Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★★★

”You now have the option to terminate and be cremated on premises. If you elect this option, notify the duty sergeant in your processing area.”

John Carpenter and Kurt Russell — what a team. They make not just one classic together, not just two, but three. Three classic films that always have a place in my Top 10. Just amazing.

I watched EFNY with the deleted opening heist scene this time (located in the special features of the Studio Canal 4K disc, but also on YouTube), which gives Snake Plissken some added dimension, showing more of a humanistic side as he works a heist with a friend who unfortunately meets a violent end. It’s a great sequence and probably should’ve been in the final film, but at the same time, the mystery of Snake’s past is just as effective.

Carpenter’s dystopian neon nightmare still works as an atmospheric slow burn genre melt, an incredible journey to the dark side. It’s not an action film; those who go in thinking it’s such are usually disappointed. Snake’s mission is disturbing and eerie, creeping along like a bad dream. The characters, the cast, the synth, the ideas and how they are delivered through snippets of dialogue, never revealing too much — it’s just masterful. The way this film is composed is masterful. 

Not sure where it ranks among the Carpenter/Russell Trilogy, but it’s unquestionably a favorite for me. Watched via HBO Max streaming.

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