Review: Homefront (15)

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Sylvester Stallone remains firmly behind the camera as screenwriter of this serpentine thriller based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Logan.

He hands over leading man duties to his Expendables co-star Jason Statham and the London-born action man reciprocates with a typically muscular, brooding performance that requires him to single-handedly take down an army of gun-toting adversaries while protecting a little girl from harm. Director Gary Fleder elevates the pulpy source material with assured action sequences and populates smaller roles with a talented supporting cast, capable of bringing characters to life in a single scene.

He is also blessed with an impressive child actor, Izabela Vidovic, whose emotionally wrought performance even manages to wring a few tears out of Statham. Wonders will never cease. Homefront opens in explosive fashion with a chaotic undercover police sting to bring down biker Danny T and his criminal fraternity. DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is instrumental in the bust but Danny’s son is killed during the arrest. Phil hands in his badge and moves to a quiet, close-knit community, where Danny T will never find him, with his cherubic daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic).

Much of Fleder’s film feels out-dated, like a project that has been sitting on a shelf for 20 years and only now, someone has decided to blow off the cobwebs and dust.