How dare you even mention Carpenter and Anderson in same breath!
(yes, even Escape From LA
I still think itís a crying shame that the man who made Event Horizon has never done anything as good since and just trots out RE films on a conveyer belt. Of course heís wealthy and married to a model so itís a bit like that infamous George Best related quote (ďWhere did it all go wrong?Ē the journalist asked the Manchester Uniter footballer who was rich, had won many things, and slept with Miss world!)
LAís major flaw is the cgi, which on the whole Iím quite forgiving of. I think the timing of it didnít help either. In the 80ís I think it was easy for people to believe a scenario like that could come to pass, the notion of war with Russia seemed very likely, New York was perceived as a very dangerous place, and a president like Pleasance wasnít seen as far-fetched either.
Fast forward to Ď96 and Clintonís in office the cold war is over and the world seems hopeful. Itís harder to imagine a police dictatorship in those circumstances.
Of course the irony is that, in some ways, LA is scarily prescient.
A major cataclysmic event at the beginning of the 21st century that prompts a paradigm shift (the Earthquake that severs LA from the mainland/911)
A right wing religious president (Cliff Robertson/ Dubya)
A crackdown on freedoms (Homeland Security/The Patriot Act vs. the Army like United States Police Force)
And of course thereís Valeria Golinoís throwaway line. ďI was a Muslim in South Dakota, suddenly they made it a crime.Ē
Itís not my intention to suggest America became a fascist state under George W Bush, simply that if LA had come out in, say, 2003/2004 Carpenter would have been accused of jumping on the bandwagon and LA would have been seen as a far more political film.
None of which make it great, none of which make it anywhere near as good as Escape from New York, but it is an unappreciated film in my opinion. And Iíd probably watch it ahead of most of Andersonís films, except the aforementioned Event Horizon.