'Assault on Precinct 13'
(Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Drea de Matteo, Maria Bello, Gabriel Byrne, Ja Rule / R / 93 mins / Sony Pictures)
Overview: A soon-to-be-demolished police station is watched over by a police captain (Ethan Hawke) and his crew on New Year's Eve. But the prisoners they're guarding become their allies when a gangster (Laurence Fishburne) breaks into the joint to free his former criminal colleagues. A rogue officer (Gabriel Byrne) wants all of them dead before they can get to a trial that will bring down all the crooked cops on the force.
Verdict: 'Assault' comes off as a purposefully retro slam-bang melodrama with an old-school approach to kicking ass, drawing blood and taking lives! Watchable if scarcely effective, the film has its pluses and minuses, but mainly its pluses. That's not to say that it tweaks virtually every important aspect of Carpenter's thriller for maximum vapidity when called for, but in the end 'Assault' has sufficient edge-of-the-seat suspense for one and all lovers of this genre.