Homefront (15)



Thriller (2013)
100mins US

Starring: Jason Statham, Winona Ryder, James Franco, Kate Bosworth, Marcus Hester, Clancy Brown, Izabela Vidovic
Director: Gary Fleder
Writer(s): Sylvester Stallone
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

A chaotic undercover police sting secures the conviction of biker Danny T and his criminal fraternity. DEA agent Phil Broker is instrumental in the bust and Danny swears revenge. So Phil hands in his badge and moves to a quiet, close-knit community, where Danny T will never find him or his cherubic daughter Maddy. Unfortunately, an incident involving Maddy exposes Phil's true identity and Danny T dispatches his henchmen to the town to silence Phil for good.

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LondonNet Film Review
Homefront

Sylvester Stallone remains firmly behind the camera as screenwriter of this serpentine thriller based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Logan...

Homefront. LionsgateHe hands over leading man duties to his Expendables co-star, Jason Statham, and the London-born action man reciprocates with a typically muscular, brooding performance that requires him to single-handedly take down an army of gun-toting adversaries while protecting a little girl from harm. Director Gary Fleder elevates the pulpy source material with assured action sequences and populates smaller roles with talented supporting cast, capable of bringing characters to life in a single scene. He is also blessed with an impressive child actor, Izabela Vidovic, whose emotionally wrought performance even manages to wring a few tears out of Statham. Wonders will never cease?

Homefront opens in explosive fashion with a chaotic undercover police sting to bring down biker Danny T (Chuck Zito) and his criminal fraternity. DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is instrumental in the bust but Danny's son is killed during the arrest. "You're dead," promises the grief-stricken biker, "your kids are dead!" Phil hands in his badge and moves to a quiet, close-knit community, where Danny T will never find him or his cherubic daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic). She is a chip off the old block and when bullying classmate Jimmy (Marcus Hester) taunts her in the playground, Maddy retaliates with her fists. This simple act of self-defence sparks a feud with the boy's parents, Jimmy (Marcus Hester) and Cassie (Kate Bosworth). They entreat Cassie's no good brother, Gator (James Franco), who runs the local drug trafficking operation, to put Phil in his place. So Gator breaks into the Broker homestead, kidnaps a beloved pet and gathers evidence about Phil's past as a DEA Agent. Armed with this vital information, Gator uses his associate Sheryl (Winona Ryder) to make contact with Danny T and alert the biker to Phil's whereabouts. Thus Danny's T henchman Cyrus Hanks (Frank Grillo) arrives in town, armed to the teeth and ready to unleash hell. Homefront is a capable if unremarkable yarn that plays to Statham's strengths as a man of few, monotone words and bone-crunching actions. He somersaults, punches and sprints through the set-pieces with aplomb, and growls dialogue to move along the plot from one well sign-posted twist to the next.

Franco and Ryder are poorly served by their flimsy roles but Bosworth certainly makes an impact as a trailer trash mom, who believes that family honour should be upheld by taking down your opponents. "It's old school in the feuding sense around here," one resident summarises. Indeed, much of Fleder's film feels old-fashioned and slightly out-dated, like a project that has been sitting on a shelf for 20 years and only now, someone has decided to blow off the cobwebs and dust.

- Kim Hu

Homefront. Lionsgate


London Cinemas

From Friday 17th January
To Thursday 23rd January

- Empire Leicester Square
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From Friday 24th January
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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

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To Thursday 23rd January

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From Friday 24th January
To Thursday 30th January

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UK cinemas this week.


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