Escape from L.A. (1996) Poster

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Cheesy, unrealistic, outdated and fun!
a_forbes25 July 2003
Sure, Snake Plissken is a relic from the ultra-macho 80s action craze. Sure, Carpenter's use of effects is often obvious (though occasionally brilliant). Sure, the film is nothing but a slab of highly fragrant cheese, but it's FUN cheese. It's unapologetic cheese. It's the extra $1.50 of gooey, greasy, slimey mozza that you throw onto your 16" meat-lover's... sure, it's excessive--maybe even unhealthy--but it makes the pizza.

Escape From L.A. is pure, unabashed, old-fashioned fun. It's one of those movies that everyone claims they hate, but they really love in that deep place, way down in their mind, where belching contests are still fun. It doesn't pretend to be anything more than entertainment--and it's good entertainment at that. When I first saw the trailers for this film, I groaned. Kurt Russell's faux-Eastwood-does-pirate routine rubbed me the wrong way, and I was unfamiliar with John Carpenter's work. After having seen the original Escape, Halloween, The Fog, Vampires, The Thing and especially Big Trouble In Little China I know that Carpenter is interested in one thing: giving his audience an escape from reality, and this film is perfect for that. It doesn't make a lot of sense, and it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief, but in to paraphrase Roger Ebert: Who can hate a film where Kurt Russell and a transsexual Pam Grier swoop from the sky in hang-gliders firing automatic weapons at an amusement park compound?

Add to the mix a delightful turn by Steve Buscemi and an amusing (albeit unrecognizable) cameo by Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell, and you have a really fun, really dumb, really cool MOVIE!

Recommended for the 10 year old boy in all of us.
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Snake is Back, baby
CuriosityKilledShawn24 January 1999
Warning: Spoilers
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.
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Entertaining Follow Up
The_Void21 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Escape from LA follows almost exactly the same plotline as Escape from New York; A city has become a colony for criminals, something gets lost in the city, the government don't have anyone but Snake Plissken that is able to get it back, so he goes in, has a few misadventures with the locals and eventually brings it back.

This film very much lacks in originality, mostly due to it completely ripping off its predecessor. In fact; it could be said that this film is a remake of the first. However, what it lacks in originality is made up for with a great cast of support characters, which includes Steve Buscemi, Pam Grier, Peter Fonda and a great little turn from the god of B-Movie, Bruce Campbell himself. Kurt Russell returns of course, as the film's anti-hero; Snake Plissken, complete with a very cool new look; courtesy of a long black leather coat and leather trousers. Kurt Russell's performance in this film is pretty much the same as in the first movie, whereby he is only required to look cool for the duration; and that is something he does well. The support characters, however, are this film's main asset. Obviously Kurt Russell is the star of the show, but it's the colourful characters around that really make the film interesting.

