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Assault on Precinct 13
USA, France
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action
IMDB rating:
Jean-François Richet
Ethan Hawke as Ethan Bishop
Laurence Fishburne as Napoleon Wilson
Gabriel Byrne as Capt. Marcus Duvall
Maria Bello as Dr. Alex Sabian
Drea de Matteo as Iris Ferry
Brian Dennehy as Sgt. Jasper O'Shea
Ja Rule as Smiley (as Jeffrey 'Ja Rule' Atkins)
Currie Graham as Mike Kahane
Aisha Hinds as Anna
Matt Craven as Officer Kevin Capra
Fulvio Cecere as Ray Portnow
Peter Bryant as Lt. Holloway
Kim Coates as Officer Rosen
Storyline: On New Year's Eve, inside a police station that's about to be closed for good, officer Jake Roenick must cobble together a force made up cops and criminals to save themselves from a mob looking to kill mobster Marion Bishop.
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Cops and criminals must unite when Precinct 13 comes under siege
In the prologue we see an undercover police operation go badly wrong; Sgt Jake Roenick is wounded and the two other members of his team are killed. Cut forward eight months and he has a desk job in the titular Precinct 13; it is New Year's Eve and the station is due to close the next day. The only other people in the station are Officer Jasper O'Shea, a veteran on the verge of retirement; Iris Ferry, the station secretary, and Dr Alex Sabian, the psychiatrist treating Roenick. It should be a quiet night but then a prisoner transport is forced to stop there due to the snowy conditions. One of the prisoners is Marion Bishop, a crime lord who has recently fallen out with the corrupt cops he was working with… now they want him dead before he can make a statement implicating them; they also intend to kill anybody who may know of the connection. When they try to break into the station the police assume they are Bishop's men trying to break him out but when Roenick learns the truth he must trust the criminals in his cells to help defend the station.

Since I've yet to see the original film I can't say how this compares but as its own piece of entertainment I found it to be pretty good. There is plenty of action from start to finish and a good sense of tension. Usually in these sort of films it is easy to guess who is certain to survive so it came as a real shock when one of these was killed; others were somewhat less surprising. Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne are solid as protagonists Roenick and Bishop and Gabriel Byrne is impressive, if somewhat underused, as corrupt cop Captain Duvall. The rest of the cast are good too; notably Drea de Matteo, Maria Bello and Brian Dennehy. The characters are mostly good although some of the criminals are a bit too cliché. The winter setting aging to the atmosphere as the pure white snow is juxtaposed with the bloody violence. Overall this is a solid action movie; worth seeing if you enjoy the genre.
Remodelling a classic noir: Superbly executed
Ostensibly a remake of John Carpenter's cult favourite, the new and improved Assault on Precinct 13 acknowledges its debt to Rio Bravo early on with a couple of lazy Dean Martin Christmas jingles.

Martin was a deputy drunk in Howard Hawks's 1959 western classic, which is where Carpenter borrowed the plot for his 1976 cop drama. Hatchet-faced tough guy John Wayne played a bossy sheriff in the original; in that film, Dino and Duke keep a passel of bad guys from breaking into jail and grabbing their prisoner.

Same story here, except this time out we're in a condemned Detroit precinct on New Year's Eve, and the prisoner is a drug lord played by the lethally cool Laurence Fishburne.

The film's real departure, and gamble, is that Ethan Hawke, dweeb aesthete from Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, is now playing the Duke's and Dino's cop characters. Hawke's Sergeant Jake Roenick is both drug addict and precinct boss. That's a lot of character acting for a perpetual juvenile 25 pounds shy of either Cagney or Lacey.

Screenwriters Carpenter (he'll be redoing films at 100) and James DeMonaco wisely get us used to Ethan as a tear-away action adventurer in a ferocious pre-credit drug sting. Sgt. Jake throws himself around with nervous athleticism. Nevertheless, two fellow officers go down. And Jake catches one in the pin. Then, suddenly -- quick cut -- we resume action eight months later. Our limping hero is now a wisecracking junkie (Scotch and Seconal), trying to forget about A Time When He Cared.

Making matters worse, the force shrink (Maria Bello) shows up New Year's Eve, wanting to know why Jake is still hiding behind a desk in a soon-to-be abandoned precinct. Everybody else is long gone, except for a party-girl secretary (Drea De Matteo) and an aging cop, "Old School" O'Shea (Brian Dennehy).

Elsewhere, a mobster with a dangerous secret (Fishburne) is on his way to jail. Someone's trailing the van. Just as the expedition nears Jake's station, snow turns to ice and the cop car skids out of control. Driving is impossible. Detroit has been shut down. The van and its captives will have to hole up at Precinct 13 for the night.

