Danny Webster’s review published on Letterboxd:
Director: John Carpenter (Fourth Film)
"Snake what happened? Snake! SNAAAAAAKE!" - Various radio contacts
Growing up I played hundreds of video games on various different consoles; and admittedly I was very lucky in that I practically had every console available (and still do) and had them all set up more or less at the same time, so could jump between consoles on a whim. I'd spend various days at a time on one console, get bored, and jump to the next. I was spoiled. But I was rarely bored for longer than I needed to be. Don't get me wrong, I was also absolutely obsessed with playing football, reading comic-books, and watching cartoons so it's not like I was ALWAYS playing computer games.
A type of computer game I really enjoyed was that of the stealth genre, two in particular being Tenchu and Metal Gear and the latter unbeknownst to be 'till only recently was heavily influenced by this film. More so, John Carpenter in general not only heavily influenced that game, and a few others, but indirectly influenced my childhood without me realising.
Onto the actual film. Kurt Russell is mostly cool, but occasionally tries too hard. Whether that be his performance being slightly skewed or my view of the film. But the early flicking of the cigarette at the beginning in particular irked me slightly. It was strangely pathetic and to me, a little vexatious.
Either way, the film is fun. It doesn't have much in the way of story other than the infiltrate -> escape A to B idea, it has a group of fairly interesting characters and a director in Carpenter whose use of sound in particular really excelling. Also, I don't think I've mentioned this in my other reviews of his films; but there seems to be a point in his films in which there's one shot. One perfect shot of consummate excellence that appears only once, once in each of his films.
I could just be noticing one shot each time, but it feels like a trend within his films. Nonetheless I enjoyed Escape from New York and I enjoyed the performances mostly. It does its job, is highly entertaining (to me) but of course with issues, it takes a little while to get going and stumbles occasionally. Not to mention that Snake Plissken is no Solid Snake.