The effects in Escape From LA, considering it was made in 1996, are awful. Whether or not the effects are bad on purpose as a tribute Escape From New York, I don't know; but I really felt that they could have done more regarding the effects. Escape from LA is a very silly film that many people will find hard to take seriously, however if all you want is to enjoy yourself for 100 minutes or so, and not use your brain too much; Escape From LA is your movie. Originality aside, I would say that this film is on par with Escape From New York.
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Misinterpreted and underrated
megavenganceman7 July 2004
Now "Escape from New York" is a darker, grim action thriller that suits the environment where the story takes place. When one thinks of New York, you think of a dark, seedy, big, bad city. This is not what comes to mind when one thinks of L.A. You would think sunny, plastic and strangely creepy. Hence the change in tone with this looser, tongue in cheek near self-parody. Now the reason why I say the film still works is Snake Plissken. The only character who is played completely straight against the stable of B-movie cliches and skewed Hollywood stereotypes. Maybe in a few years this film will gain the respect it deserves. Still, although I reasonably enjoyed the picture (especially a few choice cuts like the "Bangkok rules" scene) I must admit I liked the first one better too.
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" The more things change, the more they stay the same"
badfeelinganger7 October 2014
Both Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. are decidedly anti-establishment films. They both have this cynical view of the government; in these films, the government is not to be trusted. There are terrorist attacks aimed at the government on both films. ESCAPE FROM L.A This second one is tongue in cheek every step of the way. Watching Escape from L.A. feels like watching a cheap Italian Rip Off like 2019: After the Fall of New York (1983), but with a bigger budget. Actually, Escape from L.A. has a lot of similarities with 2019: After the Fall of New York, so in a way, this is Carpenter's pay back for all those cheap Escape from New York rip offs that the Italians made. Ultimately, I love both Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. for different reasons. And for all the tonal differences between both films, they still have many similarities. No matter where, Snake Plissken will always be Snake Plissken, you can tell Russell has lots of love for this character. Plissken is what kept me watching. The opening and closing segments of the films are extremely similar as well. And here's where we get to the best part of the film, the ending. Not gonna spoil it don't worry, but I will tell you that it is the best thing about the movie. Russell himself came up with it and I applaud him for it, it encapsulates everything Snake Plissken is in terms of attitude. That idea that maybe the world would be better off if we simply started again, from scratch, screw the way things are, let's try something new! Welcome to the human race my friends, welcome to the human race.t does criticize fascist forms of government, it also criticizes rebellious leaders who instigate their followers towards committing violent acts. So it doesn't side with anyone. On this film, both sides are wrong. The film pleads for a new beginning, it's asking governments to forget their old grudges and start from scratch. Snake himself says it in one scene: "I shut down the third world, you win, they loose. I shut down America, they win, you loose. The more things change, the more they stay the same" This is one of the ideas presented in the film that I truly liked. The idea that both sides should just call it quits and bring on the peace, bring on the freedom. Again, this last bit demonstrates how much of Kurt Russell's Libertarian views are on this film. After all, he wrote a lot of it himself along with John Carpenter and Debra Hill. These are three life long buddies writing a movie they would find amusing, which makes this film a labor of love. This is probably why the film has a more laid back, 'were having fun here' vibe to it.
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"Sounds familiar."
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews5 August 2009
That sums up one of the most undeniable aspects about this flick: It is enormously reminiscent of the first. Whether or not that's a negative thing is up to the individual. It still holds great surprises, and is definitely a fun ride. There is more satire in this than the first. The tone of this is often overdone and campy, in stark contrast to how serious that of "New York" was, and there are those that will miss that. This is humorous, if a few gags and jokes fall flat. Everyone but Russell(who nails the part again) is newly cast, and the choices are all fitting. This has some rather memorable occurrences(a couple of them for sheer weirdness and imagination), and certainly puts several breathtaking visuals up on the screen. The effects vary, though there are excellent ones herein. Dialog has quotable lines, and is well-delivered. The music is cool. Cinematography and editing are marvelous. The acting holds good performances. While it does bear a striking resemblance to that of the original movie, the script of this is interesting, creative and well-done. It has a nice pace, and you gotta admit that it's packed with action. Each sequence is exciting and intense, and differs from the rest in some way. There is strong violence and language in this, as well as disturbing content. This is bigger than the '81 film. Unfortunately, it also cost a larger amount of money, and only made about half back. It's too bad that Carpenter's work has a tendency to not be appreciated by the masses(only the fans and/or cult following) when it is initially released. I recommend this to anyone who wishes to watch it, the two aforementioned groups in particular. 6/10
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Thespin18 January 2005
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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Can't touch the original...
dr_foreman27 June 2007
"Escape from New York" is by no means a classic film, but it's memorably dark, seedy, suspenseful and even funny. You might call it a worthy cult favorite. Alas, "Escape from L.A." is not nearly as memorable - in fact, it plays out like a tired remake of its far more amusing predecessor.

