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Homefront is a throwaway title—perfectly fit for a throwaway movie.

Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay (adapted from Chuck Logan’s novel), which falls flat and the directing fails to elevate Homefront from being a mangled mess of a Sons of Anarchy-esque feature. Honestly, I don’t know the point of this movie. Nothing new is shown nor is it done in an interesting style. Gary Fleder’s directing is like a kid playing with a paint-by-numbers kit.

But there’s a lot of punching and kicking!

Although this is not a good movie, there could have been some interesting or at least entertaining scenes despite the fact that Jason Statham occupies the lead role. And Statham does just that and nothing more than filling a hole. Jason Statham’s vacant unemotional stare adds nothing to the role of Paul Broker, who is a retired/former DEA agent that called it quits after a bad undercover job.

The introduction details how Broker’s life went to shit, which provides nothing but a nice opportunity for a Chuck Zito (Chucky Pancamo from the HBO show Oz) cameo. Chuck Zito’s character “Danny T”—which I only know because of an IMDB search—is the biker crime boss that Statham infiltrates wearing a ridiculous stringy, shoulder-length mullet/wig. How no one spotted that rug on his head is astounding.

In the first few minutes, Statham leads the takedown of the biker gang, but a chase and the resulting crash leaves Chuck Zito’s son facing a police firing squad. And they open fire with their itchy trigger-fingers in true L.A.P.D. fashion, which has Chuck Zito screaming for revenge on Statham and his entire family. I have no idea what was the name of Chuck Zito’s son or why his death caused so much grief for Statham.

Don’t ask questions.

After a truly pointless credits sequence that’s only purpose is to inform the audience via paperwork that Statham’s character Paul Broker has resigned, Statham’s presumed daughter is playing on a playground when a fat ugly ginger bully steals her hat. She’s asks politely for him to return the hat, but nothing in this movie is resolved so simply. The little girl (who comes across as a young Chloë Grace Moretz) then busts the bully’s nose and causes a shit storm to reign down on her father.

Fortunately, this fucking bore of a film finally brings you something that garners interest when Gator (played by James Franco) is introduced. Oddly, I don’t believe there’s ever a hint as to why Franco’s character goes by the name Gator, which is a prime example of a disturbing lack of attention to any details as well a failure to explore beyond the surface. For this movie, it doesn’t matter why his name is Gator.

It just is.

What you do need to know is that Gator is the uncle of the gat ugly ginger bully who suffered an embarrassing beatdown by Statham’s daughter. After Statham handily dispatches (with some nifty punches and kicks) the goons sent by Gator to scare him, Gator gives in to his urge to commit a little B & E by simply walking through the unlocked front door. Why would a retired/former undercover DEA agent (who pissed off a sizeable biker gang by being a narc) have any reason to lock his door?

For some reason, Statham’s character has an entire room in his new house that has old police files, which Gator naturally stumbles upon and proceeds to pull out the precise file for Statham’s last undercover stint with the biker gang. Jackpot! Of course, none of this makes any fucking sense. Nothing in this movie makes any sense and no effort to explain is made. And to prove it, Gator then steals the family’s little cat.

Again, don’t ask questions.

Statham

All shit hits the fan once Gator gives up Statham’s whereabouts to the biker gang—in exchange for distribution of his meth. It’s unfortunate that James Franco is forced to play second fiddle to Statham’s lead in this movie. Jason Statham has the same, stale stoneface expression in every scene. I dare to tell me that he’s happy, sad, serious, or confused just by the look on his face. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but Statham is asked to do too much in this movie.

Gator

If Homefront ever had a chance of being a good movie, it was severely hindered by the casting choice of Jason Statham as the lead and completely blown by the decision not to flip focus and tell the story largely from the perspective of Gator. The only intriguing thing in this entire snore is James Franco’s portrayal, which alludes to a more interesting, conflicted character than the one note dullard of Broker—a Statham staple. At a critical juncture, Gator breaks the universal rule for a drug dealer by getting high off his own meth supply, which spins him further out of control. Those glimpses of Gator are the only reason for withstanding the directionless Homefront.

Gator is not in the same stratosphere as Alien from Spring Breakers. But I sure was hoping beyond hope that he would transform into Alien. Gator is more of a toned down, Cajun twist on that druglord cliché. If only the director chose to unshackle their best actor and play off that strength with a darker tone. Unfortunately, there were no remotely interesting storytelling decisions in Homefront.

It plays out exactly as you would think…with punches, kicks, and even a few explosions.

Mah Shit

1.5 out of 5 stars

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