The story: Los Angeles is a war zone, filled with gangs, guns and destruction.

Oh great, another documentary.

Tonight I experienced John Carpenter's Escape From L.A. It's been 15 years since Snake Plissken rescued a President from the penal colony of New York, and he apparently hasn't learned a thing as he falls for the same gag and ends up doing the whole thing all over again on the other coast.

This movie is a lot of good, clean, campy fun. Well, it's not that clean. Shot on location in the ruins of Los Angeles, it's a journey through a demented vision. John Carpenter decided to taunt a city, and no better victim could have been found than my dear home.

This movie is first and foremost for anyone who has ever lived in L.A. All the major landmarks are hit, including the Mann's Chinese Theater, the very theater in which I saw this thing. Quite a treat.

But will it play in Walla Walla? Well yes, at least for a couple of weeks. But this baby is gonna be filling movie houses in LA long after it's been chased out of theaters in the rest of the nation.

Which is fine 'cause L.A. has about 17 million people, so the movie should do OK.

If nothing else, the ending of this movie makes the whole thing worth while. Trust me on this. But the thing that really got me is that this baby takes no prisoners. Like a pork-eating Jew in the Vatican, nothing's sacred!

Some noteworthy moments include Bruce Campbell giving us the truth behind plastic surgery, anything with Steve Buscemi as a character named Map to the Stars Eddie, and a treadmill of torture.

Man, just when I joined a gym, too.

The effects are, well five years ago they would have been stunning, but we have been spoiled by ID4, Jurassic Park and Twister to the point where we can begin to see through them. But the bit with the surfboard and the car is a stroke of genius.

Plus everyone keeps talking about some personal disaster of Snake's that took place in Cleveland, and as we all know, Cleveland is the land of evil, so it really rings true.

OK, plot wise, it's a one word sentence. Well maybe two or three words. The title actually tells it all. ESCAPE - FROM - L.A. Snake runs smack into everyone he needs to see in a very coincidental way, good thing for him cause he only has so much time before he dies.

Plausible? No. A hell of a lot of fun? Yeah.

Take my advice, when you see this movie, leave your brain at home and enjoy the ride. Snake doesn't take himself seriously, and neither should you.

And what about Snake? Kurt Russell brings back the darkest, most lovable anti-hero in years. He speaks in a monotone whisper at a decibel so low it can't be heard by dogs. He's big, he's bad, he's dressed in black. He has a bunch of guns and packs a mean wallop. He's completely and totally cool.

The movie is shot at night, not a lick of daylight once it gets going, so bring the reading glasses. And the music is great, a bunch of hard rock, piss on the world music. Just like Snake.

All told, Escape From L.A. garners an even 3 3/8 Babylons. It could have done better, but most certainly could have done worse.

Not bad for a documentary.

Editor's Note:

The Self-Made Critic loved the fact that all the landmarks gave permission to be used in the movie. Except one. One party-pooper wouldn't let Snake run rampant over their turf. So we get stuck with a place called The Happy Kingdom. Well shame on you, stupid poo-poo heads. You have no sense of fun.

You know who you are.


Another Editor's Note:

We at Self-Made Inc. would like to apologize on behalf of everyone involved for any attack, intentional or otherwise, on the great stalwart that is The Walt Disney Co. We do not believe that they have heads made out of excrement, nor do we think that they lack fun in any way. Honest, we love Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck, and ... that other guy.

Please don't sue.