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Rated R; running time of 110 minutes
Written by: James DeMonaco, based on the film by John Carpenter
Directed by: Jean-François Richet
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Maria Bello, Brian Dennehy, Gabriel Byrne, John Leguizamo, Drea de Matteo, Jeffrey 'Ja Rule' Atkins, Aisha Hinds, Matt Craven, Currie Graham
WARNING- SPOILERS BELOW.
It’s December 31st and Precinct 13 is seeing its last day. Apparently it’s cheaper to close it rather than upgrade it. Due to the impending closure, it is working on a skeleton crew - Sgt. Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) a former undercover drug cop who is burned out after a bust goes wrong; Old School Jasper O'Shea (Brian Dennehy) who is happily retiring; Iris (Drea de Matteo) the lusty and lustful secretary; the desk SGT: and Jake's job appointed shrink Dr. Alex Sabian (Maria Bello ) who due to car troubles happens to just be there. As they prepare to ring in the New Year, some visitors interrupt them.
A prison bus that is transport prisoners has to pull over due to the weather. The closest police station is precinct 13. It wouldn’t be so bad if one of the prisoners wasn’t Bishop (Laurence Fishburne). Bishop is notorious drug kingpin, who has an air of mystery about him. Also in the van are; Beck (John Leguizamo), Anna (Aisha Hinds), and Smiley (Ja Rule).Before the night is over more visitors arrive, but these new folks are not nice people. These intruders are armed to the teeth and it is first thought that they are there to rescue Bishop no matter what the cost, but it is quickly becomes apparent that they don’t want to rescue him, they want to kill him.
Because Jake is a by the book guy, Bishop is worthy of his protection so long as he is in his custody, but they are outgunned and out numbered. Can they trust each other enough to help each other live?
Okay y’all know how much I love John Carpenter. Assault on Precinct 13 is a classic and one of his best films. I can honestly say that this movie is worthy of the original. Even though this is a new interpretation, the most important elements are there. Good and Bad joining to fight Very Bad. And while not as tense or suspenseful as the original I still found myself at times on the edge of my seat. I found myself involved in each character, praying and hoping they would survive. Fishburne was super cool - too cool. How he could work on a crossword puzzle one minute and stab you in the neck the next was fun watch. Hawke was convincing as a cop continuing to punish himself for something that was his fault. Leguizamo was a laugh-riot as a strung out “street lawyer”. The only one who didn’t impress was Ja Rule. I hated how he talked in 3rd person.
I would be remiss if I did not mention any of the women. Aisha Hinds (who is cute as a button and TALL in real life) and Drea DeMateo kick ass. Maria Bello is a bundle of neurotic nerves, but that works for her.
In short I really enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed speaking with the cast.
You can read those interviews here:
Fans of John Carpenter should see this without a doubt. For everyone else - this is an interesting (and violent) movie. Worthy of catching at the theater.
Stylish, yet gritty with a super cool Laurence Fishburne.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2005
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