This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
JD’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
A remake of John Carpenter's original, the film follows cop Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) as he is forced to protect a notorious criminal named Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) and others when masked assailants lay siege to their precinct.
Despite its flaws, this is a lean and gritty action thriller. It is slow in places and telegraphs its plot twists too heavily but there is still a very compelling story here. Jake is a well written protagonist and his arc is handled well. A sudden second act death has a big impact of his arc and is very effective His dynamic with Bishop is also great and the film does a decent job of having the two opposing characters rely of each other. The ending is very rushed but is a solid and satisfying conclusion to the story.
Hawke and Fishburne are fantastic and have very obvious chemistry together. Gabriel Byrne does well despite a pretty one note antagonistic character. Maria Belle, Ja Rule, John Leguizamo, Drea De Matteo, Brian Dennehy, Kim Coates, Titus Welliver, Matt Craven and Dorian Harewood provide very good support.
The film has some clever action sequences like the SWAT break in scene. Cinematographer Robert Gantz and director Jean-François Richet do a great job of building tension.
Final thought: It is flawed but I had fun with this action thriller. Will review the original tomorrow.