Escape from L.A.


Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi / Thriller


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August 03, 2015 at 04:22 AM



Bruce Campbell as Surgeon General of Beverly Hills
Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken
Michelle Forbes as Brazen
Steve Buscemi as Map to the Stars Eddie
1.44 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 2 / 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Shawn Watson 6 / 10

Snake is Back, baby

Summer 1996 really was NOT the right moment to bring back Snake Plissken. America was caught up in Olympic fever and was riding the mad, patriotic wave extremely high with the release of ID4 and other huge action hits such as Twister and Mission: Impossible. A sobering reality check of the grim, forthcoming future instigated by a hypocritical government with a cynical, outcast anti-hero was NOT what anyone wanted.

I remember sitting in the foyer at the now-demolished ABC cinema in Edinburgh on September 21st 1996 (we had to wait a month after the US release) waiting for the screen to open. A couple of young women exited the previous screening loudly proclaiming "That was the worst film I have ever seen."

Bad Boys II had not been made at this point.

I don't think that Escape from LA is a bad film, but it is a failure on many levels, not the least of which are the shoddy CGI effects which look like they came from a mid-90s CD-ROM.

Since the massive spike in crime in America in the late 1980s, and the subsequent transformation of Manhattan into a prison colony, the United States Police Force and their religious lunatic Head of State has slowly but surely erased all liberty from the American people, denying them the rights to swear, have sex, eat red meat, smoke, or drink alcohol (all for their own safety of course), while at the same time expanding their empire by pushing into foreign territories.

Any of this sound familiar?

In 2000 a massive earthquake strikes Los Angeles and the city is transformed into an island, declared no longer part of the United States, and becomes the new, west-coast prison colony. Whether you're a murderer or an atheist, you lose your citizenship and are dumped on LA Island. Unless you opt for a quick electrocution before deportation.

It had been 15 years since his famous escape from the Big Apple, but Snake had remained a strong cult character and had a big following. This time he's dropped into the Big Orange in 2013 with the promise that if he retrieves a doomsday device he will be able to walk free.

"Freedom? In America?" asks Snake. "It died a long time ago."

This was 1996!

Carpenter and Russell could clearly see the dark path their country was heading down. If only they conveyed their ideas and satire in a more cohesive, intelligent fashion. Escape from LA has big ideas, huge ideas even, but a cheap 101 minutes is not the best way to fully explore and develop such satire. As with his previous movies, Carpenter's vision is epic, but the execution is implied. This may work with horror movies like Prince of Darkness but it fails here. It really, really fails.

When Snake shuts down the Earth at the end of the movie do we see the effects of such devastation on the planet? Do we see highways and cities go dark, do we watch mankind revert to the stone age as the juice he has relied on to keep him warm runs dry? No. Instead we see a couple of lights go out in a drab police compound. Wow! That's so not freakin' exciting, Carpenter! So much potential, so much disappointment.

At the very, very least it works as a trashy action movie but it should have been so much more.

Reviewed by imjudelaw 10 / 10

Less of a sequel; more of a remake

This movie is what would've happened if Carpenter had just left Escape from New York as a stand alone. It would've been remade into a hyped-up overkill Hollywood remake.

But instead, he did it himself. I love this movie, it doesn't take itself seriously like Escape from New York did. People who loved Snake's camp in New York will love this. People who loved Snake for his bad-ass charm and the creepy moments in New York wont be as pleased.

Snake's a regular action-here in LA. One-Liner's and angry sneers all the way. And the creepiness has been replaced with campiness... this is essentially a polished B-movie.

Gotta love the villains. With a main baddie who looks like Che Gueverra, where can you go wrong? Okay, so the rest of the characters are extremely ridiculous (Map to the Stars Eddie, Hershey Carmichael, Bruce Campbell as the Surgeon General) but who cares? This movie isn't meant to be serious. It's meant to be a ridiculous laugh-out loud film.

This film was just the tip of Carpenter's sarcastic action movies. Vampires and Ghosts of Mars followed.

Reviewed by Thespin 10 / 10


I don't think there's a better movie describing today's atmosphere in America and you can easily forget Escape From New York cause its political themes are pretty much restrained. Also Escape From L.A. is kind of timeless in a way that it satirizes all what America is known for, from motorcycle gangs, hookers, Hollywood agents, face-lifts, politics, freedom, violence TO implied peculiar American (created) all movie genres (sci-fi, action, comedy, western) to movie characters (typical US movies bad guys/good guys), music (typical western score, typical US orchestrated score), dialogues, typical US action movie scenes and especially parodying Hollywood stupid copycat sequels. You can find so much about America through this film, you just have to know how to watch it.

Also i think the fact that the story of this film is only borrowed from EFNY is done partially on purpose because Russell & Carpenter wanted to do it with familiar story and highlight especially those aspects only characteristic to contemporary America and make fun of them. Carpenter did surely one of his best films ever that already no doubt surpassed his inferior classic Escape From New York. Gee what amazing piece of work Carpenter created do you even realize that? And personally i think Escape From L.A. over time will definitely gain well-deserved status as one of the greatest master-pieces in American movie history!

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