This one's brief, because I didn't find a lot to really analyze in the movie. It definitely didn't hit all the notes I expected; in fact, I didn't expect that sort of rescue plotline at all. This is a movie that succeeds on the strength of its atmosphere and its lead. Decent entertainment.
I was trying to figure out for the longest time how they so effectively achieved that kind of atmosphere in the streets, and I think I've put my finger on it - everything is shot wide, so that whoever's in the shot is tiny. It's alienating and creates a lot of emptiness - a lot of the presence of what could be there but just isn't. It's a clever trick.
Going off of the description of Manhattan Island's raison d'etre, I was sure the prison population would be much bigger. Stupid of me, really; I assume there are a lot of dead bodies littering the underground. I kind of feel as though the movie missed some opportunities to tell us why Cabby, Maggie and Brain were in there, or the Duke for that matter. There were definitely missed opportunities in showing us more of how society functions, although I think ultimately that was a deliberate choice, since plainly it does not, really. The big question for me, at least, is how they get and distribute food. It would explain the bridge being intact if they ran food delivery across it somehow; otherwise, I don't have an excuse for it.
Snake's a cool lead, and I honestly wish I got more out of him in terms of backstory. On the other hand, what little we get alongside the running gag of him being dead works well enough. Someone was out to tell a really minimalist story, and I suppose it's a merit of the work that I want to know more instead of dismissing it as being not enough.
Sooo... yeah. Ultimately I took longer on this one because I was trying to find more to say, but even though I liked the movie well enough, there's not a lot to talk about with it. I had this diatribe typed up about authority and contrast and Duke vs. President, but it never really went anywhere. I don't know, maybe it's the codeine talking. Anyway, onward to the next thing.