Escape from L.A.

Escape from L.A. ★★★½

Welcome to the human race.

Kind of rules, can't lie. After finding Vampires more grating the more I kept thinking about it, it is good to know I have at least one 90's Carpenter that I think is good stuff. Is it as good as Escape from New York? Yeah, no, but I knew that was going to be the case even before I pressed play here. While I think Escape from New York succeeds as a stripped back apocalypse tale of American woe that is still just dripping with that special Carpenter atmosphere, Escape from L.A. starts out as an overt remake as much as it is a sequel, and it just goes to town with its iconic protagonist doing wacky shit with the worst special effects you will ever see in a blockbuster. I'll state that in a more clear way in regards to how I feel about this: The CGI and green screen effects in this film are atrocious, and I kind of love them. I'm labeling them as a feature of the film to me instead of something that detracts from the film. It in the modern day gives the film a charm that maybe took time to come around and admire. If you get rough CGI nowadays, it's almost always unfortunate, but the rough stuff here still feels endearing because it's being used in ways that are absurd enough to almost warrant the effects being intentionally bad, even if I know that was not the case here. There's a submarine that speeds past an underwater Universal Studios, Snake goes fuckin' ballin', and of course, he surfs with Peter Fonda. I'm sorry, if you don't find those moments here to be at least second-hand fun, I'd tell you to lighten up a little. Kurt Russell continues to be just indescribably hot, I like the use of Buscemi here, Pam Grier's character is the only thing here I dislike (and where the film features one thing that has to me aged horrendously in the worst way, it's enough to keep me from going for a 7.5 with my rating) but when you get around to the ending where the effects and characters all collide, it's pure John Carpenter and Snake Plissken acidic cynicism that makes the end of the world seem like the coolest goddamn thing imaginable. Good movie as a whole, enjoyed my time, what do you want from me? Very cool, John.


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