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Assault On Precinct 13 Movie Review

“No offense…I’m pretty perturbed about this, we’re closing down and short-staffed,” ~Roenick.

“We can’t send them back into the storm,” ~O’Shea.

“O.K… O.K., but they’re your responsibility I don’t want to hear about them or from them…” ~Roenick.

Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) was an undercover officer when things went horribly wrong on a “routine” undercover operation. He is shot in the leg and two of his partners are killed in the drug deal. Fast forward eight months later and we find Roenick popping pain killers. He is now a sergeant working on a small town police force in Detroit, on the New Year’s Eve late shift. The station is celebrating its final New Year’s Eve since its set to permanently close down.

It’s almost holiday party time and a blinding snow storm has caused accidents and shut down travel. So sets the stage for a night of action and terror.
A major accident causes a police bus full of prisoners to stop at the small precinct and unload their cast of criminal characters. The prisoners include: Beck (John Leguizamo), the obligatory female gang-banger (Aisha Hinds) and Smiley, the counterfeiter (Ja Rule). Also on the bus is super-criminal, cop-killing Bishop (played by Laurence Fishburne who can play a criminal to perfection).

The station is manned by a skeleton crew that night including Roenick, old-school about to retire cop O'Shea (played by Brian Dennehy as only he can), the station’s hot secretary, Iris (played by Madonna look alike, Drea de Matteo). Roenick’s therapist Alex Sabian (Maria Bello). Alex pays a visit and leaves, but unfortunately for her, the weather drives her back to the station so she joins the ill-fated, partying crew to celebrate the New Year.

All is quiet, until shortly after midnight when the bad guys (or are they?) infiltrate the building. Gun fire erupts and the motley crew passes the night trying to survive the assault on precinct 13. Suddenly Roenick, who never wanted to make decisions again, spends a violent evening having to make decisions which could mean the life or death of everyone in the building – staff and prisoners. The whole night is a game of good cop – bad cop, but which is which?

Overall it’s a good movie. Hawke does a credible job in the role of a burnt-out cop. Viewers will have fun finding the “goof” in the movie. For example, pay attention to the many aerial shots they like to show of the building and watch what happens to the area at the end of the movie. One problem with the movie is the lack of real character development so it’s hard to become emotionally tied to any of the characters.

I rate this movie a 3 out of 4 stars.

Rating: R – The movies contains a lot of violence, strong language on suggestive situations.

Runtime: 109 min
Director: Jean-François Richet
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama



This DVD is part of my personal action movie collection.

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