John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. Reviews

  • Aug 25, 2019

    The special effects are at Sharknado's level.

    The special effects are at Sharknado's level.

  • Aug 06, 2019

    This one gets hated a ton for being silly and over the top but honestly that was it's purpose and on the whole it worked very well. Russell's as badass as he was the first time and the cast on the whole works. The final act's balls to the wall fun thru even the end credits. It was too ahead of it's time in 1996.. if 1996 had our modern day action and parody mindframe this woulda done a lot better. I'd easily rate this as one of Carpenter's best post prime films. Take the bad CGI away it's not a bad filmed movie at all.

    This one gets hated a ton for being silly and over the top but honestly that was it's purpose and on the whole it worked very well. Russell's as badass as he was the first time and the cast on the whole works. The final act's balls to the wall fun thru even the end credits. It was too ahead of it's time in 1996.. if 1996 had our modern day action and parody mindframe this woulda done a lot better. I'd easily rate this as one of Carpenter's best post prime films. Take the bad CGI away it's not a bad filmed movie at all.

  • Jul 27, 2019

    The original "Escape from New York" is a cult classic of the first order and is a touchstone film for Gen-Xer nerds everywhere. John Carpenter and Kurt Russell reunited 15 years after the original to make this long awaited sequel. It's nowhere as good as the original film and it's more of a big budget remake of the original film than a sequel, similar to Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn," which was essentially a bigger budget remake of the first film. In this sequel, in the future year 1998, ten years after the events of the first film, Snake Plissken is once again called upon by the United State Police Force to rescue, this time, the president's daughter who's being held hostage by a Che Guevara lookalike named Cuervo Jones who is the bossman in the west coast equivalent of Escape from New York's giant maximum security prison. Instead of Manhattan island being walled off and prisoners left to create their own society, part of Los Angeles broke off from the mainland during a massive earthquake and is now a walled off prison where the prisoners have created their own violent and twisted society. The original film had more of a desolate post apocalyptic feel to it, with a US on the brink of collapse and the world inside the walls of New York having already gone over the edge. This sequel/remake/reboot takes more of a campy and satirical tone and is not as dour and grim as the original film, which I felt was somewhat to it's detriment. The original had it's humorous and satirical moments for sure, but it didn't feel as silly. However, L.A. does boast an excellent cast that includes, besides Russell, Steve Buscemi as a map-to-the-stars hustler, Stacy Keach taking on the Lee Van Cleef figure, Peter Fonda as an acid casualty surfer, Cliff Robertson as a fanatical president of the United States, Valeria Golino as the love interest, Pam Grier as a , Bruce Campbell as the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills (a hilarious bit part), Michelle Forbes and Peter Jason as two of Keach's henchmen, and funny cameros by Robert Carradine, Isaac Hayes, Al Leong, Leland Orser, Thomas Rosales Jr., Breckin Meyer, and Paul Bartel. The production value on the film is terrific, making the most of iconic Los Angeles locations and featuring some eye popping visuals. Even if the CGI is ridiculously bad, even for this time in special effects history, Snake Plissken surfing a wave down the middle of a street is irresistible. L.A. also boasts some terrifically memorable sequences, such as the "Bangkok Rule" showdown early in the film (echo's of the old "Raiders of the Lost Ark" joke that still manages to surprise) or the great basketball scene where Snake is put on a basketball court in the middle of the LA Memorial Coliseum stadium, surround by gunmen, and Cuervo Jones explains, "Two hoops, full court. Ten-second shot clock. Miss a shot, you get shot. Shot clock buzzer goes off before you shoot, you get shot. Two points for a basket, no three-point bullshit. All you gotta do is get ten points. That's it... By the way, nobody's ever walked off that court alive. Nobody." And lastly, the enough cannot be said about the onscreen charism Kurt Russell exudes. He really is what make this movie. His attitude, his look, and his terrific lines, including the above mentioned Bangkok Rules showdown: "I'm gonna give you assholes a chance. What do you say we play a little Bangkok rules? (picks up a tin can) Nobody draws until this hits the ground. (throws can up, draws, kills all four before it lands) Draw." Or Snake's refrain throughout the film, which was a nice callback to Napoleon Wilson in Carpenter's classic earlier film "Assault on Precinct 13," with: "You got a smoke?" Overall, although "Escape from L.A." doesn't live up to the original, and really how could it, it remains a wildly entertaining film for fans of the original, with fun action, solid production values (beside the CGI), and a great performance by the always reliable Russell. FUN FACT! There was a planned third film "Escape From Mars" but when this film flopped, that script ended up becoming John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars" and cast Ice Cube in the Snake Plissken role, now renamed Desolation Williams.

