Trailer or Spoiler: Starring The Stath

Homefront, Jason Statham, movie, poster

via imdb

…and his manly muscled head.

It’s time for another edition of America’s favorite gameshow, “Trailer or Spoiler?” In this week’s episode we find our favorite follicularly-challenged, granite-jawed hard man, Jason Statham, playing another in a long line of  follicularly-challenged, granite-jawed hard men, this one an undercover DEA agent who ends up in a Louisiana backwater that also happens to be the backyard of meth kingpin James Franco (with a neck so red it glows).

Statham is Phil Broker, a former DEA agent (of course) and single dad  who moves his daughter (Izabela Vidovic), to a seemingly quiet bayou to escape his troubled (of course) past. The peace of Broker’s new life is quickly shattered when he discovers that it is teeming with meth-makers crawling around on the sordid underbelly of his small town. Caught in the cross hairs of local druglord Gator Bodine (yes, that really is the character’s name and yes that really is James Franco) Broker must get back into action (of course) in order to save his daughter and the town.

So, it’s Statham vs Franco in a fight to the death! (Any guesses as to whose?)

The movie is Homefront and it just debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival…

I kid. No, it didn’t. But the trailer has just come online. Take a look:

So did we just see the whole thing in 2 ½ minutes or what?

Don’t get me wrong, when I go to see a Jason Statham movie, I pretty much know what I’m in for, and in most cases I count on it. But then again, so does everyone else who buys a ticket to a movie starring The Stath.  So why have the producers and/or Millennium Films decided that they need to spell it out?

It can’t be the cast. Aside from wild card Franco (is it me or does he look positively Satanic in that poster?), the cast includes Kate Bosworth (in a role she was born to play), Rachel Lefevre, Clancy Brown, Frank Grillo, and Winona Ryder (whom I’ll lay odds turns out to be the Cajun queen with the heart of gold who decides to help Broker and then dies for her trouble).

It can’t be the screenplay, which was written by Sylvester Stallone. And before you poo-poo that statement, remember that Sly has an OSCAR for writing the screenplay for Rocky. He can string a sentence together very well. It’s the enunciating he has a problem with. He wrote it for himself many years ago, but it never got off the ground. Smart enough to know that he’s now a little long in the tooth for the part, he enlisted his Death Race 2000 and Expendables I, II (and III) costar, Statham.

Stallone based his script on the novel by Chuck Logan, author of a series of crime novels (which also include “Hunter’s Moon, “Absolute Zero”, “Vapor Trail”, and “After the Rain”) featuring the Phil Broker character. (Franchise potential? The Stath needs a new one: Crank, The Transporter, The Expendables and now the Fast & Furious franchises aren’t enough.)

It can’t be the director. Gary Fleder will never be mistaken for an auteur or an artiste, but he could be considered “solid”. He actually made one of the better film versions of a John Grisham novel, Runaway Jury. (It’s not the best, but it has one hell of a cast and is wonderfully re-watchable.)

Homefront (which I keep getting confused with the television show from the early 90’s with Kyle Chandler) even has a score by the prolific Academy Award nominated composer, Mark Isham.

So what is it? The trend is for trailers that are too long and give too much away, if not I the first one, like we see here, or in the aggregate since by the time a film is released there can be five or more, when you add in tv spots. Just my humble opinion, but it seems to me that The Suits don’t have enough faith in John Q. Ticket-buyer to be able to appreciate all of the above and so must be spoon-fed, even a jar of Jason Statham.

Homefront opens in the US on November 27. (Thanksgiving weekend. Family, turkey, pumpkin pie, finished off with a dollop of The Stath? Wild horses couldn’t keep me away)

Until our next episode, please feel free to tell me how off base I am, below.

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