Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before Rambo, there was Snake Plissken.
Kurt Russell is the embodiment of the idyllic action hero, and the future inspiration for one of the greatest and most messed up game franchises in history. John Carpenter, doing double duty as director and DJ, presents his hellish futuristic Manhattan Island as the prisoner's playground- a delinquent's paradise of chaos and destruction. In the middle of this madness drops Snake, a convict out on a mission: rescue the President. It's gloriously simplistic setup fulfills every dream I ever would have had as a seven year old story writer and then some.
I love how Carpenter uses the timer to convey a better sense of urgency to the audience, giving us more reason to root for this antihero, and giving him more palpable incentive to get the job done. It eliminates any doubt that may have come with Plissken's motives, and covers up any possible holes in this premise.
Brilliantly imaginative, John Carpenter's Escape from New York is a classic action film that caters to the youthful imagination. In a time where action heroes were less fragile and easier to idolize, Plissken stands among the best of these characters. A greatly influential bullet fest that stands the test of time.