Both films have essentially the same premise; corrupt government officials send criminal tough guy "Snake" Plissken to infiltrate the ruins of a once-great city and retrieve some MacGuffin for them. In both films, Snake is reluctant to cooperate, but the government secures his compliance by threatening his life. So, Snake duly treks off to an urban wasteland, wasting thugs and meeting a variety of wacky characters on his way to completing his desperate mission.

Because the two films are so similar, I find "Escape from L.A." tedious - it simply doesn't break enough new ground. And, to make matters worse, this tepid sequel does everything worse than the original movie. The villain is inferior, the president is inferior, and even the special effects are inferior (note the positively laughable CGI when Snake pilots his submarine to L.A.; the approach to New York in the first film is infinitely classier.)

And, though both films are comedies (of a sort), I find that the jokes in the first are simply better. In "L.A.," there are some attempts at social satire, but by and large they don't work. For instance, the much-praised "plastic surgery" segment feels really isolated and pointless to me. It's a one-joke sequence that goes nowhere and contributes nothing to the plot. Ultimately, I think the first film has the edge in the comedy department because it was co-written by Nick Castle, who reportedly lightened up the script and was quite a wit in general (though Castle is credited on this movie, I believe it's only because he wrote the original film.)

Perhaps the crowning aggravation of "Escape from L.A." is its exceedingly preachy social commentary. Now, I happen to be fairly liberal, so I agree with some of this film's criticisms of the religious right - but I also find the presentation of these criticisms to be superficial, condescending, and obnoxious. To be perfectly blunt, this movie is not literate enough to have serious political aims. It's just too silly and in-your-face; it doesn't have the subtlety to work as a satire, and it certainly lacks balance. Suffice to say, if you're conservative, this movie will annoy you, and even if you're an open-minded liberal, it will probably still annoy you by representing your views so poorly.

Yeah, this is basically a dud, though I sort of enjoy the Luddite-like sentiments in the concluding scenes. It's got some good cameos, a few decent scenes, but in the just ain't the original. What a waste of 50 million bucks!
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That's how we should speak about freedom of creation
kheops8 February 1999
Snake is back, and they shouldn't have tried to f*** with him. This movie is one of the best sci-fi movies these years, because first it's not serious at all, we see that John Carpenter is one of the most creative directors in the world in general and in USA in particular, that's why this movie didn't work, he doesn't have limits to his purpose, to the characters, he dose what he wants, and that's why he's not appreciated as he ought to be. That's also why he's appreciated here in France, we appreciated the character, Snake Plissken, very independent, not like those fake heroes as in ID4 or "Armageddon", Snake Plissken is a kind of anarchist, nobody can make him do what he doesn't want to except if his life depends on it. He's called to save the world, he says f*** off. The end of the movie is one of the best ends of a movie in these last years. The cast is really good, with of course Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi and Pam Grier (wow!) in a different role than "Jackie Brown" but the end is why I loved this movie, I didn't know that there were still free men as Carpenter in art creation in the USA.
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Less of a sequel; more of a remake
imjudelaw20 January 2006
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.
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greatest movie ever
dan819896 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
When I saw escape from New York starring Kurt Russel I thought that they could never begin to make a better movie than what i had just seen. The amazing special effects were exhilarating and got my heart racing. When a friend told me about Escape From LA i was going crazy. I must have watched it 10 times in that one day and every time it got better. When Snake hits the three pointer hook shot from half court my jaw dropped. When he got shot in the leg, stood up, got on a surf board, road the tsunami, and jumped off the tsunami to catch someone, it was as if my life was complete. WELCOME TO THE HUMAN RACE was the perfect end to a perfect movie. Thank you Kurt, and everyone who was a part of insanely incredible movie.
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Escape from New York, Part II: Electric Boogaloo
I_Ailurophile7 January 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Let me get this out of the way right at the top: I LOVE this movie.

