Review: ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Review: ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996)

This sequel recycles a lot from the first movie, but considerably more fun and exciting.

It's a long wait since Kurt Russell last appeared as Snake Plissken in 1981's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Now he's back. The good news is, this sequel has improved (if not entirely).

Los Angeles, 2000: A massive earthquake hits Los Angeles big time. After the island has separated from the rest of the United States, it becomes a wasteland for lowlifes and criminals. Cut to 2013, the new President of the United States (Cliff Robertson) wants Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) to retrieve a black box containing a doomsday device. Apparently the President's rebellious daughter, Utopia (A.J. Langer) has stolen it and now she is owned by a South American guerilla leader, Cuervo Jones (George Corraface) in Los Angeles. Likewise, Snake must recovers the object at all cost within specific time or else he'll be dead from a virus injected into his body.
The action is better staged and more entertaining than the 1981 version. Even the tongue-in-cheek comedy element and the pacing are improved considerably. The elaborate production design of the futuristic Los Angeles is also better realized than the more generic-looking New York setting.
Kurt Russell reprises his iconic Snake Plissken character like a back of his hand. He may have been aged, but he is still fun to watch for. As for the supporting cast, George Corraface delivers a wickedly entertaining performance who obviously modelled as the tongue-in-cheek version of Che Guevara. Meanwhile, Steve Buscemi provides good comic relief as the swindler "Map to the Stars" Eddie. And finally, notable cameo appearances from Bruce Campbell, Pam Grier and Peter Fonda, are all worthy of special mentions as well.
The "Bangkok Rules" sequence in a standoff between Snake Plissken and Cuervo Jones' men.
It's a shame that John Carpenter's screenplay is too much of a deja vu experience. Almost all the plot here is identical to the 1981 version. After 15 years' gap, I guess it wouldn't hurt a bit for Carpenter to come up a fresh storyline rather than recycling the same old formula.

It's far from John Carpenter's best, but ESCAPE FROM L.A. is one good B-movie entertainment worth checking out for.

No comments: