Assault on Precinct 13

2005

Action / Drama

7
IMDb Rating 6.3

Synopsis


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1080p 720p
2.08G
R
English
/
109 min
P/S 107 / 145
702.20M
1280*528
R
English
23.976 /
109 min
P/S 488 / 2957

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Brandt Sponseller 7

A remake of John Carpenter&#39;s superior film of the same title from 1976, Assault on Precinct 13 concerns a siege on a largely abandoned police station, which is related to the presence of a notorious criminal, Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne). It&#39;s left up to a ragtag group of police employees and criminals to defend themselves.<br/><br/>I should start by noting that I absolutely love Carpenter&#39;s original film. In my view it is one of his best, perfectly capturing the suburban desolation of 1970s Los Angeles, and exquisitely suspenseful and horrifying, even though it&#39;s not really a horror film. Despite that, when this remake of Assault on Precinct 13 began, I had high hopes for it. The first scene is well directed, well shot, with excellent dialogue. It turns into an intense action scene at just the right moment, and results in some realistic, gritty deaths. The opening is as good as anything in the Carpenter film.<br/><br/>Unfortunately, Assault on Precinct 13&#39;s excellence ended right there. It&#39;s not exactly a bad film--I enjoyed it more often than not, but it does have more than its share of flaws. In the end, my rating average out to a 7 out of 10. Recommendable, but with reservations.<br/><br/>The first problem is that director Jean-Francois Richet tries to do too much--too much backstory, too many characters, too many over-the-top characters, too many quick cuts, too much shaky hand-held camera work, too many &quot;big action moves&quot;, too many explosions, too many settings, and it&#39;s too dark. That the film is often so quickly edited and dark makes it too often difficult to see what&#39;s going on in the action scenes. Carpenter&#39;s film succeeded by being very taut, economical, sober and logical in its directorial style. Richet tries to one-up the original by forgoing all of those qualities. By the second or third scene, I was fairly confused. Superfluous characters were popping in and out, people were mumbling dialogue, and there was a whole complex backstory being hinted at and not spelled out very well.<br/><br/>The brutal shooting near the beginning of the original film, which sets off the whole sequence of events, was dropped--that thread was completely removed from the film. It was lamentable in that this new Assault loses much of the simple, sensible drive the thread provided, and it was surely a decision based on political correctness. Likewise, Bishop is not allowed to be a clear-cut bad guy here. That saps some of the effectiveness out of his cooperation. In this film, he might be mostly tough talk. The other criminals in the film are either left largely unexplained or guilty of only petty or consensual crimes. I find this kind of political correctness in films reprehensible, although I realize it&#39;s primarily a studio decision.<br/><br/>On the positive side, the villains here were cleverly conceived, and their nature makes them much more menacing physically. On the negative side, however, Richet lost the Night of the Living Dead (1968) zombie-like nature of the marauders, which saps suspense from the attacks. The logistics of the defense of the police station and details of their dilemma are not very clearly scripted or staged, either, which doesn&#39;t help. Another flaw is that some intruders seem to inexplicably hesitate. Another positive, though, is that Richet&#39;s film brings back a few small details, such as the capture of the criminal at the beginning of the film, and a substance addiction in one of the heroes leading to a character transformation, found in Rio Bravo (1959), the film that in conjunction with Night of the Living Dead, was the main inspiration for Carpenter&#39;s original film.<br/><br/>Also on the positive side, this Assault has a skilled (and much more well known) cast. Even though Richter occasionally directed them to be a bit too over-the-top, the performances hit many very interesting notes. And a few of the additions to the original film, such as a Mexican standoff and a couple later scenes outside the police station were excellent. The increased firepower here may also be to some viewer&#39;s liking.<br/><br/>A viewer less fond of the original, or even unfamiliar with the original, may like Assault better than I did. I may have even liked it better if the original were not so fresh in my memory (I just watched it again it recently--a review is forthcoming). There are enough redeeming aspects for action fans to make it worth at least a rental or a viewing on cable, but approach the film with lowered expectations.

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Reviewed by christian123 6

On a snowy New Year&#39;s Eve, a police station where a bus full of convicts has been jailed comes under attack from corrupt policemen, forcing a police sergeant with a cloudy past (Ethan Hawke) to team with a ruthless mob boss (Lawrence Fishburne) to try to keep them at bay.<br/><br/>The original was a pretty good film so I&#39;m still confused about the need to remake it. Yes, it was a little outdated but the film still worked fine. I was expecting the remake to be really bad since the trailer looked lackluster and Ethan Hawke isn&#39;t that good of an actor. However, this update turned out to be a decent film. It doesn&#39;t approach the original in quality but at least it doesn&#39;t insult the original either. They do change some things from the original though that didn&#39;t really bother me. Actually, it&#39;s kind of better that they tried it in a different way instead of doing it exactly the same (paging Psycho) and there was more reason to remake it.<br/><br/>The performances were okay, nothing special. Ethan Hawke was okay as Roenick. He would sometimes go over the top and he was a little weak at some points. Laurence Fishburne was better than Ethan but still only average. Ja Rule actually gives a good performance for a rapper though he doesn&#39;t get a lot of screen time. John Leguizamo was okay, kind of dull. Maria Bello gave the best performance out of everyone and she is a pretty underrated actress. Gabriel Byrne was just meh while Drea de Matteo was clearly there for eye candy and nothing more.<br/><br/>Jean-Fran?ois Richet does a decent job at directing and he manages to create some suspense. However, he does keep the film simple and most of the twists are obvious. The script is generic and weak with a lot of clichés and little in the way of originality. The action sequences are slick and enjoyable but they are also kind of sparse. The movie also becomes dull from time to time even though the film isn&#39;t really that long. There is also little character development so it&#39;s hard to feel sorry for some of these people. The remake is really just a semi-enjoyable, generic action film. It fails to surpass the original in most categories but it still stands as a decent film. In the end, Assault on Precinct 13 is a decent action film and it&#39;s worth checking out. Rating 6/10

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Reviewed by krorie 6

This is a remake of a remake and yet still packs a punch. I&#39;ve seen the original &quot;Rio Bravo&quot; several times, including when it first came out. It was masterfully done and was one of the Duke&#39;s best movies from the 1950&#39;s. I saw John Carpenter&#39;s &quot;Assault on Precinct 13&quot; when it first came out in 1976 and remember it as being one of Carpenter&#39;s best movies. Now we have another version with basically the same characters including the drunk, originally played by Dean Martin, who is tested by the struggle for survival and eventually passes with flying colors. When I first heard the Christmas music in the movie, it took me a moment to grasp the reason for the Dean Martin selection until I realized it was the producer&#39;s way of paying homage to the crooner&#39;s performance in &quot;Rio Bravo.&quot; This would be more entertaining for those who have not seen the originals. This remake follows the originals to the point of spoiling some of the surprises intended. I won&#39;t go into detail on this since it would then spoil the surprises for those who have not seen the originals. The story is there; the action is there; and the entertainment is there, especially for those who are seeing it for the first time.

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