Escape from L.A.

Escape from L.A. ★★½

This is a fun but undeniably lesser sequel to Escape from New York. It more or less recycles the same beats but often in a cheesier and sillier manner. For example, in place of the previous film's to-the-death wrestling match, we get a basketball hoop-shooting challenge where the penalty for failure is being filled full of lead - which just doesn't work as well because the latter sport doesn't have the same inherent air of Americanised primal violence about it.

The biggest issue, however, is the poor quality of the special effects. The original had a lot of mostly excellent practical work that was assembled with the help of no less than a pre-fame James Cameron. Here, we get CGI depictions of a submarine ride, tsunami surfing and a burning helicopter that look like they have been lifted from an Asylum mockbuster.

Still, Kurt Russell is as great as he ever was playing Snake Plissken and there's some decent support from the likes of Steve Buscemi and Stacy Keach. There are some entertaining moments here and there, the best being a hilarious scene involving drawn guns and a tossed can.

If you like the first film, this is worth checking out, but more as an amusing, somewhat flawed footnote than as a worthy successor.

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