Escape from New York (1981) Movie Review

Escape from New York (1981)

1981 | Sci-Fi, Action
99 minutes /

User Score: 71/100


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Escape from New York Review

Synopsis:

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Escape from New York (1981) is a 1h 39-min American dystopian action film that has an estimated budget of $6 million and grossed over $25 million at the box office. Director and co-writer John Carpenter (Halloween (1978), Escape from L.A. (1996), They Live (1988)) excellently executed this film into being a great adventurous ride. Carpenter’s fan should see this movie at their earliest convenience because this is one of his best early creations.

Escape from New York takes place in the then near-future 1997 where crime is almost non-existent because Manhattan Island in New York City was converted into a maximum security prison. The President was kidnapped after Air-Force one crashed, and it is up to ex-soldier Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) to find the President within 24 hours. The movie began by showing us that there was a 400% increase in crime in 1988 leading the United States Government into evacuating Manhattan so that they can turn it into a humongous maximum-security prison. All of the criminals/inmates will be serving a life sentence, and escape is slim since the island is surrounded by a 50-foot containment wall and all the roads have been dismantled.

Air Force One was hijacked in 1997 by a terrorist group resulting in the plane crashing, but the President was able to escape in a pod alive. The only problem is that the President has a briefcase that contains information on a powerful new bomb but the briefcase is handcuffed to his wrist, and he has landed in Manhattan. We were then introduced to Romero (Frank Doubleday - Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Broadcast News (1987), Nomads (1986)) who is the top crime boss in the prison that gives the President’s cut-off finger wearing the signet ring to the officers.

Romero is holding the president hostage, and if all of the inmates are not freed within 24 hours to roam the mainland, then the President will be dead. Former U.S Special Forces soldier Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell - The Hateful Eight (2015), The Thing (1982), Death Proof (2007), Stargate (1994)) was called in. He was offered a deal where if he saves the president then he will be acquitted of charges of robbing the Federal Reserve in Denver, Colorado.

The cast was great, and all of them did a fabulous job with their roles, but I could not get Kurt Russell out my head as he impersonates Clint Eastwood throughout the entire film with his dry voice which was irking my nerves. Kurt’s performance was good, but his voice was my issue. The action sequences was a treat and so was the flashy outfits, soundtrack dialogue and special effects which all made the movie tremendously fun to watch.


About Escape from New York (1981)

Title: Escape from New York
Original Title: Escape from New York City, John Carpenter's Escape from New York
Year: 1981
Runtime: 99 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Reviewer:
Score: 3.5 / 5 stars
Published:
Avg. Rating: 3.55/5 stars from 7 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 7
Starring: George 'Buck' Flower, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Donald Pleasence, Adrienne Barbeau, John Carpenter, John Diehl, Harry Dean Stanton, Nancy Stephens, Joe Unger, Tom Atkins, Steven Ford, Charles Cyphers, Rodger Bumpass, Isaac Hayes, Al Cerullo, Carmen Filpi, John Cothran, Debra Hill, Bob Minor, Alan Shearman, Tony Papenfuss, Nick Castle, Steven M. Gagnon, Season Hubley, John Strobel, Ron Vernan, Dale E. House, Ernest Borgnine, Kathleen Blanchard
Writers: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
Director: John Carpenter

Escape from New York Cover Poster Art