Escape From L.A (1996)

Rating: 15
Length: 1h 41
Release: 20.9.1996
Dir: John Carpenter
About: A terrorist brainwashes Utopia, daughter of the U.S. President into stealing a detonation device. Snake, a mercenary, is assigned the task to find the device and the girl.


The Good

  • While there are a lot of plot similarities to Snake’s mission in New York, the ending is the edge that L.A needed to allow it to stand out. The last few minutes in change the landscape of this filmic world has completely changed. It really sparks my imagination about what Snake’s actions mean for the franchise.
  • The basketball scene is brilliant. I prefer it to the boxing match from EFNY. It’s so simple in set up, but the result is a scene in which the biggest enemy is himself.
  • Steve Buscemi’s quadruple-crossing Map to the Stars Eddie is an interesting addition to the film, although there where one too many crossing of sides for my personal liking.

The Bad

  • The reuse of the ticking-clock by way of a deadly infection (Okay, it was a bomb inside a pill last time) was a little eye-rolling. The two time fake-out was unnecessary though. Plot-wise, I find this one of the weaker aspects.

The Ugly

  • The CGI is dog shit, even in isolation. Then consider that it’s three years after the bar-setting Jurassic Park and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a 16 year-old’s media project.
  • Not sure how I feel about Pam Grier. Not so much that she plays a trans character. Given the time and it’s place in the plot I can understand the casting. It’s snake feeling Hershe up that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

Its the Desperado to Snake’s El Mariachi. While the beats are the same, it still offers something different. It might not work for everyone, but for me I really enjoyed this outing a little bit more.

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