Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★½

I was disappointed to find that Escape from New York really drags in the middle (at least for me) despite having a stellar 1st act and phenomenal ending (not climax, though, because really almost everything inside the city itself was a letdown). Russel is wonderful and creates a much more bitter and nihilistic action hero than one is used to. The score is great, as with almost any Carpenter project, and the budget is utilized well to create a very believable atmosphere. I didn't care for Borgnine's character for some reason but that's probably just me. I really loved the sets, and many of the scenes and ideas inside the city were pretty good, but when you add it all up it's a disjointed piece that kills its own "beat the clock" themes with a strange pace. It's still a thrilling film and certainly one of the angriest, most subtly cynical action movies of its day, but something about it didn't quite work for me.