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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.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 852x356 px 1265 Mb h.264 1500 Kbps flv Download
iPhone 480x200 px 517 Mb xvid 600 Kbps mov Download
Generic but Enjoyable
On a snowy New Year'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.

The original was a pretty good film so I'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 Yes, it was a little outdated but the film still worked fine.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't that good of an actor. However, this update turned out to be a decent film. It doesn't approach the original in quality but at least it doesn't insult the original either. They do change some things from the original though that didn't really bother me. Actually, it'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.

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'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.

Jean-François 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't really that long. There is also little character development so it'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's worth checking out. Rating 6/10
Solid if unspectacular...
Assault on Precinct 13 has some pretty cool, if not big, boots to fill. And I thought it filled them pretty damn well. The film strips away most unnecessary exposition and ploughs straight into the action. There is an admirable lack of sentimentality about the characters and about the way in which they are picked off. The casting is key in this film and whilst Gabriel Byrne is under-used (and subsequently looks uninterested) it's nice to see familiar faces like Brian Dennehy and Drea De Matteo (Adriana from The Sopranos) get substantial roles. The action rolls along at a fair lick and despite a small lull about an hour in the tension is kept up. Special mention goes to Laurence Fishburne who seems to grow in stature through the course of the film.
Another pointless remake
Pointless remakes seem to be the order of the day. Right now it's mostly old and worn-out horror movies that turn into remakes, but there are also other "classics" that are being tainted by this fad. "Attack on precinct 13" is one of those, and as most other remakes it's completely pointless.

It seems the creativity has completely disappeared from Hollywood. How else could i interpret these remakes and their complete lack of new ideas. Sure the concept here is not exactly the same as in the original movie, in fact the original movie's concept was better, but that aside this is the same crap we've seen already. "Attack on precinct 13" from 1976 was not a very good movie in my opinion, like most Carpenter-movies i think it lacked style and proper directing, but what it did have was a fresh idea. This movie also lacks style, proper directing and (also) decent action scenes - but most of all a fresh idea! If i would disregard that the fact that this movie is a remake it would still be poor. Ethan Hawke is a decent actor at his best, but the whole "jaded hard-ass cop" just doesn't work for him. He simply looks and acts too much like a sissy. Fishburne is usually not bad either but here he's degraded into some sort of lame Morpheus-ripoff. Gabriel Byrne on the other hand is completely wasted in a small and insignificant part. Everyone else is awful. But what bothered me more than the acting was the complete lack of suspense and decent action-scenes. Everybody fires guns constantly as though THAT would create good action scenes. The guns sound muffled and they seem to be loaded with blanks since despite hundreds of bullets fired nobody hits anything at all.

Crappy story (worse than the original!), lame action-scenes, bad casting, poor directing... The reasons why this movie is a failure are many. This is just wrong on so many levels. It's time to stop with the remakes and start with the fresh thinking. Or, for gods sake: if you're going to do a remake then try to improve on the original! This is just weak. 3/10.
Generic Assault on Generic characters
Assault on Precinct 13 starts like a commercial, plays like a formula action flick, and ends in the key of clichés. The, ahem, commercial advertises the problems of our hero so his archetype character can complete his arc, but other than that serves no purpose plot-wise. Unfortunately, I really didn't care for the rhythm set up by the editing, nor the shaky hand-held camera-work throughout the ensuing chase sequence. So, I got off to a bad start with the film. The idea was nifty and worth experimenting with, I'll give it that, but I think it should ultimately have been left on the cutting room floor, finding an alternate, more provocative, means of communicating Jake's source of psychological distress.

Fans of Carpenter know the premise comes not only from the original Assault, but that Carpenter himself ripped the premise from Howard Hawks. The fort (precinct) is under siege. The new film accounts for the updates in technology in an obligatory scene where all is rendered useless, taking us back to square one. Don't ya just love how advancements in technology get us nowhere in these films? The means of storming the Precinct has been updated for modern audiences, but everything else feels like carbon copies of the classical story/character templates. This is what bothers me.

