Escape From LA (1996)

Escape from LA (1996)

I really like John Carpenter stuff, Escape From New York, The Thing classics, but Escape From LA, well not so much, or maybe I remember Escape From New York too fondly. Escape from LA is a quite preposterous story about a crazy conservative president of the United States of America, which is why it is more relevant than ever.

It saw the return of Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) to our screens helping to retrieve a weapon capable of destroying the world, as we know it. This president sees America as a place of moral superiority in the world, no sex without marriage, no red meat, no smoking, no freedom of religion. An earthquake has seen LA separated from mainland USA, which suits the new president well as he now uses this as an island to send all immoral Americans to imprisonment (not quite building a wall but still). The prisoners run the island of LA, their head honcho is Cuervo Jones (badly modeled on Che Guevara) who being the charmer that he is, persuades the president’s daughter Utopia to steal him a superweapon. Which controls all the worlds’ satellites, and can send the world back to the Dark Age.

Snake is recruited and reluctantly helps the ultra conservative establishment, as he is told he has so many hours to live and has been infected with a deadly virus. He has to rescue the key to the doomsday device and eliminate the president’s daughter Utopia.  I mean it’s a crazy movie, with some ropey CGI, massive sharks attacking submarines, Snake surfing a tsunami, paragliding Steve Buscemi (Map to the stars Eddie), stereotypical commie villains (some things never change). But I thought this film is a poor sequel. It can be argued it's too similar to Escape from New York and, hits the same beats, just not in such a meaningful and well-executed way, it is an entertaining movie though but can come across as more of a comedy in places. It shows a terrible future America that takes away freedoms, with an ultra conservative President, using the threat of terrorism to do what he wants (familiar). Escape from LA depicts a fascist America, so crazy that it couldn’t be real. Watching Escape from LA recently now turns into some kind of ironic satire, a warning of what could be instead of a cheesy over the top remake that it is. Which makes this more relevant than ever. You can stream this now!