Film review: Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

Assault on Precinct 13
Rogue Pictures, Why Not Productions, Liason Films, Biscayne Pictures

STARRING Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Maria Bello, Ja Rule, Drea de Matteo, Brian Dennehy, Gabriel Byrne
WRITTEN BY James DeMonaco, John Carpenter (1976 screenplay)
PRODUCED BY Pascal Caucheteux, Jeffrey Silver, Stephane Sperry
DIRECTED BY Jean-Francois Richet

SHOT BY Robert Gantz
EDITED BY Bill Pankow
MUSIC BY Graeme Revell

Screened on 2005-05-25

Precinct 13 is ready to be shut down forever, but on this particular New Year’s Eve Gabriel Byrne and his band of corrupt cops have a voice to silence within 13’s walls, and all who pay witness must be taken out. Thus the battle begins between inside and out, and cop Ethan Hawke must unite with prisoner Laurence Fishburne and the few other prisoners inside to survive the attack, with occasional help from civilians Maria Bello and Drea De Matteo. The best performance comes out of Gabriel Byrne, evil super-cop who quickly sets himself to get the job done despite the innocent lives the task will require. Fishburne continues to give his somewhat droll Matrix-inspired attempt at perfect control. The acting and the roles themselves of Drea De Matteo and Maria Bello are easily forgettable. Even helmer Hawke is in distinctly low form.

Altogether, the film offers nothing new. It’s your typical guns vs guns story, and as usual the audience’s only task is to determine the order in which the secondary characters will be picked off. What the film lacks in Carpenter’s original direction and scoring is made up for by…well, by nothing, this is a pretty typical action film.

written by David Ashley