    The original "Escape from New York" is a cult classic of the first order and is a touchstone film for Gen-Xer nerds everywhere. John Carpenter and Kurt Russell reunited 15 years after the original to make this long awaited sequel. It's nowhere as good as the original film and it's more of a big budget remake of the original film than a sequel, similar to Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn," which was essentially a bigger budget remake of the first film. In this sequel, in the future year 1998, ten years after the events of the first film, Snake Plissken is once again called upon by the United State Police Force to rescue, this time, the president's daughter who's being held hostage by a Che Guevara lookalike named Cuervo Jones who is the bossman in the west coast equivalent of Escape from New York's giant maximum security prison. Instead of Manhattan island being walled off and prisoners left to create their own society, part of Los Angeles broke off from the mainland during a massive earthquake and is now a walled off prison where the prisoners have created their own violent and twisted society. The original film had more of a desolate post apocalyptic feel to it, with a US on the brink of collapse and the world inside the walls of New York having already gone over the edge. This sequel/remake/reboot takes more of a campy and satirical tone and is not as dour and grim as the original film, which I felt was somewhat to it's detriment. The original had it's humorous and satirical moments for sure, but it didn't feel as silly. However, L.A. does boast an excellent cast that includes, besides Russell, Steve Buscemi as a map-to-the-stars hustler, Stacy Keach taking on the Lee Van Cleef figure, Peter Fonda as an acid casualty surfer, Cliff Robertson as a fanatical president of the United States, Valeria Golino as the love interest, Pam Grier as a , Bruce Campbell as the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills (a hilarious bit part), Michelle Forbes and Peter Jason as two of Keach's henchmen, and funny cameros by Robert Carradine, Isaac Hayes, Al Leong, Leland Orser, Thomas Rosales Jr., Breckin Meyer, and Paul Bartel. The production value on the film is terrific, making the most of iconic Los Angeles locations and featuring some eye popping visuals. Even if the CGI is ridiculously bad, even for this time in special effects history, Snake Plissken surfing a wave down the middle of a street is irresistible. L.A. also boasts some terrifically memorable sequences, such as the "Bangkok Rule" showdown early in the film (echo's of the old "Raiders of the Lost Ark" joke that still manages to surprise) or the great basketball scene where Snake is put on a basketball court in the middle of the LA Memorial Coliseum stadium, surround by gunmen, and Cuervo Jones explains, "Two hoops, full court. Ten-second shot clock. Miss a shot, you get shot. Shot clock buzzer goes off before you shoot, you get shot. Two points for a basket, no three-point bullshit. All you gotta do is get ten points. That's it... By the way, nobody's ever walked off that court alive. Nobody." And lastly, the enough cannot be said about the onscreen charism Kurt Russell exudes. He really is what make this movie. His attitude, his look, and his terrific lines, including the above mentioned Bangkok Rules showdown: "I'm gonna give you assholes a chance. What do you say we play a little Bangkok rules? (picks up a tin can) Nobody draws until this hits the ground. (throws can up, draws, kills all four before it lands) Draw." Or Snake's refrain throughout the film, which was a nice callback to Napoleon Wilson in Carpenter's classic earlier film "Assault on Precinct 13," with: "You got a smoke?" Overall, although "Escape from L.A." doesn't live up to the original, and really how could it, it remains a wildly entertaining film for fans of the original, with fun action, solid production values (beside the CGI), and a great performance by the always reliable Russell. FUN FACT! There was a planned third film "Escape From Mars" but when this film flopped, that script ended up becoming John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars" and cast Ice Cube in the Snake Plissken role, now renamed Desolation Williams.

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    Spencer M Super Reviewer
    Jun 18, 2019

    Oh my god. As a parody it is quite enjoyable. As a high-concept action film it falls short on many levels.

    Oh my god. As a parody it is quite enjoyable. As a high-concept action film it falls short on many levels.

  • May 29, 2019

    Why Snake? Why couldn't you just stay in Cleveland? I mean, you got out of New York...which was amazing, but you never should have gone to LA. This movie is bad, it had potential, the story is decent, but the execution is not good. Personally, they tried to incorporate far too much CGI into this film and it was done so poorly that the end result is abysmal. There are too many scenes to count with bad CGI, but my personal favorite (i.e. the worst) is the surfing sequence. First, you can totally tell it's not Kurt Russell surfing, and then you incorporate Steve Buscemi driving next to the tidal wave it's an absolutely disgusting scene. I loved Escape from New York and it has a fantastic story but this movie clearly didn't need to be made. The only saving grace of this movie is the basketball scene, it honestly is super memorable.

    Why Snake? Why couldn't you just stay in Cleveland? I mean, you got out of New York...which was amazing, but you never should have gone to LA. This movie is bad, it had potential, the story is decent, but the execution is not good. Personally, they tried to incorporate far too much CGI into this film and it was done so poorly that the end result is abysmal. There are too many scenes to count with bad CGI, but my personal favorite (i.e. the worst) is the surfing sequence. First, you can totally tell it's not Kurt Russell surfing, and then you incorporate Steve Buscemi driving next to the tidal wave it's an absolutely disgusting scene. I loved Escape from New York and it has a fantastic story but this movie clearly didn't need to be made. The only saving grace of this movie is the basketball scene, it honestly is super memorable.

  • Apr 16, 2019

    The worst film i've seen since Shark Exorcist.

    The worst film i've seen since Shark Exorcist.