The narrative thrust of 'Escape from L.A.' very much echoes that of 'Escape from New York': Snake Plissken, antisocial antihero, is the only person that can get the job done, so the government sends him in with the promise of a pardon (and the threat of an unpleasant demise) to retrieve an all-important person or item. Along the way he encounters many denizens and dangers of the new society created in the sequestered ruins of the old, makes new enemies and new friends, and returns with ever more spite in his one beautiful blue eye. With every step, we in the audience are treated to exciting action, witty dialogue, and fantastic performances.

While there are certainly enough differences to make this a new film all its own, make no mistake that EFLA is like watching its classic, rightly adored predecessor through a funhouse mirror. The main musical theme itself is but a re-imagined version of EFNY's, and the moment it begins playing over the opening credits, you know exactly what you're in for. The very first time I watched this movie, I laughed giddily at the obvious wink.

'Escape from L.A.' is a movie that knows exactly what it is, makes no apologies for being over the top, and runs with it from start to finish. From surfing the ruins with Peter Fonda to hang-gliding over an amusement park alongside Pam Grier; from Bruce Campbell's creepy cabal of near-cannibalistic, overtly satirical caricatures to Steve Buscemi's happy-go-lucky, duplicitous gopher and guide; from the George Corraface's Basketball Court of Death to the dystopian welcome home by the US President For Life Cliff Robertson: this is a fun, silly movie, portraying a serious narrative, rounded out with very non-serious scenes, that winks and smiles at the audience and dares you to dislike it.

What a cast! I don't need to list them all, though I already mostly have; just scroll through the names and it's a veritable who's who of cinema of the mid-90s. And we get still more of Carpenter's regular collaborators, including the ubiquitous and lovable Peter Jason, the unmistakable Al Leong... and, of course, Kurt Russell, returning to form with Snake Plissken and giving the action antihero a palpable air of tired spite. Russell plays the character with such convincing disdain and moral exhaustion that even as we laugh at the ridiculousness of the scenarios he finds himself in, our protagonist anchors the film with resounding, defiant contempt.

Costumes, lighting, sets, props, effects--at worst they play directly into EFLA's nearly parodic intent, but mostly they are spot-on and make this movie as believable as it could want to be.

I love Carpenter's score, and the music by popular artists selected to round out the soundtrack. I love Debra Hill's production. I love the screenplay, accordingly co-written by Carpenter with Hill and Russell.

By no means is this for everyone. Several years before the misunderstood deadpan brilliance of 'Ghosts of Mars' cemented how very little people understand John Carpenter, EFLA dropped a pretty big hint. The storied writer, director, producer, and composer began his career with a less than serious film, and throughout his many features has masterfully guided us through genres including horror, sci-fi, thriller, comedy, and even romance. Ten years after undisputed classic 'Big trouble in Little China,' the release of 'Escape from L.A.' nonetheless perplexed many with questions of "What is this guy doing?"

The answer is: The same thing he'd always been doing. Folks just don't pay attention.

If you watch 'Escape from L.A.' expecting a no-nonsense, serious-minded thriller or action flick, you will be disappointed. You don't have to be a John Carpenter devotee to appreciate it, though it doesn't hurt; you don't have to be entirely in on the joke, though it helps. Just keep your mind open, relax, and enjoy the show.

Welcome to the human race.
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snake's back
anandblr9 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
SNAKE'S BACK!!!!! in the real world, its been almost a generation since snake got out of new york... but some things just don't change... snake's still the meanest baddest dude out there.

i don't know why this film was received as poorly as it was... because it is- quite simply- the greatest movie ever... there has never been any movie ever with so much attitude!


firstly... if you've seen escape from new york, then you know what's going to happen in this movie... almost. ... but that's not the point... this movie is neither a rip-off nor a remake of the original movie... its just that snake's been updated for the 90's. the ending of the movie is a comment on the dependency on electronics that we are faced with. this movie is intelligence disguised in pure testosterone.

the most amazing thing about this movie is its attitude.... just watch the scene where snake has a gunfight with the bad guy's goons and see what i mean.
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Underrated Action-Packed Sequel! Snake is Back! One Of Carpenter's Best!
jcbutthead8631 May 2012
Escape From L.A is great action sequel to Escape From New york and in my opinion one of John Carpenter's best films and is a film that deserves a second chance.

