Movie review: Statham stomps on the bad guys in gritty ‘Homefront’
Published: November 27, 2013 02:15PM
Updated: December 9, 2013 05:01PM
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| Open Road Releasing Retired DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham, left) tries to escape to the quiet of small-town Louisiana with his daughter Maddie (Izabela Vidovic) in the action drama "Homefront."

The action drama “Homefront” forces us to contemplate the horrible truth that America is outsourcing the job of kicking the crap out of its movie rednecks.

British brawler Jason Statham stars as Phil Broker, a former DEA and Interpol cop who retires to a rural Louisiana town to raise his daughter, Maddie (Izabela Vidovic). But when Maddie confronts a class bully, and Phil drops the bully’s dad (Marcus Hester), the bully’s mom, Cassie (Kate Bosworth), seeks revenge by getting her meth-dealer brother, Gator (James Franco), to harass Phil and Maddie. When Gator discovers Phil’s DEA past, he uses his girlfriend, Sheryl (Winona Ryder), to sell the info to an imprisoned crime boss (Chuck Zito) who blames Phil for his son’s death in a drug raid.

Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay, adapting Chuck Logan’s crime novel, and it’s so full of Stallone’s brand of tough-guy dialogue and rough-and-tumble violence that you can imagine Stallone playing the role 20 years ago.

Director Gary Fleder (“Runaway Jury”) keeps the action grounded in some semblance of reality and gets the most mileage out of the less-than-emotive Statham while letting Franco go full throttle in a role that seems like a performance-art commentary on movie villainy.

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‘Homefront’

Opens today at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality; 100 minutes.