Stathem plays "Broker", an undercover DEA agent who takes down a bunch of biker/meth dealers and winds up on the surviving biker's hit list. For reasons not really explained (though Broker's wife died off-camera a some point), Broker quits the force, packs up his 12 year old daughter and buys a ramshackle house in rural Louisiana. Evidently the DEA has an amazing pension plan because Broker no longer has to work and spends most of his time puttering around doing home-repairs and charming his daughter's grade school teacher.
But. There's ALWAYS a but. When daughter Maddy gets in a schoolyard fracas with a bully, daddy Stathem is confronted by the bully's annoyed parents and employs his DEA/ninja skills to settle things. Except slamming a guy to the ground and choking him in front of his wife and son doesn't have the placating effect he hoped. Turns out the wife's brother is "Gator" Bodine (James Franco), yet another meth dealer with a cadre of goons, and he doesn't take kindly to this newbie roughing up his relatives. He's probably sore because people make fun of his name. Anyhow, a series of tit-for-tat confrontations escalate until... well, I won't get into spoilers, but there's a lot of beatin' up and shootin'.
That sounds pretty routine, but there are a couple of things going for Homefront. First, it's very well directed by Gary Fleder, who eschews CGI stuntwork for more grounded fisticuffs. Cars don't magically fly over other cars and bodies actually obey the laws of physics. It's also very well acted by Stathem, Franco and Winona Ryder as a meth head (!). And finally, the story actually leaves room for characters to evolve in slightly unexpected ways. In real life, sometimes it actually IS possible to apologize and put things behind you without a half dozen suicidal machine-gun toting dudes coming after you. At least I hope so (sorry I flipped you off, guy who cut me off in traffic!).
But again, I don't get the title. I've read that this was originally going to be a Rambo sequel, and a story about a soldier from overseas coming home to fight local bad guys, well, then Homefront makes sense. U.S. based DEA agent retiring to U.S. based meth region and getting into fights, not so much. Oh well. Too bad there's an old Burt Reynolds movie called "Gator" because that's a great title...