Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)


This is a generic action movie. I usually try and explain the plot a little bit in my reviews, but this was instantly forgettable and I can barely remember it. Basically Ethan Hawke runs an old police station called Precinct 13 with a skeleton crew during New Year’s Eve. Lawrence Fishburne is a badass criminal who gets arrested but has to be held at Precinct 13 overnight due to a large snowstorm preventing travel. Fishburne has information on some crooked cops who don’t want him to testify and throw them all in prison. So the cops try to kill Fishburne and the cops running the station. Hawke, Fishburne, the inmates at Precinct 13 and the police officers working with Ethan Hawke have to work together before the crooked cops kill them all and find out the truth behind what Fishburne really knows.

Honestly, there’s not much to write about here. It was a straightforward action flick with a few cool set pieces but not much more. Hawke and Fishburne are adequate as two reluctant partners, nobody else in the cast really stands out at all.

I found this really boring.

Rating: F

Assault on Precinct 13 poses a very important question: Whatever happened to Ja Rule? Remember when he was everywhere… collaborating with Jennifer Lopez and Ashanti (now that I think of it, whatever happened to her?). OK, a skimming of his Wikipedia page reveals he recently served time in prison for failing to pay taxes between 2004-2006, which interestingly would have included his payday for this movie. The more you know!

Alright, I need to stop stalling and talk about this movie. Where to begin… there’s a lot of shooting. There are some explosions. A bad guy is actually a good guy, and a good guy ends up being a bad guy. Most of the characters wind up dead by the end. Ethan Hawke is in it. I watched it. I probably won’t ever watch it again.

This is just a really blah action flick. The plot seems interesting enough (a small group of cops and prisoners must team up to survive the night when their precinct is sieged by mysterious baddies looking for one of the prisoners; it’s very loosely based on a 70s John Carpenter movie of the same name), but it doesn’t really materialize into anything watchable. Some of the deaths are surprising, and most are incredibly brutal. Clearly the filmmakers were going for shock value, but the result is gratuitous and laughable.

I’m not sure what could have improved this movie. The cast is good, particularly Hawke and Lawrence Fishburne. As I said before, the plot is promising. Maybe this is just one of those ideas that looks good on paper.

Rating: D

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