Monday, 31 March 2014

Homefront

Lowdown: A former DEA agent seeks peace and quiet in a quiet little town, but finds more trouble instead.
Review:
One of my least favourite activities while flying is watching a movie. Not that there are better things to do on board a flying bus, but rather because the presentation an airline can offer cannot do justice to the movie. Exceptions are possible, though: this flight around I had my Shure headphones with me, and they could do some justice to the movie's sound. Thai Airlines, on their side, offer a bigger, higher resolution screen than the average airline. I therefore decided to go with a light film, something there is not much risk of me watching otherwise. I went with Homefront.
Homefront is your average Jason Statham movie. Statham plays Phil, a long haired undercover DEA agent who betrays his "fellow" meth lab colleagues. The police bust doesn't go as smoothly as possible, and eventually the drug baron's son is shot dead by police. The baron promises Phil to avenge his son's death.
Fast forward a few years, and our Phil is now living in a quiet little American town with his daughter, doing his best to get away from his previous life. He even cuts his hair short. Alas, trouble has a way of coming back at him, and things start to go wrong when his daughter beats the school bully picking up on her using Phil grade techniques. The bully's parents aren't happy; they call upon the help of a relative, who happens to be the local meth kingpin (James Franco in a role that totally wastes his talents). Thus our Phil is required to once again show his true grit. What follows is a sort of a shallow version of Breaking Bad.
Homefront's script is so weak and unnecessarily convoluted, it's quite amazing. Characters, such as the one portrayed by Winona Ryder, are introduced for no particular reason; this movie could have managed with half the cast. Everything tends to come down to Statham having to Use the Force to get his way, the right way. However, as nice as the action scenes are, there is never any tension because Statham always wins. He even wins when his hands are tied!
The prevailing state of mind is that of lack of trust. In this town, we are told, people will not accept you for who you are. What an awful message to convey! Homefront is truly going out of its way to give the USA and its inhabitants a bad name. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise to note Homefront's script was written by one Sylvester Stallone.
On the positive side, Stallone left the direction with Gary Fleder, whom I like since the days of Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead. Fleder does not shy from obscuring the action, the way too many directors like to do nowadays, but at least he delivers a flowing film.
Overall: Homefront misses on too many fronts to be worthy of its viewer's time. 2 out of 5 crabs.

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