It's the age-old song and dance for characters, a loudmouth wanna-be juxtaposed to a cool and calm badass, paranoid disobedient subordinate juxtaposed to a reluctant hero, damsel in distress, and so on, and so forth. All this seems to yield the same tried-and-true internal confrontations, for example the irritatingly drawn out standoff sequence midway through the film which follows the standoff screenplay rules step by step (side note: once, just once, I'd like to see everyone die right then and there).

The same tried-and-true suspicious moment comes precisely on schedule, leading all the characters on a hunt for the unnamed traitor that the audience naturally figures out on their own. Followed by the obligatory capture scene, followed by the obligatory escape scene, followed by the obligatory hunt for the main villain, followed by the obligatory tried and true final confrontation.

To my relief, however, I found Gabriel Byrne rise above the material and breath life into one of the archetypes (despite how hard the film tried to treat him like another template). I found myself yearning for the film to return to his point of view, and not pigeon hole Byrne's performance into a mostly-off screen mastermind villain. Guess what happened? Oh well, I have to admit that as a stand-alone work, Assault is an above average run through the action movie motions despite how negative this review may appear. The film is not Die Hard, but neither is it Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever. And read carefully to observe that it's not that Assault does a bad job doing what it sets out to do (thank you John Leguizamo and Lawrence Fishburne for keeping things tolerable). The movie does a pretty good job delivering the goods. My problem (and this is -my- problem and not the film's) is that I find myself wishing against everything I know to be true in Hollywood for films with potential like Assault on Precinct 13 to set out with more ambition.

And I'll close with an obligatory comparison to Carpenter's Assault: the Richet version is more polished with production values that leave Carpenter's little film in the dust; the script is more fleshed out with more information, motivation, development taking place; the pacing is overall faster and definitely tighter in the action sequences; and one could argue that the premise is a little more believable. However, the thing that attracts me to Carpenter's original is the low budget feel, slow quirky pacing, and naivety of a young screenwriter that shows through in the script.

In the end, I don't feel like this big-budget brother to the original really gained anything; however, the new Assault did lose the classic John Carpenter vibe. And that, friends, is the difference between a rental and a purchase in my book.
Adequate Thriller.
Lacking the slightly surreal and spooky touch of John Carpenter, this remake of his tense psychological horror movie - which owed a great deal to Hitchcock's 'The Birds' - offers a more formulaic presentation.

Unlike Carpenter's anonymous assassins, who stalk and kill without any apparently logical motive (like birds, or in his case, more aptly - zombies) we are soon introduced to the besiegers and their motive.

This remake borrows a number of plot-threads from the original, when there was really no need. And one can't help but feel that the similarity has more to do with lack of imagination than 'homage' to an earlier work. Once again we have a Precinct 13 that is apparently closing down. This time it's New Year's Eve, decanting a tincture of 'Die Hard 2' into the prescription. Also again, a bus of bad guys takes refuge there for the night. Carpenter made one of them ill, here they just shelter from a snowstorm.

Roles are reversed. Now, a white cop - played by Ethan Hawke - runs the show. And the criminal turned deputy is a black guy played by the ever reliable Larry Fishburne who arrives on the bus (and hasn't he piled on the pounds?). Fishburne's character has been cutting crooked deals with cops and now means to grass 'em up in order to save his own skin. The head of the bent cops is played by excellent Gabriel Byrne, and he means to silence him come what may.

So; a further - and rather improbable - twist to the story is that the attackers are police.

The movie takes forever to get started. And this was a complaint I had about the original. To be fair; Carpenter had more threads to tie-in, including a lost father and daughter, and an itinerant ice-cream man all deleted from this remake. Frankly; the dithering preamble intended to fill-out its characters before the bus arrives gets plain boring at times. There is some very clichéd commentary and evaluation. I often found myself willing it on before the real action started. Brian Dehenny is always reliable, but here his role looks contrived. And, in truth, he's really just included as a trusted-workmate-turned-traitor character, and sleep-walks his part with tiresome bigoted comments.

