This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
JD’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
After watching the 2005 remake, I discovered the original by John Carpenter was on Prime so decided to watch it.
The film follows Lieutenant Ethan Bishop (Austin Stoker) as he is forced to team up with criminal Napoleon Wilson (Darwin Joston) when the decommissioned Precinct 13 comes under attack by gang members.
Although far from Carpenter's best work, this is still a tough and gritty action thriller. The story is decently paced and is tense throughout but it doesn't feel as focused as the remake. It is a bit more predictable than the remake but it still manages to be a compelling story. Characters, especially Bishop and Wilson, are well captured with clever bits of dialogue like the being locked up for misbehaving as a child line. The ending is also really well executed and very satisfying.
Stoker and Joston are on great form as two men on opposite sides of the law who have to work together to survive. Laurie Zimmer, Martin West, Tony Burton, Charles Cyphers and Nancy Loomis provide very good support.
Carpenter and cinematographer Douglass Knapp create terrifically tense and well filmed action sequences like the assault on the ice-cream truck. The electrifying score by the director also adds to the tension and is very well used in quieter moments.
Final thought: A predictable but enjoyable action-thriller with great performances.