Just for Fun, Movie Reviews

Escape from L.A. (30%)

I bought an ex-rental copy of this movie when our local store had its closing-down sale. The cover artwork, and the blurb reference to 2013 being futuristic, let me know that this was an old movie, but that’s okay by me.  The appealing part was that the lead character would “wade through LA’s ruined landmarks to retrieve a doomsday device”.

Story:  0 / 5.   I must have been so busy having a good laugh at reference to a Great Wall that I missed the point about what was going on and why or how.  The island is a prison…  okay.  The story follows a standard quest formula, but at it’s absolute minimum level of complexity.  That approach presents an opportunity to really nail character development, detail and plausibility.

Acting:  2 / 5.  Oh, Kurt!  What were you thinking?  I did not have high expectations, but it is awkward that the most jaw-dropping thing about this movie is the acting.  Just wow.

escape costumesDirection:  0 / 5.  For a story so lacking in complexity, it is astounding that it’s so unclear what’s going on.  There’s a huge missed opportunity for this movie – the acting, sets, costumes, story, etc, set it up to be immensely entertaining as a spoof, reminiscent of Mad Max and The Rocky Horror Show.  I’d have loved that!

In any case, it had the relevant elements, but the combination was too incoherent to even be funny.

Music: 2.5 / 5.  I thought the music was pretty good in that it suggested mood, but it was often mismatched to what was going on in the scenes.

Sets/Locations:  3 / 5.  I liked the scenery.  It was very elaborate and moody – but it helped me not one iota to figure out where the characters were, or why.  Yes, there were literally street signs, but I did not see a journey.  In the context of the movie the landmark labels represented nothing more than paraphernalia.  (That said, they’d look cool in my back yard!)

So overall, I rated this movie 7.5 / 25 = 30%.  The overall rating at IMDb is 5.7 / 10 = 57%.  Perhaps I was a little harsh, but I’m really not interested in watching it again.

I do love a bad disaster movie though.  And this one is an award contender!

Trailer source: Escape from L.A. (1996) Official Trailer #1 – Kurt Russell Movie HD, Movie Clips Trailer Vault, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6SWofbYD90, accessed 29/4/17.
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