is in.  It’s like he matured over night and his charisma is radiant like a Twilight vampire in the sun.  The transformation is unbelievable!  I would definitely love to see this character come back for a second installment if the movie Gods ever deem it so.

And while we’re on the subject of talking about characters, how can we not spend a few moments on Franco?  Ever since Spring Breakers this man has had me at hello.  And I am pleased to report he picks up right where he left off in Spring Breakers, except in a new swampy locale in Louisiana.  His name is Gator.  No he doesn’t have Gator’s b1thces (LOL), but he does make you fear him unparalleled in the way Statham’s character controls the screen.  Think Batman versus the Joker.  Batman possesses all the power while the Joker mind f#$%s him over and over.   That’s the dynamics of the relationship here between Gator and Broker.  It’s just crazy, mad fun to be had.  We all know that Broker would tromp Gator in a brawl, but isn’t it exciting to see Gator and his thugs keep the upper hand because of their wits or even luck every now and then?  Of course it is!  You should be nodding your head yes.  And if you throw in the strung out, utter b1thciness of Kate Bosworth’s character (Gator’s sister in the feature), then you really have one hell of a Southern mess on your hands.  I guess what I am trying to say is that for a B like film, this one knocks it out of the ballpark in the character department reminiscent of Stallone’s First Blood…filled with memorable moments.

While we were on the subject of Statham, his martial arts skills and whatnot, I would like to spend a paragraph talking about the action and stunt work here.  Top notch!  I was telling Gerard Iribe this morning how impressed I was with the fighting scenes.  Just when you think you could not be surprised by another Statham action sequence in yet another action movie of his, the movie Gods have an answer for that one too.  Wow!  It’s a bone crushing curdling good time to be had.  I recommend seeing this one in the best theater you can with exceptional audio because I want you to feel and experience every punch, kick and head through glass moment like I did.  It’s powerful and one of the heaviest hitting films of the year for me in that category.  The stunt work is top notch and executed flawlessly for the most part.  Let’s put it this way, it more than makes up for the silly redneck dialogue at times.

Well, do you need any more reasons to drop what you are doing right now, save the Thanksgiving dinner dishes for later and run out to your local theater (provided you’re not on call)?  I hope not!  I’m glad Aaron Neuwirth talked me into checking this press screening out for I probably would not have known what I was missing out on.  Don’t get turned off by that bad movie poster or that patriotic American flag that adorns the back of Jason Statham for some reason. This is an a$$ kicking good time and it deserves to be heard and seen on the finest screens out there.  Happy Thanksgiving and gobble, gobble Gator’s b1tches.  Woo hoo!  I hope you have as good of a time as I did with this one!  Enjoy!

Homefront Poster

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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