Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★

Pretty neat, inventive little B-movie. This was an indie, coating only six million dollars to make (probably worth more in 1981 than today tho), so it’s really enjoyable for me to see John Carpenter make the most out of limited resources with grimy production design, absurd costumes, limited but effective action sequences (action classic this ain’t), & cleverly utilizing space between the grand sprawling NYC & the claustrophobia of a narrow bridge full of abandoned cars. Kurt Russell plays Snake Plissken, an ex special forces agent turned prisoner for a failed heist on the federal reserve. Stop right there, characters have peaked. Did I mention Kurt Russell plays him? Donald Pleasence, Harry Dean Stanton, & Isaac Hayes are all fun in their bit roles too. The camerawork is decent if nothing special, the lighting is shadowy & suspenseful, & the score is the movie’s best element entirely. It’s very slow to start & ultimately feels that by the time it really gets going, it’s already almost over. I’m actually quite excited for Leigh Whannell’s reimagining, as I feel that this spectacular premise could use a lot of improvement & has tons of territory to newly explore for the better. Love the ending though, delivering on social commentary hinted at earlier. Overall, this isn’t a movie you watch for the story, characters, or even action. It’s more of a low-key thriller whose main selling points are its atmosphere, suspense, score, & world building. Overall, glad I watched

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