Sylvester Stallone is smarter than his monosyllabic characters would lead one to think.
Not only did Stallone pen the screenplay that gave him a career–the Oscar-winning Rocky–he knows the formula that made him and hulking peers stars during the 1980s.
The film mixes Second Amendment-approved action with a hero who preaches restraint until restraint is no longer an option. Heck, Stallone could be giving us a metaphor for U.S. military might in the War on Terror. Or, he simply knows what pushes our primal buttons.
Either way, Homefront is bone-crunching fun until its calamitous third act. It failed to inspire movie goers during its late 2013 release, but it’s perfectly suited for home viewing.
Jason Statham, who would be a superstar if he hit Hollywood during the Reagan era, plays an ex-DEA agent named Broker living a quiet life in Louisiana. A schoolyard incident involving his daughter sets off a series of confrontations that will require all of his Statham-esque skills, and then some.
James Franco adds to his bad boy gallery as Gator, a menace dragged into the melee by his strung-out sister (a cast far against type Kate Bosworth).
Stallone and co. bring some texture to the proceedings, from meth-addicted locals to the perils and pleasures of small-town life. The film looks better than any retro actioner should, with director Gary Fleder making the most of his bayou-style backdrops.
Yet just when the notion of an honest man pushed too far is ready for its closeup, Homefront crumples like a redneck running into Statham’s meaty fist.
Stallone is sticking to his storytelling strengths even if today’s young movie goers can’t connect with ’80s style actioners outside the Expendables franchise. No matter. For a while Homefront reminds us what happens when a good, albeit heavily armed, father is pushed too far.