One of this enlightened B-movie's many pleasures is French director Jean-François Richet's handling of atmosphere and setting. Shot almost entirely at night in a blinding snowstorm, the crime drama is an intriguing remodelling of a classic film noir. It's a black and white movie by function of climate and time of day, with vivid stabs of colour -- a spreading stain of blood in the snow, Bello's flashing gold hair and Jake's frightened blue-green eyes.

Richet also knows how to shoot action scenes. And his screenwriters scatter just enough bits of business and tough-guy patter around. Fishburne does a newspaper crossword puzzle for the first half of the film. And at one point a prisoner mocks a junkie inmate who, like Jake, is going through withdrawal by snarling that he's "sweating more than Mike Tyson at a spelling bee." Another plus -- the supporting cast has been shrewdly chosen. Ja Rule and John Leguizamo score as petty criminals locked up with Fishburne. Gabriel Byrne, who decorated the crime classics Miller's Crossing and The Usual Suspects, is walking the beat. And it's good to see Drea de Matteo working her eyebrows and hips again after getting bada-binged on The Sopranos.

The film is not without fault. Hawke only holds his own as an action hero. And Maria Bello overplays a badly conceived character. Most of all, the film needs another player as potent as Fishburne.

Still, Assault on Precinct 13 is a smartly assembled noir package. Canadians in particular might find it perversely satisfying to watch somebody else curse and fight their way through a deadly winter storm. Benjamin Miller, Filmbay Editor.
Boredom Fortress
If you're reading this, then maybe it's not too late. Don't watch this movie. It's a waste of precious time. Stereotypical characters (the black guy who "didn't do nuthin'", the old-timer, etc), poor plot development, pure character stupidity (it takes a rocket scientist for them to understand that the back door is a vulnerability), etc.

All of this congregates in one bad remake. The original movie was credible. We really thought that it could happen. This one is just ridiculous. Even with some degree of suspension of disbelief, it is still pretty ridiculous the lengths that a bunch of veteran police officers armed to the teeth have to go to uproot a bunch of people. I got bored half-way trough the movie because it simply wasn't "doing" anything. Combine that with this being an action movie and you've got a problem. Don't waste your time. Rent the original.
Another Copy of "Hard Rain"
I didn't see the old version, but when i watched this one, it some how reminded me of a movie called "Hard Rain", to those who didn't watch it yet, i recommend Hard Rain more, although the story is different somehow, but you can see the similarity in the 2 main characters, Morgan Freeman as Laurence, Christian Slater as Ethan. also there was a similarity in the weather, tough rainy weather in Hard Rain,, hard snow storm. Now the ending is exactly the same, the gangster and the cop goes in their different ways, not to mention they don't end up shooting each other in the movie, because they had a truce, the same exactly you see in Hard Rain, they unite to fight the bad people, at the end, Morgan Freeman walks away and the Guard "Christian Slater" goes with his girlfriend who helped to fight with them.

so technically, It's just another way of making Hard Rain.
Another cult classic gets crapped on by Hollywood.
Take the bare bones of John Carpenter's gritty, efficient, low-budget '76 thriller Assault on Precinct 13, tweak the narrative a tad (Precinct 13 is now in snowy Detroit instead of sunny L.A.), make the protagonists less likable, turn the antagonists from menacing street gang members into highly trained policemen (an idea that throws up many illogicalities), and add a star cast who have all done much better, and what you have is an assault on the senses that features so many dumb plot turns and such terrible dialogue that it borders on farce.

Ethan Hawke is horribly mis-cast as tough undercover cop Sgt. Jake Roenick, one of a group of people who find themselves under siege in the condemned titular precinct on New Year's Eve during a heavy snowstorm. As bad guy Capt. Marcus Duvall (Gabriel Byrne) and his team of corrupt cops try to gain entry in order to kill gangster Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) and any witnesses, Roenick is forced to enlist the help of several prisoners to defend the building. Cue lots of shooting, with the bad guys unable to complete their mission even though they have high-tech night vision goggles, laser-sighted machine guns, grenades and a helicopter, while those trapped inside must rely on a couple of handguns, a baseball bat and an old tommy gun from the evidence room. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.

