Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★

After all the years of hype, Carpenter's first "Escape" film did not deliver. Like Verhoeven's "RoboCop" or Glaser's "The Running Man," this film's depiction of a "near-future," crime-ridden dystopia is another drop in the bucket - only Carpenter's was an earlier presentation. Honestly, this movie is pretty boring, and it doesn't have nearly as many interesting things to say as its aforementioned film brethren. It's more concerned with telling us how badass Snake Plissken is, and it never fails to do so in nearly every scene. And, while Russell's hair is pulling double-duty for them both throughout, I'll leave it to the words of a truth-telling Jim Carrey: "I've had better." So much potential is lost here, especially when you open the movie with what seems like some kind of resistance or terrorist plot talking about the "racist police state," which then completely disappears for the rest of it. You were almost saying something meaningful, Carpenter, but then you stopped caring. And, for a film that came out when this one did, with a heavy emphasis on political intrigue in its premise, the film is surprisingly politically neutral. And where is that head of the Statue of Liberty that's used in all the posters? I did not see it. Maybe I looked away while being bored. Other than the great sets and production design, overall, a pretty big disappointment.

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