John Carpenter’s “Escape From L.A.” isn’t a great movie, mainly because on the surface it’s essentially “Escape From New York,” with a change of locale. It’s currently on Netflix, though as I watch I have come to the conclusion that it’s much better – and a tad deeper – than I remember it being (Sure, the surfing scene was odd, and probably a bit beyond Pliskin’s skill set, if the original film was any indication).
‘New York’ dealt with an America where things are so far gone that someone gets the idea that it would be easier to just corral all the deviants, criminals and anyone else unable to fit easily into the New World Order, in New York (which some may perhaps consider to be redundant), which would be walled off.
The first film is very much self-contained, in that you don’t get much information about the rest of the country (though the force that keeps the inmates within the city walls –the United States Police Force – hints at the rise of military-styled fascism).
This idea is expanded upon in “Escape From L.A, which uses the entire country as a canvas, though the prison that is L.A. is emphasized.