Jim Dooley’s review published on Letterboxd:
There are some movies that just scream to be watched with pizza, hot chicken wings, and pitchers of beer. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is one of them.
If watched with a critical eye, the flaws just jump out at the Viewer. Three come to the forefront for me:
* There are plot points that make little or no sense. So as to not trigger spoilers, I’ll refrain from mentioning the ones that left me shaking my head;
* Some “filler” sequences are exciting enough, but they don’t move the story forward at all. One I’ll mention is the fight in the ring;
* Considering the “size” of the story, the relative “shoestring budget” really shows. There were more people in most of the episodes of the television series, “Gotham.” The wreckage of an airliner produces tiny bonfires. Camera angles frequently suggest larger crowds and more extensive sets. Action sequences are surprisingly “compact,” such as the chase across the bridge.
Of course, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK has achieved cult status, so there are obviously things going for it:
* A sensational cast led by Kurt Russell in probably his most iconic role;
* Dialogue that would make Quentin Tarantino drool with one of the most quotable lines in action movie history;
* Able assistance from James Cameron (as Jim Cameron) before he became a household name;
* Dark disrespect for governmental authority.
The film breezes by at a rapid pace, and there are lots of surprises along the way. But, do yourself a favor. When it comes time to analyze the movie afterward, opt for another slice of pizza instead.