Set in a futuristic Los Angeles in 2013 L.A has been turned into a prison for the entire country where you go in and don't come out. When a black box containing a doomsday device is stolen, antihero Snake Plissken(Kurt Russell)has been hired to bring back the device in 10 hours once again putting Plissken in another hellish adventure.

I've always loved Escape From L.A since I first saw it and I don't understand the hatred this film has gotten over the years. Is Escape From L.A similar to the original? Yes. But L.A works so well if you don't take it seriously. Where as Escape From New York was a dark and grim vision of the future,Escape From L.A has a light,campy,satirical feel to it and Carpenter just rolls with it. One of the things I love about EFLA is how Carpenter takes the story and concept of the first film pushes takes it to new heights. Given a much bigger budget of 50 million dollars Carpenter is given much more to do with this film and you see a lot of locations in L.A that you'll see that have been destroyed or kept around like Beverly Hills or the iconic Los Angeles coliseum. Another thing I love about EFLA is the campy satire Carpenter injects in the film and the bizarre situations Snake gets into and the crazy characters Snake meets. Carpenter obviously loves L.A and takes time to make a satire of the city and flipping L.A on it's head whether it was earthquakes,agents,gangs or sports and it's wild and funny. Snake's situations and the characters he meets are just weird and crazy like the original. Snake has to deal with crooked agents,surfers,nutty plastic surgeons while getting into gunfights and trying to survive the mission at hand. Its seems like Carpenter and most viewers are in on the joke and Snake at times does not get the joke. Carpenter is pretty much making fun of the Action film genre and movie sequels,mocking the clichés with the shootouts and explosions and over the top villains that became associated with the Action genre during the 80s and 90s. But the Action scenes in the film are great and have a manic energy to it. One of the best Action scenes in the film is the Basketball scene where instead of winning a Basketball game,you have to win to save your life or you die. Carpenter loves NBA Basketball and takes the sport of Basketball and turns it upside down and makes Basketball a dark and funny game of death. As a NBA fan myself I wonder how would NBA legends like Michael Jordan,Magic Johnson or Larry Bird do in a Basketball game of death. A great scene. Carpenter also mocks Hollywood for coming out with a countless number of sequels in the 80s and 90s and it's so true even now how movie franchise sequels repeating the same thing over and over again. Carpenter always wanted to make a Western and you can see a lot of the influence of the Western genre in this film,with Snake being a futuristic of the Clint Eastwood Western movie gunslinger,the villains wearing black and brown dusters like the great Sergio Leone Westerns and the photography with a brown,dirty look of Sam Peckinpah's style came into the future. If you thought EFNY's ending was wild and bold,EFLA's ending is even bolder and one of the best endings in movie history and one of the reasons for Escape From L.A's brilliance and excellence.

Kurt Russell does a great job again as Snake,almost like Russell took the weekend off on Escape From New York and came into Escape From L.A on Monday. Russell plays Snake with the same toughness and grit like in the original and is brilliant and unforgettable. Stacy Keach is fun as Malloy,the warden of the prison. Steve Buscemi is great and funny as a Hollywood agent Map To The Stars Eddie a weasel who will represent anyone. Cliff Robertson does a fine job as The President who's evil and a coward. Bruce Campbell is excellent and unrecognizable as the surgeon general of Beverly Hills who puts Snake in a dangerous position. George Corraface is great as villain Cuervo Jones. Pam Grier is wonderful as Hershe a former associate of Plisskin's who helps him out. Peter Fonda is memorable in his short role as surfer Pipeline who helps Snake out in a funny and bizarre scene. Valerina Golino is good as Taslima who helps Snake out for a short time. A.J Langer is good as Utopia,the President's daughter who rebels against him. Michelle Forbes gives a fine performance as Brazen,Malloy's right hand help and assistant. This is a B-movie lovers dream cast.

