Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) torrent download

Assault on Precinct 13

2005

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

6.3

Synopsis

On New Year's Eve, inside a police station that's about to be closed for good, Officer Jake Roenick must cobble together a force made up of cops and criminals to save themselves from a mob looking to kill mobster Marion Bishop.

Director

Jean-François Richet

Cast

Ethan Hawke
as Sergeant Jake Roenick
Laurence Fishburne
as Marion Bishop
Gabriel Byrne
as Captain Marcus Duvall
Maria Bello
as Dr Alex Sabian
Drea de Matteo
as Iris Ferry
Brian Dennehy
as Sargeant Jasper O'Shea

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BrandtSponseller 7 /10

Nowehere near as good as the original, but worth a viewing

A remake of John Carpenter's superior film of the same title from 1976, Assault on Precinct 13 concerns a siege on a largely abandoned police station, which is related to the presence of a notorious criminal, Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne). It's left up to a ragtag group of police employees and criminals to defend themselves.

I should start by noting that I absolutely love Carpenter's original film. In my view it is one of his best, perfectly capturing the suburban desolation of 1970s Los Angeles, and exquisitely suspenseful and horrifying, even though it's not really a horror film. Despite that, when this remake of Assault on Precinct 13 began, I had high hopes for it. The first scene is well directed, well shot, with excellent dialogue. It turns into an intense action scene at just the right moment, and results in some realistic, gritty deaths. The opening is as good as anything in the Carpenter film.

Unfortunately, Assault on Precinct 13's excellence ended right there. It's not exactly a bad film--I enjoyed it more often than not, but it does have more than its share of flaws. In the end, my rating average out to a 7 out of 10. Recommendable, but with reservations.

The first problem is that director Jean-Francois Richet tries to do too much--too much backstory, too many characters, too many over-the-top characters, too many quick cuts, too much shaky hand-held camera work, too many "big action moves", too many explosions, too many settings, and it's too dark. That the film is often so quickly edited and dark makes it too often difficult to see what's going on in the action scenes. Carpenter's film succeeded by being very taut, economical, sober and logical in its directorial style. Richet tries to one-up the original by forgoing all of those qualities. By the second or third scene, I was fairly confused. Superfluous characters were popping in and out, people were mumbling dialogue, and there was a whole complex backstory being hinted at and not spelled out very well.

The brutal shooting near the beginning of the original film, which sets off the whole sequence of events, was dropped--that thread was completely removed from the film. It was lamentable in that this new Assault loses much of the simple, sensible drive the thread provided, and it was surely a decision based on political correctness. Likewise, Bishop is not allowed to be a clear-cut bad guy here. That saps some of the effectiveness out of his cooperation. In this film, he might be mostly tough talk. The other criminals in the film are either left largely unexplained or guilty of only petty or consensual crimes. I find this kind of political correctness in films reprehensible, although I realize it's primarily a studio decision.

On the positive side, the villains here were cleverly conceived, and their nature makes them much more menacing physically. On the negative side, however, Richet lost the Night of the Living Dead (1968) zombie-like nature of the marauders, which saps suspense from the attacks. The logistics of the defense of the police station and details of their dilemma are not very clearly scripted or staged, either, which doesn't help. Another flaw is that some intruders seem to inexplicably hesitate. Another positive, though, is that Richet's film brings back a few small details, such as the capture of the criminal at the beginning of the film, and a substance addiction in one of the heroes leading to a character transformation, found in Rio Bravo (1959), the film that in conjunction with Night of the Living Dead, was the main inspiration for Carpenter's original film.

Also on the positive side, this Assault has a skilled (and much more well known) cast. Even though Richter occasionally directed them to be a bit too over-the-top, the performances hit many very interesting notes. And a few of the additions to the original film, such as a Mexican standoff and a couple later scenes outside the police station were excellent. The increased firepower here may also be to some viewer's liking.

A viewer less fond of the original, or even unfamiliar with the original, may like Assault better than I did. I may have even liked it better if the original were not so fresh in my memory (I just watched it again it recently--a review is forthcoming). There are enough redeeming aspects for action fans to make it worth at least a rental or a viewing on cable, but approach the film with lowered expectations.

Reviewed by johngammon56 N/A

Waste of talent

I felt this film was very much a missed opportunity. The plot, of a small group in a building being menaced by killers, is a staple of movies, even taking into account Rio Bravo, from which the original Assault film borrowed. Done well, with enough suspense and plot twists, such a story makes a decent, credible movie.

The problem is, this picture comes across as a primer of How Not To make a successful thriller. Not one of the characters, up to and including Ethan Hawke's pill-popping sergeant and Laurence Fishburne's overly literate gangster, is anything other than stereotypical. Dialogue is cliché ridden, often needless, and devoid of humour. There's little tension, just repetitious action, explosions, violence. The producers don't seem to realise that each major character needs their own mini-story to make them interesting to the viewer, and there's very little personality clash apart from the most obvious. Some of it is just not believable even on its own terms: for instance, a professional counsellor would right away put a stop to any flirting on the part of a patient, assuming it to be manipulative behaviour. In keeping with the film's somewhat prepubertal attitudes, there's no romance or sexual tension among the characters – indeed, we're not even sure who the female love interest is.

All of which makes for a rather uninvolving couple of hours, unless you are the kind of viewer who loves stories packed with grenades, guns with red-dot sights, car crashes, smashing windows, bullet stricken foreheads, unexplained helicopters, noise etc – video game movies in fact. Others may feel that, in a good film, in order for such things to be effective they need to be kept to the barest minimum in favour of such low-tech fripperies as character development or suspense. Trouble is the former type of viewer is increasingly becoming the only type of viewer.

Reviewed by michaeljharvey 4 /10

Generic, uninspired interpretation of the original

John Carpenter's 1976 original was a little cheesy and low-budget looking at times, but it was still a very well done film. It was short and to the point. Carpenter knew how to build psychological tension and his vision of a street gang attacking a police station was menacing. The original Precinct 13 also offered social commentary. It was made at a time when Americans were fleeing the inner city due to a proliferation of gang violence the police seemed powerless to control. The original Precinct 13 registered with the American public in much the same way as the Death Wish and Dirty Harry films.

The trouble with the updated 2005 version is it has nothing to say. It's very much a generic Hollywood thriller/action flick. The big-name cast all turn in mediocre performances, trying their best to work with the mundane script and direction. The psychotic street gang has been replaced with crooked cops. The crooked cop aspect is supposed to be an unexpected plot "twist", but it's been done to death and elicited a bored *sigh* from me. Most of the original's psychological tension has been replaced with endless dialog that never seems to go anywhere. In the 1976 version the street gang is mostly seen as faceless shadows in the dark of night. They seem to kill purely for fun, almost like something out of a horror movie. We don't truly understand their motivations, which makes them far more frightening. The updated version gives us way too much information about the crooked cops and they become not nearly as threatening.

Overall, there's a strong feeling of "seen that before" when watching the 2005 version. There's nothing special or unique going on. This isn't a terrible movie, but it doesn't offer any new ideas. It's a classic example of Hollywood playing it safe and winding up with a middle of the road film.

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