Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★★

Stars for production-value alone. Stars for Lee Van Cleef’s earring. Stars for Carpenter’s anti-expositional, get-this-show-on-the-road style of direction. Stars for Dean Cundy, the greatest colourist pop-cinema has known since Jack Cardiff. Stars to Borgnine, Barbeau, Pleasence, Plissken. Sure! EfNY wears a little thin in some segments (during Snake’s abduction, perhaps, + a puttering 2nd act). It’s an unquestionably silly movie. Hamfisted. The plot? Preposterous. Yet there’s such a vaulted sense of space at work here, gargantuan in scale—and a real tactility too, crumbling and filthy, lit by oildrum fire against an ink-black night. For Carpenter, the future of the police state IS an actual state. America has succumbed to its most authoritarian impulses. Only Snake can save us now…one eye-patched, sardonic, sonofabitch set against the whole incarcerated population at once, himself an inmate in turn. If there ever was a more acidic action anti-hero fit for the silver screen (outside, like, the Man With No Name) then I’d like to meet em’. No, this isn’t my favourite Carpenter but it still does the trick. Also, uh, Donald Pleasence’s accent is a vibe. 



What a weird movie. Watch it!

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