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A futuristic prison movie. Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of the movie. The prison is a futuristic one run by a private corporation bent on mind control in various ways. Written by
Mark Allyn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, it may not be everyone's cup of tea and it certainly has it's flaws - but for me at least, Fortress is one of the most fun B-movies released in the nineties, and that's no surprise considering it's helmed by the great Stuart Gordon! One of the main reasons why Fortress works so well is because it puts its focus in one place and every imaginative element of the film goes towards furthering the central plot. The title refers to the impregnable privately owned prison of the title. We are introduced to this penitentiary and its various pitfalls right from the start and while it's not hard to see where the film is going to go, it does at least make you wonder how it's going to get there. The central characters are John and Karen Brennick - a couple sent to the Fortress after she becomes pregnant with a second child, thus breaking a futuristic population control law. However, John isn't happy to just rot away in jail, and despite the numerous pitfalls that makes the Fortress escape proof - along with his fellow prisoners, he plots to escape with his wife.
The basis of Fortress is your classic prison escape movie, the only difference being the prison at the centre of the tale. The Fortress itself is certainly made good use of as the inventive methods in place to stop the prisoners escaping are constantly kept at the forefront of the audience's mind. The film really is never boring for a minute; if there isn't something directly going on in the movie then Gordon is using the time to build up the situation that the prisoners find themselves in. The film features a good B-movie cast, with 'Highlander' Christopher Lambert taking the lead role. Lambert is hardly a great actor, but he at least looks the part and his athleticism serves him well. Loryn Locklin isn't given much to do as the leading lady, but the rest of the support cast includes the likes of Lincoln Kilpatrick, Vernon Wells (who, coincidently, was also in the 1986 Australian movie of the same title!) and Jeffrey Combs, who is just great as always. Kurtwood Smith is probably the biggest standout, however, as the maniacal head of the Fortress. This film really features everything you could ever want from a B-movie - constant action, imagination and some hilarious performances. It all boils down to a suitably over the top climax and while this might not be the best film ever made - its one hell of a lot of fun and I certainly recommend it!
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