johnlink ranks ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)

In 1982 John Caprenter directed Kurt Russell in THE THING, and the result was one of my favorite scifi/survival flicks of all time. The year before that they teamed up on ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. I had not seen this until yesterday, and my expectations were tempered somewhat by the fact that it is a post-apocalyptic story set in the 90s but made in the 80s. Usually this leads to a lot of unintentional comedy. I was right.

The story is that of Snake Plissken. He is sent to Manhattan which, in 1988, became one giant open prison where criminals were sent to fend for themselves. But now the President is stuck in there, and someone has to get him out.

I watched ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) at movie night on 3.26.09. It was my first viewing of the film.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAINS THE SAME.

FILM

It’s tough to be an 80s movie trying to project into the future. The best is the concept of the 1997 cell phone, which turns out to be this 20 pound two-handed contraption. But all that kind of stuff is expected. Really, this film didn’t have anything all that special to say. It was like BLADE RUNNER without the social commentary. I do have to say, though of course it holds no weight over the score, it is very strange to see the twin towers so predominantly featured. Every so often in film you see that iconic image and get a reminder of that horrible day, and this movie certainly gives you that.  SCORE: 4

MOVIE

Not as much fun as I had hoped. It does have its moments (the Cabby is great) but ultimately feels like it isn’t really going anywhere. Not Kurt Russell’s best. SCORE: 5

ACTING

Again, Kurt Russell just sort of growls throughout the movie, so I can’t say he does anything any other actor couldn’t do. There is some nice supporting work from Ernest Borgnine as the Cabby and Lee Van Cleef as Hauk. Donald Pleasance is pretty much wasted as the President and Isaac Hayes is your typical movie villain, nothing special there. It does have Tom (thrill me) Atkins… but alas he doesn’t have much to do. SCORE: 5

WRITING

I can set aside the fact that the view of futuristic technology was so off. I can blame some of that on the filmmakers.  But the plot just sort of drags you from place to place, and Manhattan seems to only have three or four locations on it. No great memorable lines for me, which is unfortunate. I was hoping for at least a couple great lines. SCORE: 4

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 4; MOVIEL: 5; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 4

4+5+5+4=18

FINAL SCORE=4.5

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~ by johnlink00 on March 27, 2009.

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