Assault on Precinct 13

Rated R 2005

This sluggish remake of John Carpenter's grungy 1976 movie has nothing on the original, a terrifying last-man-standing ordeal rooted in something emotional, something tangible -- a father's watching his little girl being murdered by gang members, then exacting revenge, then being chased into a safe haven that turns out to be a death trap. This time it's bad cops, headed by Gabriel Byrne, after a bad guy (Laurence Fishburne) who's about to rat them out. Ethan Hawke's the disgraced sarge trying to stave off the siege, aided by cops (Drea de Matteo, Brian Dennehy) and criminals (John Leguizamo, Ja Rule) and, wow, his therapist (Maria Bello). Jean-François Richet's variation takes itself too seriously to offer anything approaching a good time, where Carpenter's was Rio Bravo populated by nobodies, a climax spread over 60 harrowing minutes. Richet can't even work up a decent thrill: His cast of somebodies even in bit roles make this feel like a B-grade Ocean's Eleven or a Love Boat episode.

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Assault on Precinct 13

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