When the action finally kicks-off, the movie comes into its own. There is plenty of tension throughout. The siege is less one-sided than the original as regards weapons, and is more of a regular shoot-out than Carpenter's creepy and enigmatic emphasis on silenced firearms. The two directorial styles are well contrasted.

The defenders set fire to the station (something I would have done in the original) and 'escape' down the drain. But it's evident that they've only gone a couple of hundred yards underground and must still be in enemy territory when they surface. Which they are. When caught, we have the usual clichéd explanations and ceremony instead of just killing outright, thus allowing the goodies to steal an advantage. Dr Evil's son griped about this kind of pantomime in - I think - 'The Spy Who Shagged Me'.

The baddies all get their come-uppance. Fishburne's character wanders off clutching a bullet wound. And law 'n' order are restored.

It's an adequate and slick little thriller with a cast of competent and recognisable leads. They act well, and the script mostly passes muster. Music, sound-score, cinematography and editing are all likewise competent. And that said; it has no stand-out qualities to remember. It's like so many others: a formula thriller.

Just compare the theme and incidental 'musak' of this remake with the sly, unnerving soundtrack which Carpenter himself composed for his original. No contest.
A nuisance
Why remake the original "Assault"? To my mind "Assault" was Carpenter's true masterpiece. It had all the elements good Carpenter movies contain. External threat on a small group of individuals. People taking the challenge because they are forced to do so. Isolation! Just remember, the guns in Carpenter's original made no sound, being thus a lot more threatening than conventional devices. And now this remake. Concentrating on "main character I"s psychology and on his relation to main character II (the evil but honorable). The anonymous threat in the Carpenter movie replaced by a rather conventional conspiracy/corruption background. The "remakers" just didn't understand the main plot of the original. And thus produced something pretty ordinary.
Assault on your brain - Beyond DUMB
Assault on Precinct 13 is the absolute dumbest film I've seen since Charlie's Angels 2. The shame lies in the fact that they had a good cast and a good premise to work with.

SPOILERS ............................................................. I know they've said this movie is a remake descendant of Rio Bravo but did the writers of this film actually watch Rio Bravo? Besides the fact that Rio Bravo is a western classic, the premise of the film was that the sheriff (John Wayne) had to keep a prisoner accused of murder from being liberated by his brother and his gang. No one wants to liberate anyone in Assault on Precinct 13. They want EVERYONE dead. So, my first question would have to be, WHY NOT JUST BURN THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN FROM THE START? Why "assault" the place at all? I know the contrived plot turn was suppose to be clever and shocking but it didn't make sense and/or was presented properly. If the veteran cop was in on it from the start, why the need for this whole movie? If the veteran cop suddenly cut a deal at the back door during the siege, how did he even get the chance? As soon as he appeared at the door he would've been shot and they would've had their entry point. It's all just FUBAR.

What part of any city can an all out war take place at a police precinct (complete with helicopters and massive explosions) but no one notices?? However, as soon as there's a fire they have to "leave before the fire department shows up"?????? How did they plan to cover up the chaos that was happening outside?? Police issue bullets in the walls, bullet casings, footprints, equipment usage, and the fact that there were going to be no bodies of "Bishop's men" to be found? How about those police snipers? How could they possibly miss so badly so often? I like the fact that when the two detainees tried to run, the snipers were foiled by two tiny mounds of snow. As if it's not possible to shoot a high powered riffle through a pile of snow.

