You either love this film or you don’t. There’s really no two ways about it. Some of it is so out there, that you can’t help but roll your eyes. But if you want to see director John Carpenter, and star Kurt Russell bringing their anti-hero Snake Plissken back to the screen some fifteen years after the classic Escape From New York, then you have to take a look.
While still very dystopian, there’s a skewed look at reality, specifically the ‘reality’ of Hollywood in this episode, as Snake finds himself pulled into yet another assignment by those in power.
My biggest complaint is that there are no extras on the disc, barring the original theatrical trailer, not even an isolated music score, who wouldn’t want to hear composer Shirley Walker riff on classic Carpenter themes?
The picture and sound, of course, are fantastic, and it definitely shows that some of the computer-generated effects didn’t age so well. I think it’s very telling that the special effects that went into making the original film Escape From New York stand up a lot better than those of L.A.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a fun film. Anytime Carpenter and Russell work together you have my attention. This one, however, is not for all Carpenter fans. It’s a little glossy, a little popcorn, a lot silly, and only Snake gives the film its edge, and delivers us a bang up ending!
Once again, blackmailed into action by a government he doesn’t care for, Snake finds himself sent into the remote island of Los Angeles (transformed into an exile for those stripped of their citizenship) by a far-right President (Cliff Robertson) in order to recover a doomsday device in the hands of his daughter, Utopia (A.J. Langer) and her revolutionary-leading boyfriend, Cuervo Jones (Georges Corraface).
Along the way Snake tumbles into a series of misadventures that allows for a number of familiar faces, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Bruce Campbell, Steve Buscemi, Michelle Forbes, Stacy Keach, and Valeria Golino.
I would have preferred to have some extras thrown my way for this one, a commentary perhaps? A look at the character, the series, and the fandom that has sprung up around it? As a Carpenter aficionado, this one was a must for me, and I do dig it. But this one isn’t going to be one that everyone has to add to their collection.
It does however fire up the imagination of perhaps Carpenter and Russell pairing up for another film together. Can you imagine??
Escape From L.A. – love it or lump it, looks great on 4K and is available today from Paramount Canada!