matnol9’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’ve seen this one before but I thought of revisiting it because I’ve just did my own escaping from New York to the Live free or Die state...Yep, I finally got outta Dodge... this evening I was watching the sun setting beyond the trees from my large living room window with sounds of crickets in the distance...instead of racing sirens every day, all day up and down where I was living right on the boulevard...Here, John Carpenter shows NYC as one humongous eyesore in the futuristic year 1997, that’s because the crime rate in the U.S. has has soured to over 400% and the island of Manhattan itself is now a giant maximum security for the entire country..where breaking out is impossible, breaking in is insane..and within the walls are the country’s worst criminals which are left to form their own anarchic society.
However, when the POTUS Donald Pleasence on Air Force One is hijack by the soldiers of the National Liberation Front of America, he crash lands on the island prison and the police commissioner gives former highly decorated Lieutenant in the Special Ops now convicted felon ‘Snake’ Plissken Kurt Russell a do-or-die mission to rescue the President...I found this movie more humorous than thrilling, based off the characters..Kurt doesn’t have not much say, it’s not needed his character is right out of Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns the Man with No Name antihero.
Lee Van Cleef as the police commissioner who literally turns out to be a real pain in the neck for Plissken...Ernest Borgnine as the Cabbie, I don’t know what he is in for but he’s always around when you need a cab..I’m guessing driving a cab for 30 years sharpen ones honing in skills...and Adrienne Barbeau I’ll say, stands out here as my, my Maggie..she has a big role and handles herself very well and she’s shacked up with Harold a know-it-all Harry Dean Stanton better known as the ‘Brain’ at the NY Public Library but he would make a poor board member for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnels Public Authorities...how could I forget Isaac Hayes as the top warlord ‘The Duke of New York calling the shots as he drives around the city in either a Lincoln or Cadillac with outrageous hood ornaments...Wow 1981, the film now doesn’t seem so outdated considering the current NYC climate...shootings with victims are up over 100%, 86% of the shooting victims are black and brown and that’s why New Yorkers are concerned about crime, and they should be according to Gov. Cuomo.
What do I remember back in 1981? My first job with a rising firm in lower Manhattan in March the same month President Reagan is shot...around May my friend Johnny lost his brother in a horrific motorcycle accident under the Gowanus expressway with the NY Post headlines Last kiss for a dying brother and I remember 9/09/81 there was a partial electrical Blackout in the lower half of Manhattan and having to climb down 50 flights of stairs, a bunch of us did manage to hitch a ride into Brooklyn..and MLB’s strike shorten season, splits the season in two halves..and my Yankee team gets swept by the Dodgers after winning the first two games...the only highlight was before the start of game two, James Cagney gets the honor of tosses out the first ball.