John Carpenter's direction is wonderful,moving the camera at all costs bringing a crazy energy to the film with the pace never slowing down. The action sequences in the film are well done with enough gunfights to satisfy any action viewer,it's some of the best action scenes Carpenter's ever done. Great direction by Carpenter.

The score by John Carpenter and Shirley Walker is great and well done mixing Carpenter's Western and Blues and Walker's big action score. I also loved the new version of the Escape From New York theme for this film. Great version. Also great songs on the soundtrack from White Zombie(The One),Tool(Sweat)and Sugar Ray(Ten Seconds Down).

In final word Escape From L.A is an underrated classic that gets better with repeating viewings and is a film that deserves more respect and is one of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell's best films. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
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Greatest movie of all time
ThePreacher9 June 2002
This is one of the best movies for anyone because if you like cheasy action movies with one liners then you'll love this, but if you're like me and think that action comedys like this are just pure pieces of art then you'll want to see this movie over and over again.

I have to admit after seeing escape from new york i wasn't that excited to see this because it just seemed like an update but it is so much better and will you keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

By the way Bruce Campbell is in this movie and has one of the best appearences in any movie ever created and if you look closely you can also see an appearence by the wwf wrestler Triple H even though he wasn't that popular when the movie was made.
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one of the most audacious films of the 90's
chambara811227 August 2004
At first i love both Escape films but this film is the real proof what Carpenter movies are really about and that's the story. It reminds me the fact that those who constantly complains about EFLA didn't get even Escape From New York – this visual style, atmosphere and other great surrounding stuff, as everyone praising these days, doesn't make a good movie, it was, is and will be the story, and as for the richness of this Escape From L.A. is definitely far better including that it's the most personal Carpenter movie ever that is kind of philosophy on the freedom and also today's real problem in modern America. For these elements it‘s unforgettable and only waiting for its time to be reevaluated again.
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The Worst I have EVER seen
zeterminator13 October 2002
Believe me I have seen some corkers of movies yet this is the worst. I must admit I enjoy some of the clichéd lines from films but this has some of the worst cringing ones, delivered by the terrible(in this film) Kurt Russell('My name's Plissken')also the basketball scene is awful, in fact all the scenes are awful, recently I have been trying to write summaries on some of my favorite films but it has proved extremely hard, as for drivel like this its easy....1/10
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Earthquake of a Film
whpratt114 August 2007
Snake, the man with the patch is back doing his thing in what used to be LA and he strolls down what is left of Wilshire Boulevard and takes time to shoot hoops at the Coliseum. Snake, (Kurt Russell) enters into the 9.6-quaked Los Angeles of 2013 in order to retrieve a black box which is a sort of end of the world device. Snake has friends and foes, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Stacy Keach, Cliff Robertson and a good actress Pam Grier. There is also plenty of action where Snake dive-bombs a Happy Kingdom theme park. The ending of this film is perfect and I enjoyed this film as much as Escape from New York. John Carpenter & Kurt Russell did a great job in the production and directing. Enjoy
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Better than Escape from New York
Gandalf_is_cool16 June 2004
This movie was superior to Escape from New York in almost every way. Snake is more badass in this sequel, it's more up to date and believable. The social commentary is astounding and the, one of the best endings ever in a movie. People who say Escape from New York is superior are living in the past. Escape from N.Y. had a darker atmosphere but L.A. fit it's atmosphere as more light and campy similar to L.A. itself. Kurt Russell utilizes his character here more than Escape from N.Y. Snake is the ultimate badass. The special effects were good for their time and everything from the 1st one has improved. The social commentary is great. No smoking , no alcohol, no swearing, no sex-unless your married, no red meat, no foul language in which Snake replies. "Land of the free" it doesn't seem far off from our current society.
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Best Ending Ever ! ! !
Gibdos16 May 2004
So, recently if seen this amazing movie again, sitting on my couch and listening to this incredible genius made music. I really don't know, why most of the people prefer Escape from N.Y. When I first saw N.Y. it really didn't get me. But one must be said for sure: ESCAPE FROM L.A. DO HAVE THE BEST ENDING I'VE EVER SEEN IN A MOVIE MADE UNTIL NOW! So all of you, who haven't seen it yet, go get it!

