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Escape from L.A.
Escape from LA
Actors: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach, Peter Fonda, Cliff Robertson
Director: John Carpenter
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
R     1998     1hr 41min

KURT RUSSELL RETURNS AS OUTLAW HERO SNAKE PLISSKEN IN THIS THRILL-A-MINUTE SEQUEL TO THE HIT FUTURISTIC ADVENTURE ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach, Peter Fonda, Cliff Robertson
Director: John Carpenter
Creators: Kurt Russell, Gary B. Kibbe, John Carpenter, Debra Hill, Nick Castle
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Espionage, Kurt Russell, Pam Grier, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Prison, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/15/1998
Original Release Date: 08/09/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 08/09/1996
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Keith A. (Keefer522)
Reviewed on 10/15/2013...
Kurt Russell reprises his role as True American Bad Ass Snake Plissken, this time he's sent into post-apocalyptic L.A. to rescue the President's daughter. Yeah, it's inferior to the original "Escape From New York." In fact, it's practically an exact retread of the first movie, except set on the West Coast (and with lots of cheap CGI added), but Russell's obviously having fun, therefore so was I.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL
Reviewed on 3/7/2011...
Bad sequel to one of Carpenter's classics. This film fails on numerous levels. As a fan of Escape From New York I was looking forward to it. The plot is a mess. Nothing new or original. It comes across as a pathetic attempt to cash in and is horrible. A one trick pony with nothing original or entertaining.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brian L. (Bridad) from DRAPER, UT
Reviewed on 6/2/2009...
This is an example of what happens when filmmakers and artists want to relive their glory days and nobody has the courage to stand up and tell them it is a bad idea. Terrible movie, this one. The original was classic and iconic whereas this sequel is pure rehashed garbage. Avoid at all costs and re-watch Escape From New York instead.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Under appreciated minor classic almost a remake
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Sequels used to be about remaking the same film again and again (remember "Friday The 13th" or "Nightmare on Elm Street"?)with minor variations so the audience gets their fix. John Carpenter, Kurt Russell and Debra Hill inverted the paradigmn reprising the best elements from "Escape from New York" while introducing a heavy dose of satire aimed squarely at the Moral Majority and groups of that nature. While not as memorable as that film, "Escape from L. A." takes perfect aim at liberal Hollywood, the conservative religious right, sequels and skewers them all dead on most of the time.

Snake Plissken is back in trouble. Captured again he's put into the service of national security against his will. It seems a device that can detonate orbital nuclear devices has been stolen by the President's daughter and delivered into the hands of a self styled rebel leader named Cuervo Jones (George Corraface)in what's left of Southern California. Cuervo plans on using this device against the United States. Plissken is sent to the island of Los Angeles to retreive the device. Yes, folks the BIG ONE finally hit and a large part of the Los Angeles basin dropped into the ocean like a ten ton weight while the remainder floats off the coast of the United States making the perfect place to deport people who don't have high moral fiber or generally tick off the President for life (Cliff Robertson in a twisted performance). Infected by a deadly designer virus that makes Ebola seem like the flu, Snake has no choice but to take the job of retrieving. Malloy (Stacy Keach stepping in for the late Lee Van Cleef)and Brazen (the beautiful Michelle Forbes late of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and the second season of "24")provide Snake with his only link to the outside world.

Along the way Snake meets surfers (Peter Fonda), the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills (Bruce Campbell in a hilarious role that truly is the highlight of the movie)in pursuit of the device. Oh and once again Snake has one of those huge digital watches attached to his wrist to remind him his days are numbered if he doesn't get the device back in time. Filled with great cameos by Steve Buscemi (as Map to the Stars Eddie), B-movie queen Pam Grier (as Hershe Las Palmas), Italian beauty Valerie Golino, the late Paul Bartel, Issac Hayes (in a cameo) and Robert Carradine "Escape from L.A." just might be Carpenter's most undervalued film (along with the great satire "They Live").

The weakest link in the film turns out to be the uneven visual effects done by Disney's Buena Vista Visual Effects. Some of the opticals look great particularly the scenes where Los Angeles gets hit by the 9.6 earthquake. The sequences involving the mini-sub and some of the helicopters look as if they were taken from computer games. While computer graphics were still developing at the time, I'm surprised that Disney's effects house wasn't able to come up with more convincing visuals for this sequence. Still, while they aren't what they could be they're not the focus of the story either and are a pretty minor problem. Many of the best effects work quite well. The production design by Lawrence G. Paull ("Blade Runner", "Back to the Future", "Predator 2")gives the film a much bigger look than the budget the film had (it cost roughly $50 million to make including the marketing portion of the budget). A bit of trivia about the film. Russell appears wearing the same costume he had for the first film at the beginning. Russell also made all the basketball shots seen in the climatic game himself.

Presented in its original widescreen format with a trailer as the only extra, this was released when Paramount was playing catch up in releasing product for the DVD market. The image quality is exceptionally good with great color reproduction and a nearly flawless print (particularly when compared to the remastered re-release of "Escape from New York")with a nice 5.1 sound mix.

It's too bad this hasn't been reissued with extras (such as a commentary from Carpenter and Russell and one or two featurettes. Heck, there's got to be a promo piece somewhere in Paramount's vault about this as I seem to remember one being released to promote it)because, while isn't quite up to "Escape from New York", "Escape from L.A." is still a memorable sequel with enough satire, parody and humor laced moments to keep fans of the original happy. Hopefully one of these days this minor Carpenter classic will get the re-evaluation it deserves."
Escape from LA (Big Orange is a Deportation Center)
Lee Jordan | Natchitoches, LA USA | 11/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In the year 1998, too many Mexicans are jumping the border and crime is continuously increasing. In the year 2000, a terrible earthquake happens separating California from the U.S. coastline. A presidential candidate decides to turn it into a deportation zone to send off illegal immigrants and scum not worthy of living in the country. In 2013, the President's daughter hijacks Air Force Three and sneaks off to the new island once split away from the states. Only one man has the skill for the job to bring her back and return what she has stolen and taken with her. Snake is back! Plisken has once again been hired by the police force of the future to complete an objective for the sake of the President. This time he does it in Los Angeles. 15 years later after New York. Snake Plisken did it once. He can do it again. Good Action Movie! But not as good as the first. Only better special effects and greater quality."
Marginally Impressive DVD Quality
Desmond Hew | Malaysia | 12/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There is no better way to view John Carpenter's films in WIDESCREEN and it's no exception with this sequel to Escape from New York! Gratitude definitely has to be given for the DVD's quality as it fully displays all the shades of blacks [especially those on Snake's coat] in a solid yet crisp quality that even the Laserdisc version can't match. I also found this DVD much sharper, with more visible detail in the crouded scenes. To top it off, this DVD is a fine example of professional solid blacks! Unfortunately though, its sound is NOT quite as powerful as the THX-approved version on LD. Scenes where Snake fires his Core Burner, his cowboy guns and other big explosions, all seem to scream in a lower rumble when you compare this DVD with the LD. But if I were to choose between those 2, I'd still pick the DVD version as it has the Theatrical Trailer [among the coolest ones I've seen], yet there's no need to flip the disc! For fans, I recommend this version of the film [though I can never stop thinking there should have been more extra features in it]!"