Escape from L.A.

Escape from L.A. ★★★½


"Welcome to the human race."

John Carpenter's go-for-broke action extravaganza which exploits the genre at the same exact time it's satirizing the dark heedlessness, reaching absurdly delightful heights set against a detailed post-apocalyptic Los Angeles - cut off from the mainland by a flooded San Fernando Valley, leveled by a massive earthquake, and converted into a prison camp for the nation's "undesirables." Escape from L.A. ruminates on such manic energy and anarchic ideas, disgusted by the world surrounding a pro-nostalgia antihero, that it's near bizarre to not admire the no-bullshit, fascinating presentation of the United States when prescient toward our modern times (the Christian right's militant, religious fundamentalism, gigantic walls forged around the country, lack of basic human decency for those of a different sexual orientation, deportation of Muslims, etc.) while demonstrating the institutional imperialism and hatred the U.S. has always reprehensibly found itself built upon - now more relevant than it will ever become, creating a breathtaking and profound finale of deliberate brilliance in the process.

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