Secret Service guy is it? What are the stakes?
Who cares? While Snow’s awaiting “status” in the lock up, the President’s daughter Emilie enters with her “cruel and unusual” soapbox and the inmates – actually one deranged inmate – manages to free everyone and take over the joint. Do they have some nefarious plan? No, but they’ll make one up as they go along.
So the story rolls on with Snow trying to save Emilie WHILE trying to find his friend to tell him about the missing case (even though we ALL know the secrets are in the cigarette lighter) .
Will the Secret Service traitor screw him over en route? No, he’s willing to wait. Are the guys who paid for the information in on this prison heist or will they try to screw things up for Snow? Of course not.
So by the time Snow parachutes from space down to the Major Deegan Expressway (ahem, NYC), we don’t care about the missing briefcase or traitor. But then like our passive protagonist sequence from Minority Report, the hero is incarcerated while the love interest solves the crime, then let’s Snow sting the traitor.
And we end with promises of sex because, um, well, what else would a action hero want?
How about a unified story and respect. In EFNY (I don’t think that acronym is deliberate), terrorism and unrest abound, causing terrorists to crash the president’s plane in NYC. But World War 3 might break out if Snake can’t get the president out to play his tape in 22 hours. So they give our nihilist hero who was screwed over by the system an incentive – exploding capsules in his arteries that will go off in 22 hours if he’s not back.
That is what we call a ticking clock.
So Snake does it, prevents the Duke of NY (what wonderful characters!) from riding out with the President’s head on the hood of his car, escapes the road mines, goes over the wall with seconds to spare, gets the capsules removed and still manages to screw over everyone for sending him on that suicide mission.
Both movies have memorable lines, both have fun action scenes and escapes, but in case you forgot, only one has a unified story strong enough to stick in our memory.