16th Mar2021

‘Assault on Station 33’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Sean Patrick Flanery, Mark Dacascos, Michael Jai White, Weston Cage Coppola, Abigail Hawk, Gina Holden, Rob Van Dam, Gerald Webb, Rachel True, Brittany Underwood, Max Adler, Richard Gabai, Tim McKiernan | Written by Scott Thomas Reynolds | Directed by Christopher Ray

Decorated veteran and PTSD sufferer, Jason Hill (Flanery) meets his wife, Jennifer, for lunch at the Veteran’s Affairs hospital where she works. After Jennifer is called away for an emergency consultation with the head of US Military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the hospital is taken hostage by heavily armed terrorists. Jason becomes the last line of defense and must battle the terrorists and his own PTSD induced demons to save his wife, the General, the hospital’s staff and patients…

The latest film from director Christopher Olen Ray (though he’s dropped the Olen part of his name for this one), Assault on Station 33 is yet another Die Hard clone – only this one is set in a VA hospital filled with arny vets AND a gang of international criminals led by terrorist Adrian Rabikov, who’s played – in a similar maniacal fashion as his fathers recent film characters – by Nicolas Cage’s son Weston Cage Coppola. It’s also obviously filmed on a much lower budget, though that’s not to say the lack of budget detracts from the film. Not in the slightest. Instead said budgetary constraints mean that there’s very little waste in this film. In fact aside from the minimal set-up, in the form of a brief introduction of our protagonist and the major players in this films story, we pretty much get straight into the action.

Like many a low-budget direct to market action film, Assault on Station 33 features a number of familiar faces in roles big and small, including a couple of VERY familar names to fans of action movies: Michael Jai White and Mark Dacascos. Though Ray wastes the opportunity to have the pair battle, instead opting to pit Flanery against Dacascos in a fight that, even in this context, seems unbelievable – Dacascos could easily wipe the floor with pretty much any other member of this films cast apart from White!

Unlike a number of other Die Hard clones, this one doesn’t take itself too seriously, with some comedic roles for Rob Van Dam, as a member of the criminal gang left outside in the van, waiting to make the escape; and Tim McKiernan as Max, the poor sod left on the desk to try and cover the fact that there’s a bunch of armed men running around the building! Even Sean Patrick Flanery seems to be hamming it up somewhat as Assault on Station 33‘s hero, walking a fine line between John McClane-esque self-deprecating action hero and trigger-happy, PTSD-suffering, ex-soldier.

The rest of the film is pretty much standard fare. Hero takes on the bad guys, gets some help from the local PD, saves the day. There’s nothing surprising here or disappointing either. If you’re a fan of these type of Die Hard-esque genre films (like me) or just love a good action movie no matter the budget, cast or size, then Assault on Station 33 is definitely worth a watch!

***½  3.5/5

Assault on Station 33 is out now on DVD and Digital, in the UK, from Patriot Films.


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