Escape from L.A.

Pure Escapism

Bet you thought Snake Plisken was dead? Well he’s back – and so are Kurt Russell, producer Debra Hill, and director John Carpenter, who all concocted the plot for this nutty flick.

When an evangelist’s prophecy of The Big One (i.e. a huge earthquake that demolishes the coast of California) comes true, he parleys his notoriety to become the next President-for-Life (no doubt succeeding Donald Pleasance, shamed out of office for playing the American Bandstand theme to a world-wide audience). The President (a Dole-like Cliff Robertson) immediately declares martial law, and bans all forms of pleasure. When his kooky daughter Utopia (having become a cyberspace girlfriend to revolutionary Cuervo Jones), steals his hi-tek new superweapon, he sends for Snake to get it back.

John Carpenter may be weak when it comes to action, but he’s much more adept at dark comedy. This sequel is really a much more expensive remake of the original Escape from New York, with broader humor, more f/x, and plenty of guest stars (Steve “the Harry Dean Stanton of the’90s” Buscemi, Pam Grier, Peter Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Bruce the Shark). While the original had cheap model shots as fake computer graphics, the sequel has cheap computer graphics as fake reality! Those out for some laughs will find ’em here. Those looking for hard-boiled sci-fi action should look elsewhere. Example: while Snake battled to the death in a gladiatorial match in EFNY, the laid back California version has him battle for his life against the clock on a basketball court! Don’t miss the incredible hook shot! Those lucky Angelinos get to see their town destroyed twice in as many months – Hollywood owes the rest of us big time. Next: Escape from Earth!

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