Assault on Station 33 (2021) – Film Review
Director: Christopher Ray
Cast: Sean Patrick Flanery, Michael Jai White, Mark Dacascos
by @Roger Crow
Essentially Die Hard in a hospital, this by-the-numbers thriller also owes a massive debt to 24.
Sean Patrick Flanery, looking like a cross between Gordon Ramsay and Kiefer Sutherland, is decorated veteran and PTSD sufferer Jason Hill.
He meets his wife, Jennifer, for lunch at the Veteran’s Affairs hospital where she works. After she is called away for an emergency consultation with the head of US Military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the hospital is taken hostage by armed terrorists.
“Plenty of energy”
Jason must battle the terrorists and his own PTSD-induced demons to save his wife, the General, the hospital’s staff and patients.
The script sounds like it was written by a computer which analysed dialogue from Die Hard, Aliens, 24, Heat and countless other action films. There are also times it feels like the 24 theme is also going to pop up, and though it helps that most of the cast don’t carry a lot of baggage from other films, they are sold short by the well-worn premise.
Michael Jai White is always good value for money, and here he adds gravitas to the project. Flanery, looking light years away from the excellent Young Indiana Jones TV series, gives a good turn as the lone hero with the dodgy knee, and the whole thing ticks over with plenty of energy.
Helmer Christopher Ray has given us a string of schlock horror thrillers like Two-Headed Shark Attack, and sci-fi yarn Asteroid vs Earth, so he knows how to knock out a relatively cheap D-List thriller. It’s a shame the script is so generic, but given half the chance, I’d love to remake Die Hard too. (But definitely not Die Hard 2).
Nicolas Cage’s son Weston Cage Coppola does a good job as the alpha bad guy with a thick Russian accent. He’s picked up his dad’s gift for playing mad staring psychopaths, though here he looks more like Jason Momoa; subtitles would have helped enormously.
There are some good action scenes, but there’s also far too much talking and so-so characters. The fact it’s bookended with the same showdown at an airport feels a) really cheap and b) a little too much like Die Hard 4.0.
If you have 90 minutes to kill, then slip your brain into neutral and enjoy, but those expecting a fresh twist on a very familiar story will be sorely disappointed.