Escape from New York Reviews
Yes, Snake. The greatest movie of all time.
Exciting, great sets, and strange, this makes for a fine movie night.
Manhattan is now a security prison for criminals of all variety and after the President crash lands in the middle of the city, Plissken is hired to rescue him. Apparently Plissken is like the boogeyman for these Manhattan criminals, since they all know who he is but didn't seem to know he actually existed or where he's been. The weirdest part, however, is we never get to see him to anything of value. Even in criminals past references, they never mentioned anything specifically which would warrant him a spot to save the President.
It's one thing if the film embraces its silliness and makes all of the dialogue, action, and performances cheesy, but they don't. The tone is never truly set. On one hand, you have Plissken taking on dozens of criminals who look like they are wearing Mad Max cosplay, but then you have the issue of the President's life being on the line. Those are two opposing tones butting heads, and you never get a grasp on the type of film John Carpenter wants to make. I think Carpenter is a masterful director, but Escape From New York felt kind of like a cheap side project for him. Though, I will say Carpenter's original score made for this film is brilliant.
I think a lot of my frustration comes from the fact that this film was made close to 40 years ago, and therefore, there's plenty of dated qualities to it. CGI was young in 1981, and it shows. That and the green screen effects were difficult to watch. Of course, these aren't necessarily the film's fault, but sometimes the reach shouldn't exceed the grasp by that much of a margin. It's not the fault of the film, but I've seen plenty that are better since. Donald Pleasance doesn't get much to do, and neither does anybody in a supporting role. And most of all, I just didn't care for any of the characters or the story they were in.
-Why is Plissken so revered?