Assault on Precinct 13 Cover New Years Eve is normally such a hopeful time of the year. It is a time where people of all races, colours, and creeds, yearn for a promising new start with the end of an old year. However, there are a few select people whom have an alternate way of thinking about this, such as Director: Jean-Francois Richet; and Actors: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, and Gabriel Byrne – especially in 2005 and for 109 minutes.

Assault on Precinct 13

THE STORY: New Years Eve is a somewhat strained time for Sergeant Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke). For a start, he is analysed by his physiatrist, Doctor Alex Sabian (Matria Bello). Next, he attends a party at his decommissioned station-house, hosted by his two work-colleges, Iris Ferry (Drea de Matteo) and Sgt. Jasper O'Shea (Brian Dennehy). And in addition to this, he is also forced to house cop-killer, Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne), plus three other felons, due to adverse weather conditions whilst they were in transit.

However, things get an awful lot worse for Jake and his cop-brethren, once New Years day comes tumbling around. How so? Well, masked saboteurs attack his station-house with the intent of killing Bishop. And even though Jake and his allies do eventually fend them off, in so doing, he finds out that these men are in the employ of crocked cop, Marcus Duvall (Gabriel Byne), whom at one time was in league with Bishop.

And Marcus wants Bishop dead.

So what does Jake do about this turn of event? As his stationhouse is being prevented from calling for outside assistance, and also, this lo-cal quickly becomes surrounded by Marcus’ men whom prudently attack it. Does he panic? Hide? Defend everyone within? Yes – yes – and yes, whilst reluctantly allying himself with Bishop and the felons, with the intent of preserving there lives and then getting themselves out of this mess. 

Thankfully, over time, another work college suddenly arrives at the stationhouse, Officer Kevin Capra (Matt Craven) – an entrance that Jake uses to try to turn the tide of battle with a ploy of his own. Whilst this is happening though – unbeknownst to Jake – two of the felons also use this time to escape as well.

Still, does anybody succeed in there endeavors? Errr – afraid not – thus signalling an endgame to end all endgames.

What then transpires is long, arduous, and revealing – as a stationhouse falls – bullets fly – ploys are laid to rest – and nobody survives from this siege unscathed.


Did you know that some people think that I look like Ethan Hawk, especially just after I have eaten a chocolate cake and the fibrous choco-residue sticks to the lower regions of my face? True story – I remember when this film first came out, people would look at me and shout out ‘Jake’ – as if this meant something to me. But I have to confess – at the time – I though that they was referring to the Jack Nicholson directed film 'The Two Jakes' because I do resemble a young Harvey Keitel as well.

Still, this little tale has nothing to do with this remake of a John Carpenter classic, 'Assault on Precinct 13', except that it initially made think of one thing, whilst after the fact it made me think of something else.

Ethan in Assault on Precinct 13

You see, what I mean by this remark, is that when I first heard that some funny named git, named Jean-Francois Richet, was going to do a remake of a classic film, I sighed to myself disparagingly under my breath, before I then mumbled a phrase that rhymed with 'clucking bell'. But then, when I actually sat down to watch this film, I used exactly the same phrase, but in a more positive tone – AS IT WAS GREAT!

Great in a way that I never though some funny named git, would have been able to remake a classic film.

Laurence and The Sexy One in Assault on Precinct 13

For a start, this remake takes the same premise as the original film – siege in a police station – and then garnishes it with character, plot, and spice, thus making it a commodity in its own right. All the actors involved really help with this too, as they are able to tell you who they are and what they are all about within the short amount of time they had. Ethan: cop down on his luck – Drea: Horney secretary – Brian: Surly Sergeant – Gabriel: Ganger git – Lawrence: Sage like criminal – and the rest: characters in a can.

Now this facet is expressed perfectly in my favorite segment of this film – where the crooks and the cops have to join forces so that they can get themselves out of this situation. Granted, it is a play it by number section of the film, but it is in the execution that makes it so great. The character – the dynamics – the interplay – and the overall ambiance that this section held – it was just fun-fun-fun all the way through.

Heck, I would have to say that I would have preferred more of this.

The Cast of Assault on Precinct 13

Unfortunately, though, there are a couple of ‘snags’ to this film, which can grate on occasion as well. Firstly, the whole love interest thing between Ethan’s and Maria’s character – well, it does not really work within the confines of this film, it wasn’t fully developed. Secondly, the end of this film did drag on for a bit too long – as after a while I just wanted everyone to kill each other and then be done with it. Thirdly, I would have liked to have seen more of Gabriel in this film – OK, we was imposing, but not as imposing as I would have liked. And fourthly, where in the world do you find hot women in a police station like Maria and Drea? Sorry, I don’t want to sound like a git or anything, but at times there beauty was a mite distracting, and I started to wonder what crime I could commit just to see if women like them do exist in the police world - so far, they haven't. 

Overall, 'Assault on Precinct 13' is a ready great action film to watch. It’s captivating – it’s compelling – and it pays homage to a film that came before it. So if you would like to see a remake done properly – in the same vein as ‘The Departed’ – then this is defiantly a crime thriller for you.

Classic remake – great cast – distractingly pretty.


ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 Reviewed by David Andrews on September 27, 2011 Rating: 5
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