In the future, soaring crime rates have prompted the government to turn New York into a maximum-security prison. It is also where the U.S. President happens to land when he is forced to bail out of Air Force one. The only solution? Send in tough guy Snake Plissken to rescue The President with the understanding he will get a full pardon.
Kurt Russell (Snake), Lee Van Cleef (Hauk), Ernest Borgnine (Cabbie), Donald Pleasence (President), Isaac Hayes (The Duke), Harry Dean Stanton (Brain), Adrienne Barbeau (Maggie), Tom Atkins (Rehme).
Escape from New York is one of John Carpenter’s earlier flicks and a lot of fun if you can get past how dated it is starting to look. Some good plot setup and character development give way to a fairly basic storyline that is a lot of fun with the plentiful diversions found along the way. Though over the top at times, the story moves along well and does a good job of holding our interest. And of course, the satisfaction of revenge at the end leaves everyone smiling.
Acting was fun and a nightmare all at the same time. Russell overacted through most of the film which made his character. Borgnine and Stanton weren’t far behind him with their performances either. Barbeau seemed to be taking things seriously and would have been more fun had she let loose a bit.
Camera work was decent but sets and backgrounds took the cake with nice detail and an authentic, end-of-the-world feel to the film. Dialogue was campy with the right mix of serious, straight lines, and funny mixed together. Sound and soundtrack were fairly well done.
Overall Escape from New York is one of those films that you can’t help but watch while loving and hating it at the same time. Fans of apocalyptic action flicks will enjoy this the most while others will feel it lacks seriousness.
With foul language, tons of violence, adult activity, nudity, and some drug use this one is actually fine for older teens and above.
Escape from New York is no longer showing in any Littleton, Colorado movie theatres.
Star rating: 4 out of 5
copyright ©2011 Dave Riedel
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