2019: After the Fall of New York (1983)

Genres - Action, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |  
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The Italian film industry produced plenty of knockoffs of The Road Warrior and Escape From New York during the early 1980s. 2019: After The Fall Of New York is one of the most imaginative and entertaining films from this cycle. Writer Ernesto Gastaldi keeps the story fresh by packing in an ensemble of fun, comic-book style supporting characters and plenty of plot twists. This ambitious approach works because director Sergio Martino keeps the pace tight and the action flowing: highlights include a desert-set car race near the beginning and the dramatic storm-the-barricades finale. The budgetary seams show in some less-than-convincing model shots but the sincere joy the filmmakers and cast show for their work makes such defects easy to ignore. In terms of acting, Michael Sopkiw makes a solid, likeable hero and Edmund Purdom is convincingly world-weary as the political leader who sends him on his mission. However, the big scene-stealer is George Eastman, who has a blast hamming it up as the half-simian man of action, Big Ape. All in all, 2019: After The Fall Of New York is perfect Saturday matinee-style b-movie fun and a must for any cult movie addicts interested in post-apocalyptic action.