Homefront review

Truth be told, I'm a huge fan of The Stath. He's the closest thing we have now to the type of fodder Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson were churning out in the '70s and '80s – a taciturn hero involved in thick-ear action, with a take it or leave it attitude that made up for the lack of sophistication and smarts in the scripts. The bald-pated star is as inscrutable as ever in this clunky, junky thriller, here playing a former US federal agent who relocates to Louisiana with his small daughter and gets on the bad side of psychotic meth dealer Franco.

It certainly boasts attractive photography as the Stath gets pummelled by the villain's redneck henchman and then fights back with solid brawn and backbone. Bosworth is very good as Franco's sleazy, drug-addicted sister, forcefully willing her menfolk to remonstrate on her behalf. Ryder is very bad as Franco's trampy paramour, miscast as a Deep South slut who is well out of her depth when embroiled in her partner's escalating schemes. Though it's only 100 minutes, it actually feels longer; the plot mechanics creakily go about their business, leading up to the dependably predictable climax.

It feels like Stallone, another practitioner of the violent no brainer, has kept his script stuck in a drawer for the past 30 years and only just dusted it off with little updating or revision. Moth-eared and cloth-eared, Homefront is nevertheless reassuringly silly and comfortably solid, a reliable and undemanding time-filler that will satisfy those blokey Stath devotees who have little interest in high art. 

Homefront at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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