August 5, 2012

Re-Action: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) vs. Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

As long as Hollywood continues to remake/reboot action films, fans will continue to debate: “Should they have even done it?” “Did they stay true enough to the original, without blatantly ripping it off?” And maybe the most important debate of all… “Is it actually better?!”

This month’s topic of debate is John Carpenter’s classic 1976 film Assault on Precinct 13 and its 2005 big budget / big star counterpart.


1976 Original

Budget = $100,000

Box Office = $5,000,000

Lead Roles = Austin Stoker as Ethan Bishop / Darwin Joston as Napoleon Wilson

Director = John Carpenter

Score = John Carpenter

Running Time = 91 minutes


2005 Remake

Budget = $30,000,000

Box Office = $35,000,000

Lead Roles = Laurence Fishburne as Marion Bishop / Eathan Hawke as Jake Roenick

Director = Jean-François Richet

Score = Graeme Revell

Running Time = 109 minutes


My Two Cents

This one is actually a tough call for me. It could be because I saw the remake first, or simply because I am a huge Laurence Fishburne fan. But then again, I can’t stand Eathan Hawke. The original, like so many of Carpenter’s other early films, deserves so much respect because of what it was able to accomplish on such a small budget and production time. The remake is helped greatly by a stronger script, more professional acting performances and a fantastic score by Revell. But ultimatly, the original had so many obstacles standing in his way and this could have fallen flat on its face. This version found so many ways to push the envelope for a film in the 70’s, while the remake seemed to rely a little too much on the reputation of the original film, rather than seperating itself in the proper areas and making it a redifined story for its generation.


My Pick

1976 Original


So, what do you guys say? Original or Remake?

About the Author

Brian M
Movies have been a big part of my life since the creation of the VCR. They have always been a way for me to escape. The action genre allowed that feeling more than any other, because the heroes in these films were living in an ordinary world, but were doing extraordinary things. Watching action movies encourages my imagination to explore while I am doing even the most mundane thing and make it exciting. Don't be afraid to use your imagination and keep action alive, no matter how old you get.



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