PS: Sorry, if there are some gramatical errors, but my English isn't that good.
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Huh? (*SPOILERS ahead*)
jdp-220 September 1999
Warning: Spoilers
*SPOILERS ahead*

Jesus! How can anybody like this film? From the scene in the submarine (where Snake refuses to use his brains and simply overloads the system) to the ending (where he has only a few seconds left, but he sends a hologram to receive the antidote??? -> at that time he didn't know the virus wasn't deadly), and everything in between (Snake just walking down the streets and not being shot like he would've been if this were reality, and the irritating Steve Buscemi character), everything sucks.

Some choose to call it camp, but I just call it uninspired. Even the special effects were crappy (the wave in the much spoken of surf scene was as unrealistic as I ever have seen).

It has been a while since I've seen Escape from NY, but as far as I can remember, at least *that* film was entertaining. The sequel couldn't entertain me for one second.

I gave it a 1/10 (more than it deserves)
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Netherland17 February 2004
Escape from L.A. is a great movie, perhaps even Carpenter's best, and Kurt Russel makes Snake Plissken ten times more macho than Bruce Willis did with John McLane in the Die Hard movies.

The movie is much better than the original (Escape from New York) with good music and better humor than most action movies.
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John Carpenter's Embarrassment
samuraisuave27 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the dumbest movies I have seen in a long time. And I mean that; the stupid is just OVERFLOWING out of this film. I watched it immediately after watching Escape from New York, and be sure, this monstrosity of a sequel does no justice whatsoever to the first film.

Let me do a recap of just SOME of the stupid for you: - The terrorist in this film is the PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER and she joins forces with a bad Che Guevara knockoff.

  • In one of the opening scenes of the film Plisskin inexplicably tries to blow away two of the people sending him on his mission, despite the fact that he NEEDS THEM in order to carry out his mission. His gun makes a lot of noise but doesn't harm them, at which point the two people tell him, "We thought you'd do that. That's why we filled your first magazine with blanks." GENIUS! They totally KNEW that Plisskin would randomly try to kill them for no reason whatsoever.

-Shortly after this scene, Plisskin embarks upon his journey to Los Angeles by way of a jet-powered submarine that can SOMEHOW GENERATE THRUST UNDERWATER (as if it were a a fighter jet) DESPITE THAT THIS VIOLATES BASIC LAWS OF PHYSICS. While underwater, he puts the thruster into 100% overdrive, ignoring his commanding officers (the ones he randomly tried to kill earlier) who advise him that he shouldn't do so. What follow are shots of Kurt Russell in his submarine careening through one of the most laughably bad CGI sequences ever put to film. The highlight of this sequence is that, as Kurt Russell is underwater, he passes the wreckage of Universal Studios sign, and a giant shark comes out of nowhere and tries to eat the submarine, but misses it completely. The shark is completely unconvincing and wreaks of not only a poor special effects budget, but also a poor effort on the part of the effects team all around.

