Jason Statham has made a career making high-action, high-octane movies that usually pit him against large groups of bad guys looking to take him down. It’s been a formula that’s served him very well over the years with a number of hit movies and franchises that follow much of the same plot points and use the same devices. But there’s one of his more overlooked movies available on streaming right now. Homefront just hit Netflix this week.
Homefront is about Jason Statham’s character Phil Broker, a former Army officer turned undercover DEA agent who has left that life to raise his young daughter in the deep south. Ignore for a minute how an Englishman got into the US Army or into law enforcement. That’s not important. He’s a widower and is trying to just live the quiet life mostly off the grid. But because this is a Statham film, we know things aren’t likely to just be all apple pie and vanilla ice cream. No, it doesn’t take long before he’s dragged, unwittingly, back into that life. Check out the trailer for Homefront:
Jason Statham doesn’t take long to run afoul of the local drug kingpin in the area who wants to cause the former a considerable amount of pain. It’s a bit convoluted but basically, because of a bullying situation with his daughter, Broker is pitted at odds with Gator (James Franco) who set about a series of actions that force our hero into many a fight. It also puts his daughter in considerable trouble. Without giving too much away, know that the pacing of the movie moves quickly and there is a fair amount of heart.
One thing you’ll be surprised about with Homefront is the cast and crew. As I mentioned, joining Jason Statham is James Franco in the villain role. His character Gator is low burn evil, a dead-eyed bad guy with only one thing on his mind. But there are plenty of other familiar faces as well. Kate Bosworth plays Gator’s sister Cassie who is actually responsible for sending her brother out for vengeance. And Winona Ryder even gets in on things, playing Gator’s scumbaggy girlfriend. Chuck Zito and Frank Grillo make appearances as well as, you guessed it, part of a biker gang. Finally, while not appearing on screen, the script was actually written by Sylvester Stallone.
Homefront was overlooked on a number of different fronts. For all of the all-star casting, Jason Statham included, it scored only $52 million at the box office though it still outpaced the $22 million budget. So it wasn’t anything like a loss. And critics landed in the merely *meh* range with the film scoring 43% on the Tomatometer through more than 100 reviews.
For Jason Statham, Homefront landed smack in the middle of a run of movies for the actor that were similar in terms of pacing and body count. He was making his bones in these action roles through the better part of the 2000s and into the 2010s. Other films in that time period included The Mechanic, Safe, Killer Elite, Parker,and Redemption. All of these set about with very similar, Statham-y themes. What sets Homefront apart is it’s a bit more stripped down than those films, leaning more into the small-town vibe and giving Statham’s character more of a laid back feel to start.
As Jason Statham’s movies have only gotten bigger over the years, it can be fun looking back at flicks with slightly smaller budgets. That’s because he’s just coming off the success of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw alongside Dwayne Johnson. The two headlined a movie with their titular characters from the Fast & Furious franchise was a hit, earning more than $750 million at the box office on a whopping $200 million budget. There, of course, is a talk of a sequel.
He’s next slated to team back up with director Guy Ritchie in Wrath of Man. The two worked together already on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Revolver. It’s a heist film that’s slated for release later this year. Before then though, be sure to catch Jason Statham on Netflix in Homefront. Fans of the actor will love the tone and the rest of the cast is A+.