The set up was interesting although ridiculous but the movie just went off a cliff when they decided to kill that particular character with a bullet to the head for absolutely NO REASON at all. I know the makers of the film were going for shock but all they got was disgust at the cruelty and the anger of the audience. Don't you think that part of the reason why this thing is bombing at the box office is the fact that word of mouth has everyone telling friends and family to stay away from this one? That particular scene has to be a big part of that word of mouth (that and the fact that every plot turn is dumber then dirt). The conclusion remains steadily stupid as the villain pauses to deliver an Austin Powers-like diatribe instead of killing the helpless people who he has finally captured. I know several people have mentioned the closing scenes that take place in the woods of Detroit city (>snicker<) but why did Ethan's character just wander off in to the woods in the first place? He doesn't even look to see if the SUV with the secretary and his friend gets away? They just cut to him prowling slowly in the woods, pistol in hand. GACK. I could go on but won't. All I can say is that you want to avoid this stupidity at all cost.
Assault on Logic
This is one remake that we really didn't need. The original, as dated as it is, could be considered the movie that made John Carpenter's career. The original, made in 1976, is not a bad movie, if you surrender yourself to Carpenter's synthesizer stylings and a plot line that defies logic. A gang of bad guys leads an assault on a police precinct, turning the whole precinct into a war zone for one night. The main problem with doing a remake of this story is that it was a difficult concept to believe in 1976, and there have been quite a few technological advances in the last thirty years. Unless they were going to do this as a period piece, it's just not the kind of story that you can do in the age of high-speed internet, PDAs, cell phones and laptop computers.

The filmmakers' solution to this was to have the whole thing take place on New Year's Eve and also to build into the plot the fact that the cops in the doomed precinct are getting ready to move to a new precinct. If that sounds like flimsy logic to you, raise your hand. So what we are treated to in the first 10 minutes of the movie are a lot of really painful scenes of exposition where characters say things like, "Seeing as how it's New Year's Eve, and I've shut down all the computers and the phone lines are down, we might as well get drunk!"

The set-up is difficult to believe, and it's almost as if the actors all know it. It's really painful to watch actors like Gabriel Byrne, Lawrence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke and John Leguiziamo struggling through this ridiculous garbage. If you can survive this Assualt on Logic, and you can suspend your disbelief in spite of overwhelming odds, you'll get to see the bad guys attack the precinct. From there, it's one long, continuous shoot-out. It is, of course, interspersed with scenes where we find out that some of the cops in the precinct are not entirely good, and some of the criminals are not entirely bad. What's most amazing is that EVERYONE in the movie gets shot right between the eyes. I'm not even kidding. Every single character gets shot right in the forehead, whether it's by close range or by sniper rifle. Admittedly, I don't know too much about shooting people, but it seems like the odds of everyone getting shot right between the eyes are a bit of a longshot. Ah well, it gave the director plenty of opportunity to show actors staring off into space with a tiny red hole in their forehead. Maybe the director was trying to make a statement.

On the whole, the production values are good and the cinematography isn't bad. It's just a completely ridiculous scenario, badly executed with dialog that would get cut from the worst soap opera. The actors, talented as most of them are, seem to know that they've signed on to be in a turkey, so they turn in performances that feel stale and uninspired. In the end, you just have to wonder if we really needed a remake of this movie, especially when it turned out to be so much worse than the original.
How to start your New Year? With a good action movie
On New Year's Eve In Detroit police manage to catch Bishop, a dangerous gangster which is known to kill a cop. He is transferred to a maximum security prison but due to storms are forced to stop in section 13 who is Chief Jake who manages to overcome a difficult moment when a few months ago in a mission because of his wrong orders a few people were killed. At this point he and his team are obliged to take the detainees in cells but inside are appearing a few masked mans and cops think it is Bishop 's friends who came to get him out of there but later learn that they are some cops actually who wants the gangster dead because it holds some valuable information about them and that might incriminate the dirty cops if they are disclosed. Now Jake is forced to ally with the prisoners to keep up and prevent them from reaching Bishop but occurs a few unexpected surprises.

A film which action is not absent, has a good dose of mystery and good performances from Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne. It should not be missed.
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