Jean-Francois Richet's remake of John Carpenter's 1976 film Assault on Precinct 13 could almost be billed as a parody of the typical action flick. The film takes place in a nearly abandoned police precinct during a heavy snowstorm. Ethan Hawke plays a burnt-out cop in charge of guarding a recently apprehended crime leader (Laurence Fishburne). Hawke, the handful of cops and civilians inside the precinct are forced to hold down the fort when an impossibly large group of corrupt cops try to bust out Fishburne.
Not only is the plot unconvincing, but the dialogue inevitably succumbs to cliche as well, with conversations about guilt and "what it is to be a cop" ruining any chance the movie had. The characters are under-developed, even for an action movie, as Richet appears unable to draw out any decent performances from his actors. The post-Matrix Fishburne comes across as a caricature of himself, as he seems to think himself too cool to express emotion, or even, well, act. The Sopranos' Drea de Matteo, affectionately referred to as "secretary," in the film, serves no purpose beyond creepily marching around the precinct in fishnets and expressing her love for bad boys. This movie is unoriginal, unrealistic, and certainly not worth the ticket price.