"Catches on quick, doesn't he."
I think I once heard the observation that this sequel to Escape From New York was really more of a remake.
I can see that person's point, but I don't feel it really matters - what's more important is that this follow-up is better.
From the word go, returning director John Carpenter crams in idea after idea, secure in the conviction that realism is just not what many of us are watching it for. Futuristic weapons, earthquakes, a tsunami, holograms, virtual reality and a religious extremist for president all make for a packed... opening few minutes?
(in movies, all religious people with power are evil - it's a rule)
By the time that Snake is hurtling through the watery wreckage of Los Angeles in a one-man CGI sub on a mission to kill the president's teenage freedom-fighting daughter, well, we're now ten whole minutes in.
Did I mention that it's all rather wonderfully set 'now' - in the year 2013?
I could whinge on about where the prisoners of L.A. acquire things like petrol and ammunition, or why the evil future U.S. government hadn't simply euthanised their problems away, but this movie is supposed to be enjoyed.
Admittedly the CGI on show would have been laughable even upon the film's release in 1996, but that hardly matters - the film's heavy self-assurance covers a multitude of shortcomings. Even the token woman gets impressively shot dead in only her third scene.
It all builds to a fantastic ending, with Snake literally holding the fate of human civilisation in his hands. Will he press the button and end all this madness? He's Snake - he'd better!
Not sure where there would be left for Snake to escape from in a third outing.