In a future, private underground prison/Fortress, the inmates are computer controlled with CCTV, dream readers and devices that can cause pain or death. John and his illegally pregnant wife are inside but want to escape before birth.
In 2017, John Henry Brennick and his wife Karen are captured at a US immigration point with an illegal baby during population control. The resulting prison experience is the subject of the movie. The prison is run by a private corporation bent on mind control.Written by
Mark Allyn <email@example.com>
DIE KUNST DER FUGE BWV 1080
Contrapunctus 3&11 a 4
Canon per augmentationem in contrario motu
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Bell'Arte Ensemble
Courtesy of Koch Import Service See more »
Crime does not pay.
"Fortress" is mostly routine, but enjoyable, futuristic sci-fi from director Stuart Gordon (of "Re-Animator" and "From Beyond" fame). It has an excellent cast of familiar faces that make the most out of what they've got, especially Kurtwood Smith ("RoboCop", 'That 70s Show'). There are acceptable levels of violence and gore, the production design and lighting are adequate, and Gordon does a very fine job with pacing and energy level. The producers originally wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger as the star, but he went on to do "True Lies" instead (it was Ah-nuld that suggested Gordon as the director of this feature).
Some interesting ideas are present in this tale of a husband and wife, John and Karen (Christopher Lambert and Loryn Locklin) who are expecting their second child, despite the fact that the law now forbids couples from having more than one kid. (They tried again because the first child was born dead.) They're caught and sentenced to do time at the "Fortress", a massive, multi leveled high tech prison. It's run by your standard issue sadistic warden, a man named Poe (Mr. Smith). John, forced into an overcrowded cell, makes plans with his cellmates to escape, although this place is supposed to be escape-proof.
Lambert is no better or worse than he usually is. Locklin is reasonably appealing. The supporting cast is pretty eclectic: Lincoln Kilpatrick ("Chosen Survivors", Renny Harlins' "Prison") as Abraham, Jeffrey Combs of the "Re-Animator" series (rocking a shoulder length wig here) as D-Day, Clifton Collins Jr. ("Tigerland", "Pacific Rim") as Gomez, Tom Towles ("House of 1000 Corpses", "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer") as Stiggs, and Vernon Wells ("The Road Warrior", "Commando") as Maddox. That's Gordons' actress wife Carolyn supplying the voice of the computer intelligence Zed-10. Smith, whose character will have some surprises in store, is an effective and not completely one-dimensional antagonist.
"Fortress" hits the ground running, and offers decent entertainment for a fairly trim 95 minute run time.
Seven out of 10.
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