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Escape from New York

Escape from New York (1981) Movie Poster
  •  UK / USA  •    •  99m  •    •  Directed by: John Carpenter.  •  Starring: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, Joe Unger, Frank Doubleday, John Strobel.  •  Music by: John Carpenter, Alan Howarth.
        In 1997, the island of Manhattan has been turned into the world's largest maximum security prison, a place where the worst of humanity is sent to rot. The U.S. Government finds itself in a major crisis when the president's plane crash lands in New York only days before a vital peace summit between major warring nations is to take place. The president survives the crash, but is taken hostage by the denizens of Manhattan and held for ransom. Only war hero turned felon Snake Plissken can save the day. He is offered a simple deal: save the president, be pardoned and live or fail to save him and die.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
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Review:

Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
Image from: Escape from New York (1981)
I have to say, although Carpenter is mainly associated with the horror genre, I prefer him as a director of a few great action movies. Having previously given us the superbly chilling 羨ssault on Precinct 13' Carpenter offers us this perhaps accurate look at the future.

1997 - Manhattan Island has now been turned into a maximum security prison due to the alarmingly high escalation of crime. The police are encamped around the island like the military but inside there is no law, just the world the prisoners create for themselves. After a plane carrying the President of the United States (Donald Pleasance) is hijacked and brought down inside the compounds of the island future prisoner and ex-soldier Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is offered a pardon if he rescues the President and more importantly a valuable tape. To ensure his co-operation and eliminate his chance of escape Plissken is fitted with a small explosive that will detonate and kill him unless he completes the mission and rescues the tape inside 24 hours.

The film looks very dated these days, aside from the fact that we are now past 1997, the computer equipment featured and the general quality of the print (at least the one I viewed) makes the film look old. However, that does hardly anything to harm 薦scape from New York'. In the same vein as 羨ssault on Precinct 13' there is no over-the-top Hollywood style action but instead shorter and more controlled action sequences that in some ways impress more than the lengthy and firey action sequences of Hollywood movies. 薦scape from New York' in some ways takes on a thriller feel as we wait to see whether Snake can rescue the President on time or if he can even find the President amongst the now crime-run desolate streets of New York. The movie is gripping and Snake Plissken is one of the few truly interesting action movie characters. Snake isn't really a good guy yet the audience is still made to sympathise with him and support his cause.

For anyone who doubts Kurt Russell's acting abilities I suggest you watch this film. In the same way that the character of The Terminator seems like it was written for Arnie, the character of Snake Plissken is made his own by an excellent performance from Kurt Russell. Russell is supported by quite a strong cast and the performance from Isaac Hayes as the Duke of New York is worthy of recognition as one of the best portrayals of a villain in the last thirty years. The only problem with the cast I had was the casting of Donald Pleasance as the President of the United States. It might just be me but I think Donald just sounds a little too British to be playing the role of the President. Credit though where it is due, Mr. Pleasance certainly gave it his all for the role and played it quite well.

This is definitely worth a watch for action fans. Some may be disappointed by the lack of gunfights and explosions but this is still a very adept action-thriller. With so many memorable lines and scenes I think that any movie fan, especially those of 羨ssault on Precinct 13' and early John Carpenter, should make it a personal mission to check out this movie.


Review by Snake-666 from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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May 22 2017, 16:35