Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★

After revisiting this classic after so many years, it became readily apparent Carpenter's film suffers after its first 40 minutes. The real star here is the production design by Joe Alves; the palpable eerie atmosphere of empty streets, dilapidated buildings and burning trashcans, which eventually takes a backseat to the plot which wasn't able to grab me in this rewatch. A much stronger, but certainly more costly iteration of this film, would've been to simply have Snake wander around and ease into his search for president. The film picks up and moves so quickly I never felt the threat of the ticking clock.

Some of this can be forgiven to the spectacle of having Kurt Russell and Lee Van Cleef share the same screen. Carpenter's casting throughout the picture is perfect, but there is an aching feeling no one truly gets to "shine". Kurt stating to the press that Snake is his favorite character he's ever portrayed made me scratch my head a little. Snake as a character is intensely dull, it's only the charisma and innate bravado of Kurt as a man that allows the performance to carry any edge.

If there is any justice in this world Craig Zahler would remake this with his trademark 2hr plus runtime, but we live in an unjust world and have an upcoming Blumhouse produced remake with Leigh Whannell at the helm. Whannell being the promising young director behind Upgrade (2018), who shattered any hope of having a career worth paying attention to after his repugnant rendition of The Invisible Man (of the foul year of our lord: 2020).

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