Escape from LA

Tagged: Film

Film (1996). Paramount Pictures in association with Rysher Entertainment. Directed by John Carpenter. Written by Carpenter, Debra Hill, & Russell, based on characters by Carpenter & Nick Castle. Cast includes Steve Buscemi, Bruce Campbell, Peter Fonda, Valeria Golino, Pam Grier, Stacy Keach, Cliff Robertson and Kurt Russell. 101 minutes. Colour.

Sixteen years after the events of Escape from New York (1981), the US is a morally totalitarian police state which deports its undesirables via the seismically detached island of Los Angeles (see California), into which Snake Plissken (Russell) is dispatched by the current president (Robertson) to retrieve a device stolen by the rebellious first daughter (A J Langer) that threatens the global shutdown of Power Sources.

This belated sequel traces a more overtly satirical narrative over the first film's plot, on which it offers a more Libertarian variation with broader comedy, sillier set pieces, a more self-parodic lead performance, and softer targets, many of them associated with the film business. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, but Russell is given too free a hand with the character and the story, and the film failed to restore Carpenter's former box-office clout. [NL]

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