August 9, 2015

Escape from L.A.

Review #732: Escape from L.A.

Kurt Russell (Snake Plissken), Steve Buscemi (Map to the Stars Eddie), Georges Corraface (Cuervo Jones), Cliff Robertson (President), Stacy Keach (Cmdr. Malloy), Peter Fonda (Pipeline), Pam Grier (Hershe Las Palmas), A. J. Langer (Utopia), Valeria Golino (Taslima), Bruce Campbell (Surgeon General of Beverly Hills), and Michelle Forbes (Brazen) Directed by John Carpenter (#068 - Halloween, #634 - Escape from New York, and #712 - The Thing)

It's been a while (ten days) since I reviewed a movie, so let me get back to work with a familiar director, John Carpenter. And hey, it's the sequel released 15 years after the first movie, what could go wrong? The answer to that question lies within the movie itself. I praised the original for its dystopian outlook, Russell himself, and the thrilling action. What I forgot to mention is that Escape from New York managed to keep itself from losing momentum. The sequel? Not so much. While Russell is still the best actor in the movie, the rest of the cast isn't as impressive. Corraface's character comes and goes too quickly to make any real impression on you, while Fonda's character is more pointless than Buscemi's character, but at least the latter does something important, so points for that. The movie is bleak, but it isn't as interesting as the first movie, and the computer effects for water effects (especially the surfing - yes Snake surfs) don't help the movie, as they come off as too distracting. It takes a while for the movie to become interesting, and the action scenes are passable, though they are overshadowed a bit by the scene where Plisskin has to make 5 baskets in a row (at the LA Coliseum, no less), and the aforementioned surfing scene, which is just plain strange. The movie was written by Debra Hill, John Carpenter & Russell, with Russell apparently coming up with the ending. I guess it was hard to make an ending that wasn't just like the last one, with this ending being more bleak given that there was no sequel (which apparently would've been Plissken escaping Earth) because this movie proved to be a failure financially. It's not a bad movie, it at least is entertaining to a degree, and Russell clearly had a lot of passion for this movie, and I respect his performance. The movie itself, though, isn't as good, but it is at least a good way to pass 100 minutes, and you might enjoy the movie more than I did. It's hard to believe this movie was released in August 1996. August...9th, 1996. Okay, I didn't plan for this to be an anniversary review. Welcome to the human race.

Overall, I give it 5 out of 10 stars.

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