Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

With this remake, I expected nothing and, just as I suspected, I got practically nothing at all. It’s a load of crap, and a very empty experience when you pit it against Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13.” The original film had the air of exploitation and grind house with a very grainy stark film quality that presented such a grim action flick that was more than what it pretended to be. Carpenter, never the shooter for simplicity, created a very tense and exciting action film that was just beaming with excitement and you gave a shit about the characters in spite of the fact that there was little emphasis. The writers try to top that by attempting to create characters we can care about with really boring back stories that don’t serve as plot elements, but are just devices to be used later on for a convenient twist.

It’s just so utterly void of anything worth remembering. Why are there woods behind a city precinct? If the surrounding perimeter is filled with factories, where are the workers? How come no one heard helicopters and explosions in the distance? None of it ever makes sense here, and I was just so annoyed that the writers spent so much time trying to outdo the original, it forgot to include any life in to it. So, we’re given a cheesy romantic sub-plot, characters that die too abruptly, sub-plots that go nowhere, and people we just don’t care about. In the end it’s a vehicle for many talented actors, and an out of work rapper. The fact that an entire police station is being held under siege by an endless horde of gang members whom outnumber and outgun the officers within sent a searing sense of urgency that this lacks without shame.

The great cast adds a sense of credibility to this film, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. The cast is wasted including Gabriel Byrne who is reduced to occasional sequences with a monologue here and there. None of it ever really makes a lick of sense. This movie asks you to suspend your disbelief, but in order to do that, you’ll have to be lobotomized, because the moves both the hostages and villains make in this are incredibly stupid. Take for instance the incredibly annoying movie making scene in which Bishop is supposed to be assassinated by cops. They walk in to the jail cell, take their sweet time and are discovered. These are cops, trained soldiers. Walk in from behind, kill the target, and walk out.

But, no it’s not always so easy or obvious with these types of movies. The villains here are incredibly idiotic with these soldiers who fumble, and miss, and can get beat up by a civilian without any hesitation, all of which are sequences that were excruciatingly stupid. These cops cant hit the side of a barn. There are snipers in every corner and armed gunmen and they can’t shoot an unarmed man with a limp? We see an army of armed soldiers and they’re hardly ever around to pick these people off. If the officers are aware that there are four prisoners and five cops in the opener, why ask how many people are in the building later on? As with the usual ideas of a modern remake there are one-dimensional characters introduced just to die, a lot of one-liners both comedic and attempting to be deemed historic, and occasional comedic relief that is too goofy to enjoy. Like everything else here, the ending is so inconsistent. Everything just stops, like that? The end? Well, I guess I can thank you for that.