Assault on Precinct 13


If there is nothing left at the video store, you might be able to sit through "Assault on Precinct 13" for an hour and a half. It is an excuse for some fairly high profile actors to come together for another ridiculous action shooter. Good teams with bad to do battle with the really bad guys.

      Although it takes almost 45 minutes for the action to start, the plot is really well set-up with great back-stories and sub-plots of these well developed characters. Since this is type and not spoken, I must be clear that that last statement was completely smothered in sarcasm. It is the most "who the hell cares" type of story I have seen in a long time. The psychologist and the burned out cop in the same room with the veteran retiree cop and the criminals; all battling the criminal element that surrounds the building? Though a genius script-writer might be able to make this work (although never should've put it down on paper in the first place), writer John Carpenter fails miserably. Let's face it, Hollywood needed to make another shoot-em-up for the Christmas season (2004), so they decided to re-make an old "favorite."

      So, besides the stupid relationships that the movie is trying to establish, there is also a battle raging. A last stand, lost hope battle full of infighting and stupidity. The only people that will win this battle though, are the box-office personnel, and the losers are the audience members.

Ethan Hawke is good... but
just not good enough
      Ethan Hawke and Lawrence Fishburne do their best to bring us into the story and they almost succeed, but in the end, the effort fails, and we just don't care. The best scene in the film is the first ten minutes, which actually takes place 8 months before the rest of the events of the film. In the director/producer commentary on the DVD, they mention that they tried really hard to make this scene different from the rest of the film. Well, they succeeded. It really got my hopes up for a great, gritty action/drama that utilizes the full potential of Ethan Hawke. The rest of the film basically (I know it's not usual for a reviewer to use this word, but...) sucks.... BANG BANG! "What the hell do we do now?" BBBBBBBbbbbbbBANG BANG BANG! "Holy f**kin' s**t!" BANG BANG!... and you get the idea. It is violent as hell and full of swearing. Not that is always a bad thing. I love violence and swearing, but used appropriately; and in this case, it is so pointless and dull.

      I pretty much figured out what was going to happen anyway, so why don't they just cut to the chase so to speak. I knew which characters were going to die the minute they appeared on screen for the first time. I also figured out who the bad guy was that you're not supposed to know is a bad guy. Normally (in fact never) I would never give something like that away, but trust me, if you have an IQ over 13, you'll figure it out too. And if not, and you're now pissed at me for giving away a huge secret in a movie and won't see it now, believe me, I did you a favor. The bottom line is, if you see Precinct 13 in the distance, drive waaaay around it.









drewbacca@moviepatron.com



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