Drugs, violence, and strong language in clumsy crime movie.
What parents need to know
Positive role models
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Homefront is an action-crime movie about a widowed ex-Interpol agent who takes his young daughter to a small town in Louisiana to start life over. Thanks to a run-in with a bully, he inadvertently becomes involved in a violent, escalating feud with meth dealers and killers. The movie is very violent, with the young girl in peril, and abducted, in several scenes. There's also frequent fighting and/or shooting, with dead bodies and blood. Aside from images of drug labs and discussions about dealing drugs, some characters are shown to be addicts. Teens use meth in one scene. Language is very strong, with frequent use of all variations of "f--k." There's one fairly graphic sex scene, though no nudity is visible. With a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, this one may appeal to teen Expendables fans, though Homefront is not nearly as much fun.
What's the story?
Ex-Interpol agent and widower Phil Broker (Jason Statham) moves with his young daughter to a small Louisiana town to disappear and start over. Taught by her father to defend herself, the girl beats up the school bully, and inadvertently starts a feud. The bully's mother (Kate Bosworth) calls in her brother, Gator (James Franco), a local meth dealer. Gator learns of Broker's past and attempts to sell him up the river in exchange for a larger territory. He also enlists his girlfriend, Sheryl (Winona Ryder), to call in the help of a dangerous thug. Broker tries to stay out of trouble, but when things escalate to a group of hired killers showing up at his doorstep, he must rely on all his old skills to survive and protect his daughter.
Is it any good?
With a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, HOMEFRONT had the potential to be a solid, unpretentious action-crime movie, but falls a bit short. The cast certainly doesn't hurt, though. Jason Statham is at his scowling, rapid-fire, buzzsaw-voiced best. James Franco is in full lunatic mode, funny and menacing. And Winona Ryder is truly surprising as Franco's trashy partner in crime. In smaller roles, Kate Bosworth and Rachelle Lefevre are also memorable.
Despite some ridiculous twists and turns, the movie could have worked with a lightfooted, confident, breezy touch, but instead director Gary Fleder seems to have missed the point. His handling of Statham's razor-precise fight scenes is clumsy and inept, with rapid cutting destroying the clarity of the brawls. You can't even tell who is who. Worse, he handles the storytelling with a grim attitude -- an indifference toward a child in peril, for example -- thereby drowning out the movie's potential fun.
Families can talk about...
- Families can talk about the movie's violence. What is the movie's message about self-defense, non-violence, and revenge? Can a movie support an non-violent philosophy while being extremely violent?
- Does this movie make using meth look appealing? What is appealing or interesting about stories about drug dealers and drug users?
How do the characters in this movie deal with bullies? Is there another way, or a better way?
|Theatrical release date:||November 27, 2013|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||March 11, 2014|
|Cast:||James Franco, Jason Statham, Winona Ryder|
|Studio:||Open Road Films|
|Run time:||100 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality|
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