Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The City That's Not So Nice

As "Friday The Thirteenth Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan" would have it, New York (or rather its best-known borough) is a pretty rotten place. It's not just run down or populated by absurdly jaded and bad-mannered citizens, it's also both very crowded and nearly vacant. It has a touch of Woody Allen's magically real New York as well as more than its share of Charles Bronson's "Death Wish" New York. It's a horrible, horrible place.

Grumpy McWet Blanket Principal McCulloch is mad at Sean for landing them in a bad neighborhood, though it surely seems like a step up from when he was mad at Sean for not being able to navigate them out of the fog. He does seem vindicated when the group is mugged by thugs who then spirit Rennie away with intent to rape her. You don't generally get stuff like that in a Friday The Thirteenth movie. There are characters like the bikers from Part 3, but rapists are something new.

His lack of inclination to rape makes Jason a relatively innocent character by comparison with almost all New Yorkers we see in this film. Rapacious thugs steal, hardened innocents lack empathy, punks rule the main thoroughfares with impunity, and our little band of survivors is somehow worse off than the Warriors in the film of the same name. Indeed, Jason is their savior when those thugs threaten the group before he returns his focus to the group itself. His code is a hard one to follow.

Somehow when it's all over, the ultimate survivors are not seized with a desire to flee the city and return home or to set about pick up the pieces of the horror they've just live through. Instead they start strolling about the city as though they're Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt at the end of "As Good As It Gets". It's a very puzzling thing. By the time their dog- who they'd lost some time earlier -shows up, it's like they're living the life of Reilly. They don't think for a second about the dead. Instead we get a callback to their plans to see the Statue of Liberty. New York comes out smelling like a rose. Go figure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you, netizen?