3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The 2005 Assault on Precinct 13 is an above-average remake, an efficient Saturday Night Special that never quite gets the adrenaline pumping in the action scenes as much as it could but doesn't trash memories of Carpenter's no-budget classic as much as expected. If anything, the template here is more a scaled down Die Hard 2 minus the planes, even going so far as to borrow both central plot twist and one of the more memorable killings. Ethan Hawke is in Tom Cruise-lite mode - all the focused self-righteous concentration with none of the Scientology - and Laurence Fishbourne offers a smooth update of Darwin Joston's cool criminal but Maria Bello is wasted in a nothing role that exists solely to serve Hawke's redemption backstory. There are a couple of neat new plot twists and one unexpected killing, but mostly this delivers familiar genre thrills with a comforting lack of originality. It's certainly more effective than the French near-remake Nid De Guepes/The Nest.
The DVD extras, like the film, are satisfying without being particularly outstanding, though it's a shame the trailer isn't included.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2014
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. The 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2009
!!!WARNING-MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!
In 1976, John Carpenter made the original version of this film. It was a masterpiece in sustained tension, a modern day western with brilliant performances from a largely unknown cast.
This remake does contain enough original elements to make it an entertaing film in its own right. For example its the cops trying to get in the Precinct this time in order to silence suave crime lord Marion Bishop(Laurence Fishburne, before he testifies against them. The performances are generally good. I wasnt sure of Ethan Hawke as the hero cop, but he won me over in the end. The film really belongs to Fishburne who is excellent as the urbane Bishop.
What is missing is the clinging claustrophobic mood of the original, and its really just a seies of elaborately staged set pieces. A decent enough effort, doesnt hold a candle to the original. 3 out of 5
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2005
I loved the original AP13 directed, written, scored, edited and lord knows what else by John Carpenter. When I first heard about the remake of this and Ethan Hawke was going to be in it I was quite excited because Hawke had done such an amazing job in Training Day. He makes a great leader of the police and criminals. The storyline though is a lot more complex than the original film but it is still as good as. There are some real shocks and "wow didn't see that coming" moments. Plus the occasional laughing moment. Try and spot the guy who played the cop in the original, he's in there somewhere. A must buy if you liked the original.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A remake of a film rightly regarded as a classic. This is a by the book remake with the exceptions that the bad guys are crooked cops and the lead characters have their names switched around (this time the prisoner is called Bishop).
So, precinct closing down - prison bus stops for shelter from weather, precinct laid under siege from bad cops trying to kill one of the prisoners. The rest is very close to the original, some scenes are almost duplicated.
This actually does not add anything to the original and as such seems a little pointless. If you are going to re-make a classic or cult film then it has to offer more then this one does. The original may be a little dated, but it was tense and tight filmmaking, this is a lazy and flash attempt to cash in.
on 7 August 2015
SPOILER WARNING, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
This is a very loose 2005 remake of John Carpenter's classic “Assault on Precinct 13”. In the new version, the isolated police station is attacked by rogue cops who want to eliminate a potentially dangerous witness, the arrested gangster Marion Bishop. Of course, they have to kill everyone else, too, to cover their tracks. The officer in charge of the precinct, Jake Roenick, is a psychiatric basket case. He is forced to seek Bishop's help against the intruders. Roenick's shrink, a secretary, a motley assortment of petty criminals and a few good cops volunteer to help. Together, this unlikely band of brothers and sisters manage to fend off the attackers, give or take a few plot twists.
I admit that I liked “Assault on Precinct 13”. I don't usually watch action/cop films of this sort, but there was something appealing about the idea of a broad underdog alliance taking on the bad guys who (surprise) turn out to be establishment figures. In the original version, the attackers were gang members á la underclass. It would be interesting to speculate about why the two versions are so different on this crucial point...
Marion Bishop is starred by Laurence Fishburne from “The Matrix”. Perhaps I'm only imagining things, but some of the scenes did remind me of “The Matrix”. Even the music sounds Matrix-like at one point. An in-house nod to fans of red pills?
Four stars for the entertainment and the slight whiff of Matrix revolutions!
Whilst it cannot hope to capture the magic of that iconic classic, it does an excellent job with regards to action and thrills. Ethan Hawke is good but his character doesn't posess the same gravitas as that of Austin Stoker in the lawman role. Lawrence Fishburne on the other hand, has a more comfortable time slipping into the sizeable shoes of the criminal originally played by Darwin Joston. When a armed group lay siege to a lonely police station this unlikely pair team up to fight back alongside a handful of civilians and petty crooks. The remake provides more back story than the original but it's superfluous to the high octane action. Significant parts have been changed, the reason for the assault is entirely different and it doesn't bother with any social commentary. It's less of a remake and more a homage. Sill decent though.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2006
I only just about remember watching the original film years ago. It was a hard hitting,gritty,violent film that probably shocked quite a few and is regarded a cult classic. This is more a modern day remake with an MTV make-over. With a strong all star cast including Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Bryne, Maria Bello, Brian Dennehy and even rapper Ja Rule pops up, to mention a few!
It's an ok action film probably enjoyed more by those who haven't seen the original, otherwise you compare the two and already know what will happen. The violence is turned down, only a 15 to reach a wider audience maybe? Not a classic, but not a bad film and definatelyworth checking out. It has some good action scenes, well acted and overall a film that will entertain if you don't over analyse it with the original. 6/10
on 25 August 2014
There are not many movies that surpass the original,but this does,its as exciting as the original if not,more so,slight difference to the original story,but bullets fly and action abound,its like "die Hard" in a police station,with plenty of familiar faces not to mention Brian Denahey from "first blood",playing what he plays best??.Lots of twists,double crosses and surprises,this is good all round action and entertainment and probably one of the best action movies in the last 20 years.
on 27 July 2014
The best thing you can say about this remake is that for the most part it is its own film, just using John Carpenter's 1976 classic as a blank canvas.
Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne are never that convincing enough for us to care about them,and the whole film whilst done quite well is a bit of a drag. There are some nice plot twists but the climax is too over the top and not believable at all. For an action film there is a lack of it. Ok remake in a decade full of them.