Escape From LA movie review


My Score: 70%

Kurt Russell returns as Snake Plissken in the sequel to 1981’s Escape from New York. It’s a sequel nobody asked for, and even if they did, they’d probably asked for it 15 years earlier than they got it.  Still, it has some redeeming qualities, most notably, it’s cast.  Russell’s co stars include Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier and Bruce Campbell. Cliff Robertson plays The President and back then, he looked like Mitt Romney looks now.


No kidding.

And Robertson’s not the only one.

Anyway, Michelle Forbes has a supporting roll and apparently, I’m a jackass for thinking the only things she’s been in is this movie and Star Trek: The Next Generation. In reality, she’s been working consistently since the late 80s.

So why the 15 year gap between Escape from New York and 1996’s Escape from LA? I don’t know – maybe they were waiting until the technology was available to add that digital shark in the submarine scene – which I can’t find on YouTube, sorry. I don’t have much to say about this flick – it’s not as edgy as the original, but it’s a lot more polished from a technical standpoint – kind of like the difference between the look of the first and second Terminator movies. And like the Terminator movies, the Escape movies are both very similar. Here are my summaries for both movies – they’re nearly identical.

Escape from New York
In a dystopian future, Manhattan is a maximum security prison, but when the president crash lands onto the island carrying precious cargo, a former soldier turned criminal is coerced into saving the day.

Escape from LA
In a dystopian future, LA has become an island after a massive earthquake and is now the deportation center for all undesirables, but when the president’s daughter flees to the island carrying precious cargo, a former soldier turned criminal is coerced into saving the day.

Yep, that’s about all there is to say about the story – same shit as last time.  I like the soundtrack, but it’s repetitive as hell. And Snake breaks the fourth wall at the end of the movie… I could have done without that.

If you like Kurt Russell, anti heroes and silly action, this movie is for you. Escape from LA isn’t as good as the first one, but it’s only 100 minutes (as opposed to today’s action movies, which are all over two hours) and it’s pacing makes it easy to watch. There’s nothing especially wrong with it, but it’s not great, either. If you’re looking for a vintage action movie that includes a hilarious digital shark that sticks out like a sore thumb even though it’s only on screen for maybe 2 seconds, I’d check it out.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on June 25, 2012, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: