|Directed by:||John Carpenter|
|Written by:||John Carpenter, Nick Castle, Debra Hill, Kurt Russell|
|Cast:||Kurt Russell, Cliff Robertson, Steve Buscemi, Stacey Keach, George Corraface, Peter Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Valeria Golino, Pam Grier, A.J. Langer|
Part of the charm of Escape from New York was it's attempt to be a lot bigger than it was. With only a $6 Million budget it made some coin at the box office and ended up being another Carpenter classic...
You can appreciate what Carpenter was trying to do with this one, trying to revive the Plisken character. After all, it is a great character and Kurt Russell always seems to have fun with it...and trying to get back to the feeling of the original. Some of the elements work in this once, but for the most part it's a bit of a let down. For starters, the budget was pushing $50 Million on this one. The punch line of course being that Russell and Carpenter held off doing this one for a long time as they were "waiting for the right script to come along"...........
It's hard to sort of put your finger on what's wrong with this one. I mean the story is decent (being a direct rip-off of the first one), the effects are a mixed bag....Russell is great as always, excellent support from Fonda, Buscemi, Keach, Grier, Campbell...Camera, Editing all solid....maybe it's that they were trying too hard to make it feel low budget....were they trying too hard to make it a satire of American life?...The tone is certainly a lot lighter than the first one...It sounds great, but just doesn't have that magic the first one did.
The Blu Ray was half decent, but this movie is clearly one that suffers from the HD Transfer, the effects are glaringly bad and the green screen keys are just hokey in HD....but it is an upgrade over the DVD.
Overall, with all that taken into account, I do enjoy this movie...not as much as the first one, but it's a good way to kill time and the movie does have it's moments. It's not a must have in the collection, but is a welcome addition as it's now one more title in my Carpenter library.