What's so great about Escape from New York (1981)?

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It's often regarded as a classic, but I don't really see what's so good about it. I mean I felt the story didn't offer any surprises really.

SPOILER

The President offers Snake Plisken a deal, or an ultimatum really, and if Snake completes the mission he will be released. In the end, he completes the mission and is released. No surprises there and the President describes exactly how the movie will end, and it ends that way.

I didn't think that the visuals were of New York were that good either for the time, and felt that Carpenter just got his inspiration from The Warriors. Not that The Warriors is necessarily a better movie at all.

The action sequences were also not that good, and I felt the movie lacked suspense and was actually boring and hard to stay engaged in. I mean I feel that other action movies of the time such as The Road Warrior, Raiders of the Lost Ark and For Your Eyes Only were better.

The Road Warrior was a much better post apocalyptic movie I would say. I don't see what is so great or classical about Escape from New York, and was just wondering why is it held as so?



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Not sure how having the main character's objective being stated and then being achieved is supposed to reflect badly on the film because it's not surprising - to use one of your other examples, Raiders of the Lost Ark begins with Indy being told to recover the Ark and by the end of the film he's done exactly that. It's an odd thing to get hung up on.

I barely consider Escape From New York to be a pure action movie, anyway - it does have a much lower budget than any of those films you cite, so I'm not sure you can really compare them on that level (though I'll go to bat for the fight scene). Its strengths do lie elsewhere - the eclectic cast of characters, the weird atmosphere, the general retro-dystopia vibe of it all - that compensates for any perceived lack of action.
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But I felt that with other movies such as Raiders there were still other things I didn't see coming. For example, in Raiders, they said that the arc is of mysterious power, but they didn't say that Jones would fail at getting, it and that the nazis would all be supernaturally killed by it. That was a surprise, at least for me. So there was still other nice surprises happening in it.

Or to compare to the sequel Escape from L.A., Snake is given a very similar assignment but there is still a surprise at the end, as to what Snake does with it, that I didn't see coming.

As for characters and atmosphere, perhaps I need to watch Escape from New York again, cause I didn't really find the characters to be that interesting, but I can watch it again.



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I could argue that there's a similar surprise at the end of Escape From New York in regards to the top-secret audiotape, which is effectively repeated on a much larger and less subtle scale with the doomsday device in Escape From L.A..



I've just been reminded about another brilliant Harry Dean Stanton role . Escape from New York's often very funny, that's probably what makes it great. The Thing is similar. Much of that's down to the actors and Kurt Russell and Lee Van Cleef are so good.

Mad Max 2 is a richer apocalyptic story I agree; I was saying recently that part of what makes it so good is the mythic quality it has built in. The Warriors is probably also better than Escape from New York mainly because it exists in a contemporary setting that feels believable.



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
It's often regarded as a classic, but I don't really see what's so good about it. I mean I felt the story didn't offer any surprises really.
That it is held as highly esteemed is an illusion. Personally, I hated the movie.

http://www.rogerebert.com/far-flung-...-from-new-york



What's so great about Escape from New York (1981)?

Snake Plissken is one of the all time great screen characters and Kurt Russell abides Snake with a persona of too cool to care. Snake + Russell makes the movie a cult classic.



it has kurt russell as snake plisken , thats what u only need xd



Interesting that both Snake and Karl Urban's version of Judge Dredd owe a lot to Clint Eastwood.



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What's so great about Escape from New York (1981)?

Snake Plissken is one of the all time great screen characters and Kurt Russell abides Snake with a persona of too cool to care. Snake + Russell makes the movie a cult classic.
I will probably be hated for saying this but I felt that Snake was kind of another rendition of Clint Eastwood's western archtype character.



I will probably be hated for saying this but I felt that Snake was kind of another rendition of Clint Eastwood's western archtype character.
That's probably true, And Eastwood's man with no name character probably goes back to Gary Cooper in High Noon or similar movies.



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
I will probably be hated for saying this but I felt that Snake was kind of another rendition of Clint Eastwood's western archtype character.
I agree... I'm also sure many probably agree (but don't wanna be hated



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That it is held as highly esteemed is an illusion. Personally, I hated the movie.

http://www.rogerebert.com/far-flung-...-from-new-york
There are some good points in there, but most of it does come off like misunderstanding what the movie is trying to do and even throwing in some complaints about plot holes that are addressed in the movie (e.g. they have fuel because of Harry Dean Stanton).

I will probably be hated for saying this but I felt that Snake was kind of another rendition of Clint Eastwood's western archtype character.
True, but he's still a better one than most, though.



Beyond Snake himself and an excellent supporting cast I just love the general atmosphere of the film, the combination of the dark scuzzy streets and Carpenters cold minimalistic synth soundtrack is incredibly effective.



Wasnt anything like EFNY at the time. Great mattes, mood and lighting. Beat heavy score. A fun and intimidating hero. Darkly lit grisly deaths. The plane glide scene was pure magic. Not sure dissecting the plot is a healthy habit for a movie like this. Its the king b movie for futuristic urban wasteland spawning countless italian knock offs and creating that sub genre.

Manages to be creepy. I think timing plays a role. If you werent seeing this back when it came out then youve probably been colored by imitations since. Thatll take the shine off for sure.

Its a great movie.



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Yeah, I feel like it's very easy to get caught up in films needing to make "logical" sense instead of "emotional" sense - sure, it's a problem if a film is undermined by a horribly inconsistent sense of internal logic, but expecting everything to make perfect logical sense isn't ideal either. Ironpony even started a thread recently about how their big problem with Eternal Sunshine was that the company used a machine to erase memories instead of hypnotism and that a company like that wouldn't be allowed to exist in real life. Some things you really do have to roll with in the understanding that they make sense for the world of the film. Walling off New York City and making it one big prison is an absurd premise on paper, but it's necessary to reflect how thoroughly dystopian and disgraceful this fictional version of America has become that this seems like an acceptable response to growing crime rates.