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Escape from L.A. (1996)

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Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writers:

John Carpenter (characters), Nick Castle (characters) | 3 more credits »
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4,707 ( 726)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Snake Plissken
Steve Buscemi ... Map to the Stars Eddie
Peter Fonda ... Pipeline
Cliff Robertson ... President
Valeria Golino ... Taslima
Stacy Keach ... Cmdr. Malloy
Pam Grier ... Hershe Las Palmas
Bruce Campbell ... Surgeon General of Beverly Hills
Georges Corraface ... Cuervo Jones (as George Corraface)
Michelle Forbes ... Brazen
A.J. Langer ... Utopia
Ina Romeo ... Hooker
Peter Jason ... Duty Sergeant
Jordan Baker ... Police Anchor
Caroleen Feeney ... Woman on Freeway
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Storyline

The year is 2013 and Snake Plissken is back but this time it's L.A., which through the agency of earthquakes has become an island of the damned. But something has gone wrong in this new moral order, because the President's daughter has absconded to L.A. with a detonation device, and Snake is commandeered to retrieve it. But just below the surface there is a coiled Snake ready to strike. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Snake Is Back. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,912,557, 11 August 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,477,365, 17 November 1996

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,277,365, 31 December 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One whole sequence was inspired by the flying monkeys attack in The Wizard of Oz (1939). See more »

Goofs

When on the treadmill, he can simply put his feet on the sides and not have to walk at all. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Female Narrator: In the late 20th century, hostile forces inside the United States grow strong. The city of Los Angeles is ravaged by crime and immorality. To protect and defend its citizens, the United States Police Force is formed. A presidential candidate predicts a millennium earthquake will destroy L.A. in divine retribution.
President: Like the mighty fist of God, Armageddon will descend upon the city of Los Angeles - the city of sin, the city of Gomorrah, the city of Sodom - and waters will rise and ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Blame
Written and Performed by Gravity Kills
Courtesy of TVT Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Trashy and weak but strangely enjoyable
13 November 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In the near future, America has become a moral state where `undesirables' are exiled to Los Angeles (which has become an island due to earthquakes). However, the President's daughter has joined rebels on the island and has fled there with a device that controls a weapon orbiting the earth. With the original strike team killed, the military capture Snake Plissken. Injecting him with a time limited poison, they send him to LA to recover the device and return it to the US. Like Snake would say `same sh*t, different day'.

Joining the list of `why?' sequels, Escape from LA is a belated follow up to Escape From New York. Apart from trying to kick-start the stuttering and stalling career of John Carpenter, the reasons for making this film are not too clear. The plot is a straight lift from the original film with a few details changed. The film is quite basic and episodic with jokes and scenes that are partly designed as part of the plot but mostly aimed at having digs at LA and providing cameos.

The problem is that a great deal of this doesn't really work. Some of the gags are just too obvious (Snake's capture by plastic surgeons) and many of the cameos are pretty lame. The fact that the scenes are used for comic swipes at LA mean that they aren't designed just to move the film along and, as such, occasionally slow it down and make it all feel very bitty and muddled.

What is good about the film is that it is pretty self aware and also seems to play to it's trashy side very well. The script has a nice running gag about Snake seeming smaller than people expect while the whole style of the film plays like a sci-fi spaghetti western. It was this aspect that helped me enjoy the film more as the trashy western side of it worked well. However, the script is poor and most action is just plain silly – I could just about buy Snake making a full court shot in basketball, but the surfing alongside the exact person he was looking for etc all makes it feel a little insulting to my intelligence.

Russell sends his character up pretty well, giving his best Clint Eastwood impression throughout. However the film becomes weak once you look past him in the lead. Cameos from Buscemi, Grier, Fonda and Keach are all pretty rubbish (Grier especially should be embarrassed) and help to add to the trashy feel to the film (that's not a good thing). Carpenter does a good job as director in some regards but rubbish in others. I liked all his spaghetti western touches but much of the action is just plain rubbish. It doesn't help that the effect shots are nearly all very cheap back shots – I know this was a few years ago and things have moved on, but even for the period the effects are really poor.

Overall, this film is poorly structured, poorly presented and trashy from start to finish. However the self mocking nature of the film and the fact that it wears it's trashiness on it's sleeve as a western homage, makes it slightly enjoyable trash. A poor sequel but one that is watchable if you're in an undemanding mood.


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