3.5/10, rounded down to 3 for Ja Rule as criminal Smiley, who irritatingly refers to himself the third person throughout.
Assault on Precinct 13
I did not think I was going to like this remake of the 1976 cult favorite. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The movie was fun. The characters were likable. The action was well paced. The sets and backgrounds were excellent, giving the viewer a feeling of desolation and dread that the original movie had in abundance. I originally heard that Ethan Hawke's character was the same as his character in "Training Day", but I totally disagree. Oddly enough, both characters were named Jake. So, they were both young police officers named Jake who were going through a rough period, but Ethan Hawke played both differently. This is not a movie to bring your kids to; too much violence. This might be a good date movie, but not a first date movie. All in all, I give "Assault on Precinct 13" (2005) an A-. If you want to have fun, watch it. - JFLY
Intense, wild, well-acted thriller - just a tad absurd
Jean Richet's remake of the Carpenter thriller Assault on Precinct 13 is surprisingly entertaining. Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) loses the Carpenteresque weirdness and soundtrack, and tells the story of a remote, run-down police precinct under assault using more conventional cinematography and production. This is an achievement, but not because of the difficulty of following in the footsteps of Carpenter - because the film entertains without doing so, and because the narrative - just like all of Carpenter's films- manages to keep going without regard for the improbability of the plot. In other words, the Director kept a straight face and made the film entertaining enough to allow for a certain amount of suspended disbelief.

Strong, fast, characterization - part of the legacy of Carpenter's film - makes a big difference early on. The cast is uniformly excellent and the main characters - unusual for this genre - are all unique, believable and consistent. Fishburn plays a big bad guy incarcerated by fiat in the small, run-down Precinct 13. Hawke is the Sergeant in charge of the precinct - a man with psychological and drug problems associated with a traumatic event which opens the film. These two improbable allies must pool their resources to defend the precinct against... who?

The film is first and foremost an action film. The action is typical for the genre as of 2005 - i.e. - much of what takes place is only believable because of its entertainment value and internal consistently. Suspense is well constructed throughout the film, and the pace of the film reaches a frenetic level about 1/3rd of the way through, never letting up. The cinematography is surprisingly dissimilar to the original. Richet's film is more of a standard suspense thriller than anything bearing Carpenter's signature.

Recommended for its entertainment value, solid cast, and well-constructed (though somewhat ridiculous) plot.
Lethally violent, mean spirited fun
Assault On Precinct 13 is less of a remake of John Carpenter's balls out, guerrilla action treatise and more of a branch off into timeless, near western archetypes, as well as the good old siege thriller format. It's also one of the meanest, grittiest cop films of the last few decades, deserving a higher rung on the ladder of adoration than it has so far ascended to. Dark, merciless and full of yuletide gallows humour, it's a searing blast of gunfire and snowbound pulp starring a roster of fired up talent, starting with an intense Ethan Hawke and an unpredictable, predatory Laurence Fishburne. Fishburne is Marion Bishop, a legendary criminal kingpin wrapped tight in police custody and shipped off to a remote precinct on New Years eve with a busload of fellow prisoner transports. The station is run by a few relaxed cops, all preparing to punch that clock and get the New Year's festivities underway. Unfortunately, a gang of corrupt detectives have other ideas, descending upon the ill guarded outpost with the fury and firepower of animals set loose, determined to murder everyone inside and level the place to the ground in order to cover up their actions. Hawke is the veteran cop with a dodgy undercover past, blessed with the grit and gristle necessary to rally the troupes and self preserve til the morning light. Drea De Matteo, who's awesome and welcome in anything, is a tough female sergeant, Maria Bello the sharp police psychiatrist caught in the middle, Brian Dennehy the salty old dog, and a laundry list of rabid felons who pitch in to save their own asses, including Ja Rule, Aisha Hinds, Currie Graham and a wired up John Leguizamo. Together they all make a veritable wild bunch to hold down the fort, but the forces they're up against are tactical and terrifying. The opposition is headed up by a dangerously quiet Gabriel Byrne as deeply a corrupt Police Captain, doing a coiled viper rendition of a Christopher Walken villain, his work one of the strongest aspects of the film. Watch for Matt Craven and Kim Coates in brief cameos as well. The action is a ballistic blitzkrieg of firefights, standoffs and ditch efforts, scarcely giving the audience time to breathe, let alone tally up the casualties, of which there are many. This ain't no cakewalk, in terms of action films. It's down, dirty and has no time for quips, smart mouths or villains that monologue. Everyone involved in a caged animal prepared to go to extremes at the drop of a hat in order to achieve their goals, with kneejerk reactions and off the cuff violence that feels real, and cuts deep. If you are serious about your action films, and enjoy ruthless, non patronizing narratives that get as cold as the snow drifts surrounding the precinct and as casually indifferent as the bullets that ventilate it, this is your ticket.
Underrated solid well done action flick remake favorite of mine
This is my favorite solid action thriller remake well done and very underrated Assault on Precinct 13. Is it better then John Carpenter's original film? Of course not? Is it great remake? No of course not! Is it the best one? No! But in my opinion it is well done action movie and I love it. John Carpenter's movie is the best and I love it more then this flick but I like this movie too! This movie is really good well done and well executed. What is the difference between the original and remake? The difference is the original is an action film filled with horror around and great music score tune made by John Carpenter him self so original is a classic. The remake is an action film that revolves around the same plot but doesn't imitates or copy's the original the film has his own story and the plot original and not the copy of Carpenter's classic film.