-A scene in which Kurt Russell surfs a giant tidal wave in a sewer while AT THE SAME TIME Steve Buscemi is cruising alongside him in a hot ride. (I can't make this stuff up) -And finally, in order to save his life, Plisskin must earn 10 points in a basketball court. Plisskin DOES accomplish this heroic feat (we are literally shown Russell running up to the goal to make lay-ups) and yet the bad guy (the Che Guevara knockoff) STILL decides to shoot him, but remarkably, Plisskin just hops over the fence and escapes unscathed. (Also of note in this scene. We first see a guy who doesn't get 10 points, and so he is shot. The way this is done is so brainless... basically there are tons of set up right outside the fence, lining the basketball court. So picture the basketball court as a rectangle, and there are guys EVERYWHERE, on all sides of the rectangle, tons of them. Well, when they are ordered to kill the guy, EVERY ONE OF THEM fires blindly at the guy in the center of the court. If this movie had an ounce of intelligence, most of the bad guys would be dead from shooting each other!) -Toward the end of the film, Plisskin hangglides (along with Buscemi and the president's daughter) into a warzone, mowing guys down with a submachine gun, all the while remaining completely unscathed.

Now rest assured -- if you consider yourself a connoisseur of the stupid, there is PLENTY more of it in this film. What I offered are simply SOME of the highlights. And no, none of this is intended as camp. I have SEEN camp, and this is not it. This is ATROCIOUS and indecisive writing that tries to do a lot of things and FAILS at everything. As if the barrage of stupid weren't enough, the plot is also incoherent and unclear.

What really kills this movie for me is the wasted opportunity it is. Escape From New York was at its core an enjoyable movie that took liberties with reality but ultimately followed it more than it deviated. In EFNY, Plisskin was just a badass war veteran taking people out with his silenced TMP submachine gun. In EFLA, Plisskin is some kind of borderline comic book super hero with a trench-coat and placticized toy-looking guns that have no place in reality. Really, NONE of this movie has any place in reality, which made my suspension of disbelief IMPOSSIBLE. The events of EFNY were a little "out there", sure, but not to the extent that I couldn't suspend belief and enjoy things.

EFLA is dumb trash, plain and simple. I don't even recommend this movie to hardcore EFNY fans as you have already seen this movie -- the GOOD version.
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Possibly the worst movie I've ever seen
tpaul36930 August 2003
It's been a long time since I watched a movie that has vied for my personal "Worst Movie of All Time" award. I had the displeasure of watching Escape From LA recently, and in spite of the fact that I was watching an astonishingly awful movie, I had to keep watching to find out if the movie would keep plummeting on it's downward spiral. Rest assured, it did.

I am admittedly a fan of the original Escape from New York. The original was dark and somewhat believable with an admirable supporting job by Lee Van Cleef. Escape from LA is essentially the same movie, moved to the west coast, and with the special effects possible in this day an age.

Note to self (and anyone else): Spending money on special effects does not equal a better movie.

One last word on this movie - I think Escape from LA has one of the worst single scenes in any movie I've ever seen. I thought Jean Claude van Damme punching a snake (and knocking it unconscious) in "Hard Target" was bad, but watching Snake Pliskin ride a tsunami on a surfboard, then jumping into the back of a speeding car, may be worse.

I'd advise watching this movie once, just to enjoy just how simply bad it is. But consider yourself warned.
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a new word: SNAKE-TASTIC!!!!
mrmikemaxfield12 March 2003
this movie is fan-friggin-tastic!!! yet everyone in the world disliked it, and forced the movie industry to call it, "a bomb." do you even realize how much that sucks? this movie is so great. snake plissken is one of the COOLEST characters in film. he's one of those bad-ass guys, who can't lose. the movie is done in much more of a "comic-book" way than the first was. in fact, the first one is in more of a serious tone, whereas "L.A." is like reading a "Punisher" comic book. which this may be why a lot of people disliked this one. and now, we probably won't ever see an "Escape From Cleveland" or "Miami" or "Earth" or Escape From ANYTHING, because the industry called it a bomb, and therefore production companies wouldn't want to put money into another Snake installment. yet we are forced to see sequels to crap, like "Legally Blonde 2" or "Airbud: Golden Receiver." i mean come on, what is going on in this world o' film!!!!! (well actually, "Legally Blonde" wasn't all that bad, i just couldn't think of another bad movie that we are being forced to see a sequel to... hahaha) the point is: I WANT ANOTHER SNAKE PLISSKEN MOVIE!!!!!
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