Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★

This is a very patient film. Nearly the entire first half of the movie is set up. There is minimal dialogue, and the words that are spoken are all part of defining the world that the movie is set in, and its rules. You can tell that a director with a horror background is behind the camera on this film. The framing / music / and general atmosphere looks / sounds / and feels very much in line with the tropes of a horror film.

This is really a showcase for Kurt Russell. He plays it straight through the entire film. His character, Snake Plissken, is a hard nose bad ass that doesn't take crap from anyone. he never even comes close to a smile in the entire movie.

The second half of the movie gets a bit more campy, and starts to tear down all the goodwill the first half built up. About the time 'The Duke" shows up, the movie turns from a semi-serious thriller / drama, in the vein of OMEGA MAN, into an over-the-top post apocalyptic action film.

There are enough plot holes to drive a truck through in this film, but they didn't really bother me all that much. It is a silly movie, and it knows it. If the film were taking itself more seriously, then maybe the logic issues would have been more of a problem.

The most blatant abuse of popular interest in the film was a gratuitous and absurd wrestling scene. It served no point in the overall story, and it had no impact on any of the characters. This is clearly the studio realizing that wrestling is becoming very popular, and they wedged in a scene to try and capitalize on the trend.

If it sounds like I didn't or don't like the movie, that is not the case. I find the film an enjoyable movie with a lot of solid storytelling within. The movie is not without flaws, but with a character as memorable and ludicrous as Snake Plissken, the defects in the movie seem to be overshadowed.