Escape from New York (1981)

R   |    |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Escape from New York (1981) Poster

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.


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9 May 2012 | amahlanand
| Had the potential for greater honours
The 'badass' action lead before 'Die Hard's' John McClane and 'Lethal Weapon's' Martin Riggs and post-Clint Eastwood, Snake Plissken is the subtle yet threatening action hero. But that alone could not make 'Escape from New York' the exciting race against time that it was supposed to be, even if director John Carpenter's conceptual basis behind the film creates as much intrigue as it does.

The storyline progression is not as good as expected despite a premise which could have involved something more daring rather than more linear. In spite of this linearity, it was by no means a laborious watch. Touted as a 'futuristic' sci-fi based in the late 90s, the sets and cinematography still gave a very 80s feel which undermined the film's futuristic ambitions, as hard as it might have been with the technology at the time.

The action, or inadequacy of it, was the most underwhelming aspect; Plissken's stealth exploits don't count as action. Nonetheless, the world within the film is made believable through the wide array of well played supporting characters from the 'means to an end' attitude police commissioner played by Lee Van Cleef to the intimidating 'Duke of New York' (Isaac Hayes) and his cronies.

Decent, but only scratched the surface of something which had the potential to be a mainstream action classic rather than a concealed cult film.

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