  • Apr 11, 2019

    Snake is a true bad ass.. Sure they kind of recycled the first one, but that doesn't make it bad, just not as exciting..

    Snake is a true bad ass.. Sure they kind of recycled the first one, but that doesn't make it bad, just not as exciting..

  • Feb 02, 2019

    It feels like John Carpenter really wanted to have some fun and direct a B quality movie. There is much ridiculous stuff in this movie that is better if I number them out. 1) There is an excess of exposition; 2) The acting from most of the characters is awful; 3) All of the CGI is terrible and fake as shit, like Mortal Kombat level of terrible. Sharknado has better effects; 4) Motorcycles explode for no reason; 5) Both the villains are ridiculous. First there is the Barbie name Utopia (?????), and the other is a cheap Che Guevara knockoff named Cuervo, that used FUCKING boleadoras as weapons!!!! Such a terrible latin stereotype; 6) Why the hell is Steve Buscemi's character dressed like the Joker?; 7) Two of the silliest scenes every put to film are here: the first is the evil plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills, and the other is the execution based on a ridiculous basketball game; 8) Who the hell gave the idea for a tsunami surfing?? Fire him; 9) Why is Carjack Malone trans? There is absolutely no reason for that, as just to make the scene silly; 10) The whole hang gliding scene is so fake that you can actually see the cables. The only positive note I can take from the movie is that Kurt Russels one liners are still great, and his new leather outfit is cool. Other than that, is a really bad movie.

    It feels like John Carpenter really wanted to have some fun and direct a B quality movie. There is much ridiculous stuff in this movie that is better if I number them out. 1) There is an excess of exposition; 2) The acting from most of the characters is awful; 3) All of the CGI is terrible and fake as shit, like Mortal Kombat level of terrible. Sharknado has better effects; 4) Motorcycles explode for no reason; 5) Both the villains are ridiculous. First there is the Barbie name Utopia (?????), and the other is a cheap Che Guevara knockoff named Cuervo, that used FUCKING boleadoras as weapons!!!! Such a terrible latin stereotype; 6) Why the hell is Steve Buscemi's character dressed like the Joker?; 7) Two of the silliest scenes every put to film are here: the first is the evil plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills, and the other is the execution based on a ridiculous basketball game; 8) Who the hell gave the idea for a tsunami surfing?? Fire him; 9) Why is Carjack Malone trans? There is absolutely no reason for that, as just to make the scene silly; 10) The whole hang gliding scene is so fake that you can actually see the cables. The only positive note I can take from the movie is that Kurt Russels one liners are still great, and his new leather outfit is cool. Other than that, is a really bad movie.

  • Jan 26, 2019

    So lousy on so many levels... If you saw 'Escape from New York' don't waste your time watching 'Escape from L.A.'... It is essentially the exact same movie. It is also a continuing theme out of the cesspool called hollywood, hostility and animosity towards all things Christian. Both presidents are portrayed as weak. Both LA (After an earthquake) and NY are islands surrounded by a wall and the same police with the same orders to shoot. Russell uses the exact same lines "Call me Snake!"/"Call me Plissken!" in the exact same order at the beginning and end of the movie. He gets shot in the leg in both (Though I do not now recall if it is the same leg!). He uses 'high tech' gear on him and to enter NY (Glider) & LA (Submarine) and he is supposed to use the same manner of travel to get out but can't because they get destroyed. Plissken goes into NY for the president with a strategic level audio tape and into LA for the president's daughter and a strategic level weapon. Everyone he befriends or uses as an ally along the way dies... The list of identical events goes on and on... Again, don't waste your time if you saw the original. This is almost like a remake with only a location change...

    So lousy on so many levels... If you saw 'Escape from New York' don't waste your time watching 'Escape from L.A.'... It is essentially the exact same movie. It is also a continuing theme out of the cesspool called hollywood, hostility and animosity towards all things Christian. Both presidents are portrayed as weak. Both LA (After an earthquake) and NY are islands surrounded by a wall and the same police with the same orders to shoot. Russell uses the exact same lines "Call me Snake!"/"Call me Plissken!" in the exact same order at the beginning and end of the movie. He gets shot in the leg in both (Though I do not now recall if it is the same leg!). He uses 'high tech' gear on him and to enter NY (Glider) & LA (Submarine) and he is supposed to use the same manner of travel to get out but can't because they get destroyed. Plissken goes into NY for the president with a strategic level audio tape and into LA for the president's daughter and a strategic level weapon. Everyone he befriends or uses as an ally along the way dies... The list of identical events goes on and on... Again, don't waste your time if you saw the original. This is almost like a remake with only a location change...

  • Nov 24, 2018

    The kitsch and grimy charm of 1981's Escape from New York is replaced by 1990s action movie blandness in this sequel, along with surely some of the worst special effects ever seen in a mainstream Hollywood movie.

    The kitsch and grimy charm of 1981's Escape from New York is replaced by 1990s action movie blandness in this sequel, along with surely some of the worst special effects ever seen in a mainstream Hollywood movie.