Yes, "Snake Is Back".
But this time: it ain't New York.
That Escape From New York is, to this day, still seen as a sci-fi cult classic and Escape From L.A. remains something of a joke is hardly shocking. After all, this is mostly what this sequel/remake is, right?
I mean, luckily everyone involved seems to be in on it but it's the kind of thing that audiences just wouldn't necessarily get. Evil Dead II, for example, was essentially a remake of the first film, and a parody of it to a certain extent, but right off the bat, the sequel obviously had a very different, jokey vibe, plus it was a good, really entertaining movie so it worked. Here, it feels like the movie is taking the piss of itself but it's not really clear why so it just ends up being an altogether random experience. Especially since Escape From L.A. is basically a messier retread of the original plot-wise.
And I think that's what kills the flick.
Don't get me wrong, there's parts of Escape From L.A. I really like and I can appreciate the sillier stuff because seeing Snake Plissken surf his way past Steve Buscemi's map-to-the-stars dude (the "cabbie" character) with Peter Fonda in a thoroughly unimpressive visual effect is something that has to be seen to be believed and is pretty irresistible. As is that lackluster final fight on what is clearly a sound stage with those sky gliders. There's also a ridiculous but fun scene where Bruce Campbell plays a mad scientist plastic surgeon. They should have gone all out Machete-style with a brand new over the top storyline but as it stands, the fact that the movie is a remake makes it kinda impossible to compare it to the first, far superior and more entertaining, original film.
If you get the joke and can appreciate the lols the film has to offer, Escape From L.A. is a decent enough trashy watch. That said, if you loved the original and you come to this sequel expecting a solid follow-up, prepare to be slightly disappointed. Escape From L.A. needed to be smarter and more original.
We'll always have New York.