Assault on Precinct 13 Jean-François Richet

A remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film of the same name, this modern-day recreation finds burnt-out cop Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) defending his derelict Detroit precinct from a deadly attack on New Year's Eve. With a beefed-up cast rounded out by Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo and the formidable Ja Rule, the film hoped to score big at the box office and didn't due to reasons that become readily apparent as the plot lurches forward. Arguably at its best during an opening sequence that features almost one whole minute of screen time by Hugh Dillon, the movie slowly digresses into "Why the hell did that just happen/not happen an hour ago?" territory. French filmmaker Jean-Francois Richet closely mimics the computer-aided "extreme close-up to extreme wide-shot" gimmick of David Fincher, to whom the film owes much of its slick visual style. While the action becomes increasingly frantic, with the building under greater and greater siege, the characters seem to fall apart, only to be rebuilt in action movie stereotypes. Particularly painful is Hawke's transformation from burn-out to action hero, as so many lingering shots of the actor holding a bottle can attest to. The multitude of extras contained on the disc delve into some of the film's more interesting elements, including the obsessive attention to detail pertaining to each character's individualised weapon, explored on "Armed and Dangerous." The "Behind Precinct Walls" doc explains the set used to shoot much of the movie, while the more interesting "Plan of Attack" outlines the coordination of some of the more dangerous and cool-looking stunts and explosions. An audio commentary offers typical directorial insight into the film's creation and doesn't make for a particularly interesting experience. Plus: deleted scenes. (Alliance Atlantis)