Homefront Blu-ray Review

New Orleans.  Tonight the town they call “the Big Easy” is the home of a major meth deal, organized by a local motorcycle gang.  The gang leader’s son wants to transport the drugs via chopper, while the man his father trusts wants to stick with the plane. Dad makes his decision, sadly disproving the old adage that “father knows best.”

Jason Statham in Homefront

A well crafted action film, HOMEFRONT is another feather in the cap for balding action star Jason Statham.  Unlike this past year’s REDEMPTION, in which Statham was the best thing about the film, he is surrounded here by a talented cast, a tight script and a skilled director that knows how to stage action.

Jason Statham and James Franco in Homefront

Now retired from his job as an undercover DEA officer (and the man the aforementioned father trusted), Phil Broker (Statham) has relocated himself and his nine-year old daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) to the small town of Rayville, Louisiana.  There they spend their time riding horses, renovating their house and mourning the loss of their wife/mother.  One day Maddy is bullied by one of the boys at school.  She does her best to hold her temper but she ends up whipping this kids butt!  The boy’s mother (an incredibly thin Kate Bosworth) demands satisfaction and shames her husband into confronting Phil, who immediately whips HIS butt.  Humiliated to no end, she goes to see her brother, Gator (Franco), the town’s boat mechanic (and meth king).  She wants satisfaction – and a little meth (which explains her thinness).  Gator decides to give Phil and his daughter a scare and breaks into his home.  While there he comes across a box of files from Phil’s past, including one detailing his last case.  It was at the end of that last case that the gang leader’s son was shot dead, causing pop to swear revenge on Phil.  Gator does some thinking and comes up with the plan of offering Phil’s whereabouts to the gang in exchange for help in distributing his meth.  The deal is made.  Let the fun begin!

 James Franco in Homefront

Director Fleder is certainly no stranger to drama (KISS THE GIRLS, RUNAWAY JURY) and here he melds that talent for keeping the tension high with some great action pieces.  Car chases and fist fights fit smoothly into the plot without stopping the story. Credit also to a strong screenplay written by none other than Sylvester Stallone.  This would have been a perfect vehicle for him in his COBRA days and it’s nice to see Sly still knows how to write a satisfying action film featuring men under 60! Franco is in top form as the sly Gator while Winona Ryder (also “meth-thin”) portrays a drug-addled waitress whose faith in Gator knows no bound.  Bosworth is well cast against type, her stringy blonde hair and skeletal frame as frightening as her performance.  Kudos also to the always reliable Clancy Brown, who portrays the local law. Young Vidovic is very well cast as little Maddy.  Yes she’s a child, but she’s her father’s child, so her reactions and performance are very true.  But this is Statham’s film all the way and he continues to add to a growing resume’ of fine performances and entertaining films.    The Louisiana settings (both New Orleans proper and the small towns that surround it) give the film a nice, enjoyable backdrop, with the colors and sounds of nature captured nicely on film.

HOMEFRONT BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the film beautifully captures the bright lights of New Orleans and the beautiful colors of the countryside.

Audio:  Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, the soundtrack is well mixed.  Scenes where Statham almost whispers to those he’s about to beat come through clear.  The various explosions, etc are clean but LOUD.  This is not one you want to turn up to “11.”

A disappointing “extras” collection brings down my overall rating of this disc.

Deleted scenes (8:53):  Short clips and an extended ending that really lend nothing to the film.

Standoff (2:46):  A short promotional piece.

OVERALL 2.5
VERDICT:
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    BLU-RAY REVIEW
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