Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★½

John Carpenter's Escape from New York is one of those films with a substantial cult following. Sometimes when a film is popular thanks to it's cult status I get it. Take the Evil Dead trilogy for example. Those films are so ridiculous and funny that I completely understand their cult following. When it comes to this film I just didn't get it. I liked the atmosphere Carpenter created with the futuristic metropolis setting but that's about it.

In 1988 Manhattan was turned into a maximum security prison. In 1997 Air Force One carrying the President (Donald Pleasence) is hijacked and crashed into the city where he is held hostage. Snake Plissken (Kurt Ruussell) a notorious bank robber and ex-military man has just arrived at the prison and is asked to make a rescue. He's promised his freedom if he is successful, his death if he is not.

It's may just be me, but I really couldn't get into this. The setting and atmosphere were cool, but everything else was pretty weak in my opinion. There was an odd mix of straightforward and oddball characters that just didn't work for me. The dialogue was cheesy (not the funny kind) and the acting was bordering on awful. Considering the type of film it is some of that was probably intentional but I just wasn't into it. Kurt Russell is supposed to be some kind of badass, but he spends just as much time running (if not more) than he does kicking ass. Other characters especially the main villain just felt really generic to me.

I started this film today with the plan being to watch it and it's sequel Escape from L.A.. That's still the plan, but considering this film is the much higher rated of the two, I'm not looking forward to the sequel at all. I felt I'd end up at least liking this one but it was not to be.

Ron's recommendation: See it, just because I didn't get it's appeal doesn't mean that will be the case for anyone else.

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