“I like to say that my Daddy raised me on action movies, but that’s not entirely true. I wasn’t necessarily raised on Segal and Van Damme like I would like to think I was. The truth is my Daddy did watch those movies obsesively, and I would often catch him watching them anytime they were on tv. However, I never really took an interest in them until I was much older. And there was a point where I’d constantly rent movies from Blockbuster where we’d often grab something starring one of those guys.
In recent years, Jason Statham has taken over as the go to action guy. I do remember watching the first Transporter with my Daddy when we stumbled onto the DVD. I’d asked for Phone Booth for Christmas and the bundle with The Transporter was the same price as Phone Booth by itself, although really, I think Dad just wanted to check out Transporter. Both of us absolutely loved it (and for the record, Transporter far transcends Phone Booth), and I’ve been a fan of Statham ever since. I’m sure we did see a few more of his movies together over the last few years I had with him, and I know that if he were still here today, I’d probably be taking all the latest Statham BluRays home to watch over Christmas. Maybe it was that history or the Thanksgiving holiday or the father/daughter themes of the film, but watching Homefront I really felt like he was watching it with me.
To be honest, I’d originally put Homefront as low priority on my list. The lack of attention it was getting didn’t really bode too well, especially since a lot of Statham’s recent work has sorta blurred together. Although one thing that did draw me to it was the odd pairing of him against James Franco (?!). But a four day weekend is best spent at the movies, and the timing worked out well to double with Frozen. Yes, I think I’m the only person who would ever make a double feature of a Disney musical and a Statham action flick. Go figure.
Homefront is about an ex-military, ex-undercover cop who moves to a rural southern town with his daughter, trying to restart a quiet life together. A playground misunderstanding with another kid escalates to feuding parents, which then gets out of hand when Kate Bosworth (playing the mother of the other child) involves her small time crime lord brother James Franco, who then finds out Statham’s identity and tries to exploit him. Much of that set up was very contrived. The escalation was way too extreme and abrupt, and felt forced to try and score a big action payoff. But the relationships between the characters is what made it work.
We’ve seen some sensitivity from Statham before (with the little kid in Safe) but the father/daughter relationship he had in this movie was something completely different for him. And I loved it. Again, I’m carrying a lot of personal history into that, but I felt it was absolutely believable and it anchored the whole film. There may not have been much innovative in the action, a few signature moves he brings back every so often, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so driven.
I still think Franco was an odd selection, just because those aren’t names you hear together, well ever. Clearly, between this and Spring Breakers, his goal this year is to not just break type, but to find as extremely different roles as possible. Strangely, he did manage to pull it off, and I kinda like seeing his bad side, but still, very weird vibe.
Also breaking type were our girls Kate Bosworth, as a white trash meth junkie mom, and Winona Ryder as a white trash meth junkie wannabe kingpin. Bosworth was particularly convincing, and it does make me happy to see her not be afraid to be unpretty on film. Ryder was about as odd a choice as Franco, so I guess it makes sense they were paired together. I would never have pegged her for this type of character, and she gave off a vibe equally weird to her cohort.
This movie may be quickly forgettable, but I did enjoy watching it. It definitely would be one that I’d be excited to take home to watch with Dad. But as previously stated, I really do think we were watching it together.
Homefront – \m/ \m/ \m/