Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★½

In the future, 1988, Manhattan Island is turned into a prison. And then even further into the future, 1997, (whoa), the President's plane goes down over it. Eyepatched badass Snake Plisskin is sent in to rescue him or die trying.

Enjoyably absurd and self-aware. A bunch of b-movie heavy-hitters make appearances and give spot-on performances; Donald Pleasance, Lee Van Cleef, Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau, and ... Earnest Borgnine ... ? It moves at a surprisingly brisk pace and actually seems a bit short at 99 minutes. I might have enjoyed a little more exploration of the world, but I also admire how efficient Carpenter's story is.

I think the climax suffers from budget limitations. There are numerous explosions at the end that don't really feel like explosions. Some of the characters feel under-developed, especially Barbeau's. It's like she's just there for the cleavage. There's also one hammy "psycho" character that I found more comical than menacing. I'm not sure what Carpenter's intent was for him.

All-in-all, though, good fun. I'm glad I revisited it. It had been a very long time since I'd last sat down and watched it.

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