FORTRESS 2: RE-ENTRY
Christopher Lambert, Beth Toussaint, Willie Garson, Patrick Malahide,
1999, 92 Minutes, Directed by: Geoff Murphy
Christopher Lambert reprises his role as John Brennick, former leader of
the Resistance and thorn in the side of the MEN-TEL corporation. In the
first movie, Brennick escaped from and destroyed MEN-TEL's high-tech
"inescapable" prison. In the 10 years since then, he's gotten himself a
house in the woods and some horses, and has illegally procreated with his
wife. When Resistance members find him and try to recruit him back into the
cause, the bad guys are not far behind, and after some two-dollar action
scenes he finds himself captured and thrown into MEN-TEL's brand-new prison,
which happens to be orbiting the Earth. Surely, nobody could ever escape
from this! Except maybe, just maybe John Brennick!
"Fortress 2?" my wife asked. "I can't remember us ever
having seen the first one." After explaining we did, she could only
remember vague details: the Christopher (Highlander) Lambert character and
his wife being arrested and incarcerated for having more than one child and
branded with a bar-code in a future totalitarian system. Or is it just for
having a child per se? The details escape me as well.
Anyhow, she'd probably have just a tough time recalling ever having
seen this rehash of a sequel. This time Lambert is sent to a
prison in outer space, a station orbiting the earth, for blowing up power
stations. Power stations? Sure, who has never felt like it after seeing
their electricity bills? The prison is run by the private sector and not
the State. You wouldn't guess it watching the movie: the prison
authorities seem as incompetent and stupid as any government bureaucracy I
have ever experienced.
"The usual clichés . . ."
The usual clichés ensue. There's the good guard and the sadistic one.
The warden has a special interest in Lambert, although the details are
unclear: I suspect you'd probably have a better idea why if you can
remember Fortress better. There are some both sexes sharing the same
shower facilities shots as seen in Starship Troopers to sneak in some
female topless nudity (which isn't half bad). This time around there are
some harebrained gimmicks involving a camera mounted on the back of a huge
cockroach (this isn't half as interesting as it sounds) that remind one of
a substandard episode of McGyver.
The acting is bad and Lambert looks even more out of place than he did
in all the other straight-to-video crud he has recently appeared in (such
as Beowulf). Some effects and sets are OK-ish, while some shots of the
computer-generated space station make those in the ancient Tron look good
in comparison. The script and dialogue is rotten. Towards the end the
movie is in such a rush to end that nothing makes any sense whatsoever.
Leave this one to gather dust on the video shelves.