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Movie review: Statham stomps on the bad guys in gritty 'Homefront'

Published November 27, 2013 2:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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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Opens Wednesday, Nov. 27, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality; 100 minutes.