Movie Review: Escape from New York


Released: 7/10/1981

You have to love movies that are set in the future, but are now so old that the “future” is already several years in the past.  Escape from New York is set in 1997, where the crime rate has risen so dramatically that they had to turn Manhattan Island into a prison.  Kurt Russell is a bad ass criminal; you can tell he is a bad ass by his eye patch.

Terrorists hijack Air Force One and crash the plane into the now-prison Manhattan Island.  The president jettisons out on an escape pod, but is trapped within the prison.  The prison guards, located outside the prison, enlist the help of a former military, but recently convicted bank robber, to rescue the president.  To ensure that he accomplish this task in 24 hours, they implant tiny little bombs in his carotid arteries, which will blow up if he doesn’t return with the president.

It is a plot that has been duplicated many times, never very successfully.  As a result, Escape from New York feels dated, even though this was probably one of the first times this plot was used.  For an action movie, it moved rather slow with nearly an hour elapsing before any sort of action actually transpired.  My rented disc, of course, froze for five minutes at this point – I didn’t really care, but I was slightly confused for the rest of the movie.

There wasn’t a lot of action (or at least interesting action), especially for an “action” movie.  There was very little character development, even for an action movie.  In the end, it had all the drawbacks of a typical action movie, without any of the benefits.  Escape from New York was probably once a good movie that just didn’t stand the test of time.


WWYT Rating 5.5

IMDB Rating 7.2


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