I think I just found a new action movie favorite!
It's gritty. It reminds me of the good 'ol nineties - the prime time of flicks like this. The Stranger, Black Mask... you know the type, and KRS-ONE on the ending! Heavy words for a heavy movie - and no, the soundtrack otherwise is not hip hop. It's cinematic. It builds the brooding mood easily, with good help of the dark, snowy cityscape outside.
The locale is a soon-to-be-abandoned police precinct in Detroit. Number 13. The time is New Year's Eve, before which a few officers are packing things together for good when suddenly a prison transport carrying one of the most notorious crime lords of the city stops by for refuge from the winter storm. It seems like a simple stop, but since the backstory's been building up around the characters before they are all brought together to share this one locale for the night you know things are about to go down real soon...
Soon the rocks fly, the bombs fall, and the gunfire blows through the walls! Both the official inhabitants of the station and their prisoners soon stand in unison against the oncoming slaughter, and as one after the other go down its not certain they'll really make it through the night.
Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Drea de Matteo, John Leguizamo, Ja Rule, Brian Dennehy, and then some... it's an all star cast - they complement each other well. With some help from the cold world outside they set the stage for a grueling showdown, and ride out the storm as well as they can.
It's just another night in Detroit: in an old police station where both cops and dealers pick up arms to save themselves from the realest killers.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
It's not quite like the classic! But it ain't bad.
Bishop turns out the unlikely likable guy - Laurence Fishburne's such a great actor, as always. The secretary takes a turn you don't expect. The doctor too. And the Sarge finally overcomes his issues! Though at what expense.
I love the atmosphere, and I love the action, and I love the gritty showdowns and desperate last stands, yet the fights are a wish-wash of motions and the firefights imprecise and not all as heavy as you might expect. Or hope. If you saw the former.
The soundtrack's not quite like the legendary Carpenter's original either, but I like the cast, low-cut and close, and the milieu, and it does take a few welcome twists and turns along the way.
Feels like a welcome homage, and remake. An appreciated take on the classic, even if it's not quite as intense. Or at least not the same way.
I wonder if it's just the darkness... with the old it felt all the more desperate even (or in particular?) in broad day.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle