Escape from New York
Director: John Carpenter
Stars: 7.5
Score: 101.50
The one, the only, the immortal, Snake Plissken. One of the preeminent dystopian classics, not just of the 1980s, but of all time. It really is a great film, even if it is at this point incredibly dated, and at times difficult to watch.

Kurt Russell plays Snake Plissken, the former war-hero turned bank robber now convicted felon is offered his freedom if he can rescue the President of the United States. The President’s plane has gone down inside the country’s largest prison, the quarantined island of Manhattan. And because they don’t trust him, Snake has two miniature charges implanted, set to detonate in 24 hours. Snake has just that long to get in, find the President, and get out.

This film is a classic rendition of the world gone to hell. Crime rates erupting, anarchy in the USA met with a militant, totalitarian level response. New York City, itself a symbol of American largesse, is decayed and destroyed. Escape from New York spawned a whole whack of similarly themed films about urban decay and totalitarian rule in a transitional dystopia, but none managed to top Snake Plissken.

I highly recommend watching this film, even though the effects are so visibly dated. Despite that, it is compelling and watchable, and there’s a reason that John Carpenter became a well-known director.

Review Date: 2010-08-03

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