Escape from L.A.

Escape from L.A. ★★★

Part of Carpenter's late 90s run where it felt like the mojo was wearing off (or that things just weren't clicking at the time) -this was a box office flop (made about half its budget back, coming in between Fly Away Home and Down Periscope at the box office that year) which, coupled with the amount of work that went into it, and how much Carpenter/Russell liked the character/Plissken's world, might have been part of what made it easier for Carpenter to start thinking about giving up movies. The film itself is mostly campy, comic-bookish fun. I always had a soft spot for the ending, which felt like it went a bit harder than it needed to, and the practical stunt work/action scenes are mostly welcome - Peter Fonda and Russell surfing in front of a green screen Cesar Romero-style while trying to catch a goggling Steve Buscemi in a funny hat and a big car wasn't one of those things I appreciated as a teenager when I first saw it, but there are worse things for Steve Buscemi to goggle at. On the other hand, I had forgotten about the subplot with Snake's old transgender partner in crime, Pam Grier, and while some aspects of Snake being an asshole have aged well - 'Bangkok rules'?- his general attitude towards Pam and insistence on deadnaming her repeatedly is one of those things that hasn't, and is a shame because it makes the last twentyfive minutes of this thing a lot less fun than it would be for a chunk of the audience.

("I was muslim in North Dakota" on the other hand, ouch.)

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