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You may have survived Cleveland… You may have escaped from New York…

15 November 2011

I’ll come out and admit it — I really, really dig John Carpenter films. From the original (and vastly superior) Assault on Precinct 13 to Ghosts of Mars, I find it very hard to think of a film he directed that I don’t enjoy. Why Hollywood is remaking so many of them is beyond me — they’re pretty much perfect as-is — but that’s a rant for another time.

While doing day- job stuff today, Escape from LA was on in the background. While it’s not as good as Escape from New York (and really, what is?) it’s still a perfectly watchable, entertaining movie. And it still features one of the best characters in film — Snake Plissken.

See, the thing about Snake is that he’s not all that likable, or even necessarily a good person. His main strength isn’t some vast knowledge or unbelievable skillset — his main strength is just that he refuses to die. And though he’s unlikeable and disreputable, you very quickly end up on his side, rooting for him every step of the way.

I’m having a hard time thinking of another wholly unlikeable but great main character, at least one so well-drawn. It’s a credit not only to Carpenter as a filmmaker, but to Kurt Russel as an actor (a guy who I’ll pretty much watch in anything).

What about you, folks? Got anyone who trumps Plissken?

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