Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★

Ridiculous, over-the-top, entertaining trash. A pre-CGI B-movie set against a walled-in maximum security New York wasteland, one that turns badass Kurt Russell into an even bigger badass Snake Plissken. Snake's like the Mad Max-Rick Deckard-Clint Eastwood amalgam whose motto is effectively "fuck the police" and "I piss on your American Dream." He's every disenchanted war veteran to return home having lost faith in the institution, ready to stick it to the man. 

Carpenter rides the post-Vietnam/Watergate zeitgeist while maintaining a sense of humor, almost like he's remodeling TAXI DRIVER (1976) but with a goofy sci-fi, post-apocalyptic bent. The mood is adjacently anti-establishment, anti-partisan, and reflects the broader degeneration of American values, but don't take anything here too seriously. Carpenter is clearly having a riot (quite literally) turning NY into this grungy, offbeat, Darwinist circus, and he always dilutes the cynical story this could have been with a more playful, certainly more preposterous tone. 

Strong concept, not always the strongest execution, but I had a lot of fun with it.

On a side note: If impeachment doesn't work out, any chance we can drop Trump into this armpit version of Manhattan?


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