Soon after the opening credits of director Jean–François Richet's Assault on Precinct 13, a gangster resembling Morpheus from The Matrix sits down near the back of a crowded church. The morning's sermon is a simple lesson: "Cherish your power to choose the righteous path."

This cynical churchgoer quickly disobeys. The church is quickly thrown into chaos. As the Detroit police close in for his capture, a series of events is set in motion that begins with a dead body in the sanctuary and concludes with corpses strewn all through a police precinct in the dead of a snow–buried night.

Richet, formerly a rap music producer, makes his first prominent American movie into an unremarkable, even dismaying, event—just another generically hyperviolent and overbearing genre flick. He's chosen to remake a 1976 action film by one of the kings of B–movies—John Carpenter—who went on to direct Halloween, Escape from New York, The Thing, and They Live. But instead of improving on Carpenter's film, he's only succeeded in making it a wearying assault on the eyes, ears, and intelligence.

Carpenter's Assault took a disrespected rookie policeman, some secretaries and cops, and some jailed crooks—including a notorious killer on death row—and he penned them all up in a police precinct on the night before its closure. Due to the office's imminent shutdown, the usual staff and supplies were unavailable. Our heroes were left to crouch behind desks while an army of zombie–like street gang members closed in from all sides. Fast, lean, efficient, and shockingly violent (for the time), this original Assault developed a few memorable characters with sparse, potent dialogue. Part exploitation–film, ...

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Assault on Precinct 13
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
R (for strong violence and language throughout, and for some drug content)
Directed By
Jean-François Richet
Run Time
1 hour 49 minutes
Cast
Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Byrne, Maria Bello
Theatre Release
January 19, 2005 by Rogue Pictures
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