Welcome to another Sylvester Stallone debacle, HOMEFRONT. It looks like Stallone has managed to handcuff his EXPENDABLES co-star Jason Statham into one of his terrible expendable cliched movie scripts. And to add poison the icing on this fruit cake, Stallone directs, this predictable post mortem story that raises from the grave every sad banal movie trick. Like a retired magician pulling too many rabbits out of his weathered hat.
Everyone, from Stallone to Ben Stiller to Statham is desperate to mimic McConaughey and save their careers from the constant retread of pathetic scripts riddled with boring, irritating endless streams of irksome scenes and dialogue.
Let’s start with some of the most yawn inducing concepts used in almost all third rate scripts.
Logline: When it comes to protecting his family. He has no limits. Hahaha Your kidding right? Is this a Korean translation of the log line from a press junket. Really cliched and soapy.
Cop, hero, tough guy, saves to day, is appalled by the horror and retires from his job only to be dragged back into violence by the local idiot wanna be gangster. Check, Yawn and wince.
Hero has a young daughter that has just lost her mother, he must protect. Check, Yawn and wince.
Local cop turns his eyes away from the local drug czar to eat a few more donuts. Check, Yawn.
Daughters teacher is hot and willing to help heal the hero and his daughters problems. Check, puke.
Bad guys swear vengeance at any cost and are the meanest most insane yokels on earth. Moron super creep will avenge his illiterate son’s death even though it’s obvious what murdering drug dealing scum they are and what happened was their damn fault. Check, and check out.
Enter, small time meth cook and local, kinda scary, mentally challenged crook James Franco trying to crawl up the criminal food chain by ratting out the hero to a troupe of even dumber bikers. Oh yeah it’s a biker gang that wants to kill the hero, Statham. Yes, I said biker gang. Check and lower the volume.
Bring the the hooker with a heart of stone turned gummy bears by too much meth to soften the edges of everyones testosterone. Check and get a sandwich. Massive fail with Winona Ryder looking seriously flaked out and wandering the set.
Cherry top this asylum’s porridge with the best friend gets killed cliche and I swear i heard my ulcer boil.
The old Spielberg child in jeopardy rip off shots are always perfect to churn my stomach and I have a special place in the mental ward for any director that thinks putting children in ugly life threatening situations is entertaining. More strange is here it fails so badly as to seem near comical or satirical. Check and punch the director.
Crash the plot device of one small event that avalanches into a wall of eye gashing violence. Super tweaker Kate Bosworth thin as a rail, eloquently white trashes her way into this strait jacket of a movie by challenging Statham over a school yard fight between her fat, bloated, lip snarling son and Stathams adorable but deadly (dad taught me how to defend myself cliche) daughter. Kate wants revenge as most hammering meths heads with no life always do.
So of course her brother is the retard, meth criminal of the town with an eyeball staring problem that’s supposed to make him look dangerous but mostly serves as comical silent screen, wide eyed heavy glaring. Franco is terrifcally terrible, more satirical than interesting. He straddles the middle tween Statham usual stoic say little, punch and kick hero and the buggy biker lunatics who will kill anything with a pulse to prove 80’s macho isn’t dead it’s been embalmed.
That incredible slime ball face of Franco never fails to make me need a shower immediately. Perfect casting. Cue the cliches of threats and dolls heads ripped off, cut to postcard horse riding with daddy and back slide into the thorazine shuffle of choreographed fight scenes that often end with legs interlocking around each others heads and the loud noise of breaking bones. Check. Jesus who cares about these scenes any more and how many times does this movie use it?
So many that you doubt the writer or director was on set. Any man with his right senses would have stopped this.
Stallone “You know, ah tink you crotch is too close to da guys head in dis leg lock, throat crushing shot. Let’s change this up a bit uhhm use this chicken and peck him to death, least that’s different. It might wake up the audience, you know?”
So the not so happy hooker tries to save the courageous daughter by locking her in a boat with her cell phone. She calls daddy to save her. Pull the heart strings hard, only it’s all sugar with no meaning.
Statham kills all the bikers, shockingly unbelievable, who would have seen that coming? Spray the bullets cliche and ruin a good set. And Statham is off to his finale with quirky Franco. Wait… first blow up Franco’s meth barn. Check, YAWN!
Ok, car chase yada yada, meet on the bridge final showdown. Yada yada. Statham beats up Franco. I must admit, I did enjoy that part, only not for the right reasons. Franco is such a grotesque parody of himself at this point in life that the scene is more like watching Franco getting bitch slapped on a Cali street for being such a douche than anything that has to do with the characters of the script.
I realize the end of cinema is approaching since it’s all been done before and better, by better men. But there is no excuse for this type of blatant redundant abuse of the medium. With the cash flow Stallone brings to a project he should be reinventing the genre not eviscerating it for his own amusement, much to the chagrin of his friends when the reviews roll in.
Shame on everyone, shame on distribution. Shame on the action genre. Shame on Stallone. He really couldn’t do better than this ridiculous tripe? It looks like someone is just trying to get work for some actors trying to make car payments. Shame.
Shame, shame, shame. Did I say shame enough? I doubt anyone will read this review as the film is so bad. So I will just whisper it once more to myself, under my breath. You won’t be able to hear it or read it.