Starring: Ethan Hawke from my favorite film Mystery Date, Training Day and The Purge and yes I loved him as Sgt. Jake Roenick he was excellent. Laurence Fishburne from The Matrix trilogy and CSI Season 9 - 11 and John Wick 2 was excellent as Marion Bishop as the crime lord you also have a solid excellent cast like are: Gabriel Byrne from End of Days is in here playing another bad guy, Maria Bello, Drea de Matteo from Joey she is one hot sex babe in here, John Leguizamo from Miami Vice is in here, Brian Dennehy from First Blood is in here he is excellent! And of course rapper Ja Rule is also in here.

In the original was a street gang as the evil bad guys in here they are corrupt cops and I love it! The movie is filled with great action you have nice exciting shootouts. The effect practical and real I think it was a little used CGI but practical effects weren't that bad in my opinion. It is not a bad movie it is still not closer to the original but on it's own it is a terrific action film.

Jean Richet's remake of the Carpenter thriller Assault on Precinct 13 is surprisingly entertaining. Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) tells the story of a remote, run-down police precinct under assault using more conventional cinematography and production. This is an achievement, but not because of the difficulty of following in the footsteps of Carpenter - because the film entertains without doing so, and because the narrative - just like all of Carpenter's films- manages to keep going without regard for the improbability of the plot. In other words, the Director kept a straight face and made the film entertaining enough to allow for a certain amount of suspended disbelief.

The action is typical for the genre as of 2005 everyone in the police station doesn't live and survive. You have cops and prisoners who have to work together and defend them self's against a corrupt cops who doesn't want let live anyone alive.

A police sergeant must rally the cops and prisoners together to protect themselves on New Year's Eve, just as corrupt policeman surround the station with the intent of killing all to keep their deception in the ranks.

The movie is entertainment fast paced with excellent cast and well-constructed and well executed. This movie is MILES way better then 2005 The Fog remake that sucked a horse sh** dick and it was also remade from John Carpenter's classic The Fog horror movie.

I also love that the movie is set in the New Year eve, I love the setting in this film. I love that we have a huge snowstorm I love that in action films that's what makes this movie so well done and well executed. Well paced action flick. The only action film that had a snowstorm on the movie and set on Christmas Eve was Die Hard 2 the only one and this one they are the only ones, that were well done executed in my opinion.

The score get's B 8/10 well executed movie the action, entertainment, action, practical effects and good well shootouts. I also own this movie on Blu-ray disc and the DVD weird right.

Assault on Precinct 13 is a 2005 French-American action thriller film directed by Jean-François Richet, starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne. The cast also includes John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule and Drea de Matteo. It is a loose remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film of the same name, with an updated plot.

7/10 Grade: B Studio: Rogue Pictures Starring: Ethan Hawk, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule, Drea de Matteo, Brian Dennehy, Gabriel Byrne Director: Jean-Francois Richet Producers: Pascal Caucheteux, Jeffrey Silver, Stephane Sperry Witter: James DeMonaco Based on Assault on Precinct 13 written by John Carpenter Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hrs. 49 Mins. Budget: $20.000.000 Box Office: $19,976,073
Not a vanilla twist in sight.....
An update of the Carpenter classic, which itself was an update of Rio Bravo, the film is slightly different, this has more to do with police corruption, rather than a gang getting revenge.

It's a slightly different film for Hawke to be in, he must have been funding something, but he really excels in this movie.

There is some sort of back story involving Hawke and a NARC style opening, but that just sets the mood for the rest of the film, showing that Hawkes Character is weak, thus making the group vulnerable.

Then we have Fishburne as the 'bad' guy. He is all swagger in this and very little else. It's as if he's saying 'I was just in three of the biggest science fiction films of the last ten years which were not Star Wars and don't you forget it!!!'.

Byrne is wasted, looking moody and cold. Th rest of the cast are okay, especially Bello, who does convince as a 'shrink'.

But what is most striking about the film is how brutal and relentless the film is. No one is safe, and the director doesn't flinch when disposing of characters (Bello the most significant), and this makes the film a little more urgent.

It's nothing special, not a patch on the original, and Fishbourne becomes annoying toward the end, but for a little standalone action movie, it passes the time, and the brutality makes it deeply unsettling.
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