Escape from L.A.

Escape from L.A. ★★★★

I honestly think this is as good as the first one. Maybe a notch below because it lacks Cundey’s photography, but it more than makes up for it with a hilarious sense of humor and an even more amusing illustration of what appears to be Carpenter and Russell’s libertarian worldviews (be whoever you are, just leave us the fuck alone). 

I find this to be relentlessly rewatchable and breathlessly paced. One of the fastest movies ever, and loaded with individual sets and sequences that I’d love to spend more time in (I’d have watched a whole movie about Bruce Campbell’s Surgeon of Beverly Hills). Ditto for the awesome cast here—also just as good as the first. 

You can carp on the CGI, but the UHD actually goes a LONG WAY toward making much of it palatable, but while you’ve been busy beating that fucking drum for 25 years, you probably never once mentioned that endless sprawl of spectacular sets and costume design… both places where you can see the (mega) budget on screen. 

I loved seeing this in theaters in the summer of 1996. I was a high school film dork and thought it was the coolest thing in the world that Snake Plissken was coming back after all this time. I dragged a group of friends who had no idea it was a sequel and we all had the best time. One of the best teaser trailers of all time, too. 

I don’t know, guys. Carpenter got $50 million dollars and chose to put Hollywood on notice, all while making an effortlessly entertaining post-apocalyptic action flick that somehow predicted our current dystopian moment and you all act like this is beneath you. Movie people are truly weird sometimes.

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