Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke, Maria Bello, Gabriel Byrne, Drea de Matteo, Brian Dennehy, Aisha Hinds, Ja Rule, John Leguizamo
Runtime: 109 minutes
Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language and some drug content
Things aren’t going well for police Sergeant Jake Roenick (Hawke). After a drug sting goes awry, resulting in the deaths of two of his partners, he has been relegated to desk duty at the 13th precinct which is set to close during the New Year’s Holiday. What’s supposed to be an uneventful New Year’s Eve at the police station for Roenick, Jasper (Dennehy) and Iris Ferry (de Matteo) turns out to be anything but when a snowstorm forces a police transport bus to stop at the station to wait out the storm.
However, it’s not your typical inmate transport bus that arrives at the precinct. Along with Beck (Leguizamo), Smiley (Ja Rule) and Anna (Aisha Hinds), there is the notorious Bishop (Fishburne), who is not only accused of murdering a police officer but also has a reputation for other shady dealings. Add to the equation the arrival of Alex (Bello), Roenick’s therapist, and it’s not looking like a Happy New Year.
Things go from bad to worse when the precinct is soon surrounded by what appears to be Bishop’s men getting ready to storm the station in order to break out their boss. Roenick soon makes a shocking discovery about the identities of the outside forces who are going to stop at nothing to break down the defenses of the precinct. Who will Roenick be able to trust in order to guarantee the survival of those inside Precinct 13 as the enemy closes in?
“Assault on Precinct 13” is one of those movies where you find yourselves not only rooting for the “good guy” (some of them anyway) but also for the supposed “bad guys”. The cast is great with especially John Leguizamo and Ja Rule, playing the over anxious prisoners, adding some much needed comedic moments. Also, at 109 minutes, the movie is well paced and doesn’t seem to lag.
There’s also plenty of action in this one. Two moments stand out in the film. One is the scene where Anna and Alex, when they make a run for it and the ensuing occurrences. The other is Roenick and Bishop having to work together, trying to get to the basement while the men outside have infiltrated the precinct and are coming after them. Both are nail biters.
The only thing I probably would have liked to have seen would be a little more character development. We don’t seem to get to know too much about some of the characters and in turn, it’s hard to really care what happens some of them in the long run.
My Rating: Out of 5 stars, I’ll give this one a 4.
Did You Know? This film is a take off of the 1976 John Carpenter film of the same name.
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