Jason Statham can kick your butt.

He knows that, we know it, and lots of movies over the course of the past decade-plus have proven it to be true.

The new flick "Homefront," starring Statham and scripted by Sylvester Stallone, has plenty of butt-kicking, to be sure.

But "in Sly's words, this is particularly a drama, with high moments of suspense and high moments of action," Statham says.

Based on the novel by Chuck Logan, the film brings to mind the sort of '80s action potboiler that might have once starred Stallone himself. Statham plays Phil Broker, a one-time DEA agent whose peaceful life with his daughter is shattered when a low-rent crime figure (James Franco) gets wind of his past.

Statham is quite familiar with Stallone, having worked with him in "The Expendables" series. He says that the Hollywood legend's writing was a big draw here.

"He knows how to write a hit," Statham says. "So you have to look beyond that and go, 'Well, the people can connect to these characters, they relate to them and he puts a lot of heart into them.'"

To Statham, Stallone's script promised a certain degree of quality but "it's a big gamble sometimes" when it comes to choosing projects.

"You don't want to sit around waiting for Martin Scorsese to ring," Statham says. "It's never going to happen. So you have to work from what's in front of you."

That means welcoming an opportunity like the upcoming "Fast & Furious 7," in which Statham plays a villain named Ian Shaw, and the chance to be involved in the mega-popular action spectacle, even if it has little in common with the character-centric approach of "Homefront."

"They all have a purpose and people like them for different reasons," Statham says. "My mom and my dad are going to enjoy this one more than 'Fast and the Furious.' ? They both have a certain appeal and I'm glad I can get to do both."