Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★

Decent action film with a fun concept.

Snake Plisken, despite not saying a lot, is a great character, and works well in a film that thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously. A lot of what happens is absurd, but the movie is having fun so you just go with it.

The cast is great. Harry Dean Stanton and Lee Van Cleef are outstanding, and Kurt Russell is excellent as the taciturn hero.

I didn’t like everything about it, however. Whilst I appreciate it was going for a grimy and dirty aesthetic, the look of it is very murky and unappealing. Also, the film spent a lot of time setting up The Duke as a villain to be feared, but nothing much came of it, and when he was onscreen he didn’t do or say a lot, and felt a bit pointless overall.

The effects were a bit of a mixed bag, and although some were alright - I liked the look of the digital displays - some were awful, like the glider being pushed off the World Trade Centre which looked like a paper aeroplane.

By the end of the decade films like Die Hard would take this sort of idea and run with it, and despite this being entertaining enough there is not anything too interesting about it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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