In an attempt to create original content (besides mediocre movie reviews), the time has come to start doing reports of an investigative nature for KLBJ. From time-to-time I ask myself tough questions that (simply) must be answered…
Snake's Facebook update: I h8 NyC! BRB...
Back in 1981, the world was given Escape from New York. John Carpenter’s dark vision of a futuristic fascist America is presented to the audience thanks in part to the antihero: Snake Plissken. A whopping 32 years later this film is still in the lexicon of pop culture conversation, and has gone on to a coveted cult classic status. The character Snake Plissken, reportedly Kurt Russel’s favorite character EVAH, speaks on so many levels. Not to undermine The Avengers, but Snake is an average man’s hero. He doesn’t have a fancy flying suit, never been exposed to gamma rays, wasn’t a WWII super soldier, nor hails from Asgard. He is a criminal, disenfranchised with the system, and gets even with the man.
With the way the Hollywood machine works now; something coveted three-decades ago is now reinserted & streamlined into remake purgatory. Such is the case with Escape from New York. I have said it once, and I will say it again: remakes have a 33% chance of success. Virgin audiences, not invested in the first version, will latch on like glazed over moths to the new flame. Those familiar with the original film will call foul, and take to the internet (like I am) to bitch and moan about the atrocity (even if it is just in development). In 2012 I watched three remakes that I can think of off the top of my head: Dredd, Red Dawn & Total Recall. Only one of those films impressed me. I was so blown away by its awesomeness that it made it to my coveted “12 Best Films of 2012” list. No joke.
I was secretly rooting for Red Dawn to be cool. It was not. You cannot convert the 1984 Cold War paranoia to a 2012 fear of *snicker* North Korea. Had MGM waited for a Spring/Summer 2013 wide-release, this bird might be singing a different tune. With Kim Jong Un recently denouncing the 1953 Armistice, and threatening to attack U.S. bases in the Pacific; now would have been a more timely delivery. At no fault to the studio, MGM does not have the power to predict the actions of short, pudgy, and tyrannical third-world dictators.
I went into Total Recall with an open mind. I brought in no reservations that might have been picked up from watching the Schwarzenegger version days before. The remake was so bloody boring I fell asleep in the theater. When it became available for Redbox rental, I gave it a chance at redemption. It put me to sleep again. It is so disgustingly dull it made me pass out from sheer boredom.
Getting back to Snake-this remake is a bad idea. Escape from New York was perfect. It is in my top 4 favorite films of all time. I have watched it so many times that my DVD copy has a hole in the middle. Bad joke. I have even gone further into the Snake Universe. Did you know there are 2 comic book series about the character? Have you seen the deleted opening scene on YouTube?
I find no faults in the movie. Not one. The sequel…well…that is a completely different story. When compared to Escape from New York, Escape from L.A. is a joke. It is one of those bad caricature pictures you always see at theme parks. It was more cheesy than dark. When Brain & Maggie argued about how to navigate the chaotic streets of New York, it worked. L.A. being parodied as a plastic-surgery Mecca PLUS the running gag of California being swept into the ocean by “the big one” was more annoying than entertaining. So what went wrong?
This scene is just part of what went wrong
Speaking freely it was a carbon copy sequel asking “how are things on the West Coast?” It didn’t try to spark anything new into the series. Snake did something good the first time, so let’s just copy the formula. So where do we go from here? Well Joel Silver and screenwriter Allan Loeb are focusing on a Snake Plissken origin story. I say why remake Escape from New York? Did Silver and Loeb not see the ending of Escape from L.A.? There is so much material that an imaginative *cough cough* screenwriter has come up with. Snake friggin’ Plissken successfully shut down the planet. What would the world look like 16 years after an EMP blast from orbiting satellites?
But how could he escape from a prison if the world is shut down?
Why would Snake need to escape from anything? The whole escaping-from-a-maximum-security-prison-with-someone-from-the-White-House didn’t work out so well the second time. Snake version 3.0 should be based in a post-technology America. What does this landscape look like? Who is running things? What has Snake been doing with his time? Well I have answered all those questions.
Snake has been spending his time playing H.O.R.S.E. by himself
I say bring back Kurt Russell as an older Snake, get a fresh screenwriter with a voice, and make a movie that gets dangerous. Make a film that will make the critics forget that 1996 disaster. Make this adventure more about Snake, and less about his geographical confinement.
I dare you to try to forget that Snake surfed onto the back of Steve Buscemi's car
P.S. If Joel Silver is reading this, and you want me to pitch my spec script to you, have your people call my people.