Friday, February 27, 2009

Escape from New York

Escape from New York is a cult classic directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell as criminal Snake Plissken.

The story takes place in a United States that is so full of violence that the entire Island of Manhattan has been converted into a prison. The worst criminals are shipped there, and allowed to roam freely, as they are unable to leave the island.

The President of the United States’ plane has an accident and take the unfortunate turn and crashes on the island. The president is able to escape in a lifepod, but is now trapped on the island.

Over the years, the prison has evolved its own, bizarre culture. The Duke controls much of the island, the prison’s de facto ruler.

Plissken, a criminal, has been “recruited” by the government to help rescue the President of the United States (Donald Pleasance) from the clutches of the self imposed Duke of New York (Isaac Hayes), because the top secret knowledge he has. Plissken is implanted with a device that will kill him if after 24 hours. It will be removed when he has completed his mission. He makes his way onto the island by flying a glider onto the top of one of the World Trade buildings. As the movie progresses, he begins to make headway into the society that has been festering. Ernest Borgnine plays a cabbie, who helps Plissken out around the city.

John Carpenter wrote, composed, and directed this film. As such, the film fits right on in with most of his films, containing the same style, and the same synth music.

It truly is one of the quintessential 80s action films.

*** 1/2 out of *****

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