John Carpenter's Escape from L.A.

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When Escape from New York was released in 1981, its innovative computer graphics, satirical dystopian vision and tongue-in-cheek humour had a freshness that disguised its ramshackle narrative. Equally enjoyable was Russell's cynical anti-hero Snake Plissken, with his eye-patch and tight-lipped, Eastwood-style one-liners. After 15 years of computer-generated effects, apocalyptic sci-fi and Arnie movies with flippant kiss-off lines, the sequel feels hackneyed and pointless. In the original, Snake was sprung from prison in order to rescue the US President from Manhattan, a lawless maximum-security island populated exclusively by hardened criminals. An explosive device injected into his neck enforced safe and timely delivery. This time, the Snake's injected with a fatal virus, despatched to the earthquake-created prison island of LA, and charged with terminating the President's daughter, Utopia (Langer), a Patti Hearst-style runaway who's stolen the government's 'doomsday device' and shacked up on the island with South American drug dealer turned revolutionary Cuervo Jones (Corraface). Once ashore, he crosses the urban wasteland to Jones' fortified lair, encountering tough transsexual Hershe (Grier), weaselly tour-guide 'Map to the Stars' Eddie (Buscemi), and spaced-out surfer Pipeline (Fonda).

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Carpenter
Screenwriter: John Carpenter, Debra Hill, Kurt Russell
Cast: Kurt Russell
Stacy Keach
Steve Buscemi
Peter Fonda
Cliff Robertson
George Corraface
AJ Langer
Pam Grier
Valeria Golino
Paul Bartel
Robert Carradine
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