JD’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film has been on my to watch list for so long and finally I had the chance to watch it.
The film follows Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a criminal forced to rescue the President of the United States of America (Donald Pleasence) after his plane is shot down in New York which is now being used as a giant prison.
Despite a bit of predictability in the narrative, this film is just solid entertainment for it's entire runtime. The story flows really well and is fantastically paced. It's set-pieces, especially the climatic race across the bridge, are exciting and fun to watch. Snake is an brilliant protagonist, a badass anti-hero with a good heart. The Duke (Isaac Hayes) is suitably menacing for an antagonist but could have been explored more.
Kurt Russell delivers an absolutely iconic performance as Snake. He's cool when he needs to be but also lets flashes of the human side of him out. Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins provide great support.
There's a riveting atmosphere throughout the film which is down to both Dean Cundey awesome cinematography and John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's tense score.
Final thought: I am ashamed that it took me this long to watch this film because it is so damn entertaining.