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Not an utter disaster
Jonathan Horner2 March 2001
I wouldn't say Fortress 2 was an utter disaster like many of you have pointed out.

I'm a big fan of the first Fortress movie, and recently while in my local Blockbuster store I spotted Fortress 2 sitting on the selves. So me being a massive Christopher Lambert & Fortress fan I jumped at the chance of renting it.

I don't like the idea of the new Fortress being located in space it doesn't work out right in the long run. Fortress 2 is pretty much the same. The intestinators from the first movie have been replaced by a sort of camera which is implanted into your brain there's the usual evil prison director controlling the Fortress and ZED the talking computer is back. Brennicks wife, Karen, is also back, but replaced with a different actor.

To cut a long story short. The Fortress has now been turned into a giant power station which is floating around in space and is owned by the Mentel co-oporation. Inmates are kept there to keep it in working order and to build new structures for the Fortress. John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) gets caught (again) and is thrown back into the Fortress. He then sets out struggling to find a way out.

Like most sequels Lambert has starred in. I feel that Fortress 2 was rushed, there's giant gaps in the movie which could of been filled in with maybe some clever dialogue or interesting scenes.

Overall, being a massive Lambert fan even I must agree that this movie is below average.

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Not as good as the original...
bazthegreat5 March 2000
I had no idea that a sequel was even being made to the 1993 movie until a few days ago. I arrived at the cinema complex where I work and was totally shocked to discover that a Fortress 2 had been released! The film was officially released in Australia on 2. March, 2000, but I'm afraid it hasn't been too popular...

We're only screening it in one small cinema and, so far, we've probably had about 200 patrons in four days (and that's being generous). Considering the fact that our largest cinema seats 500 for one session, this is not good popularity odds.

It was released suddenly, without advertisements or even posters. You could tell from the start that this was going to be an unfortunate, B-grade sequel to the enjoyable, well planned original.

Still, I thought I'd give it a go. I loved the first film and Christopher Lambert had returned to reprise his role, so I thought why not?

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. The script was very lame, with characters suddenly having the "convenient" skills to make an escape possible at just the right time. Not much planning went into set design. There were very little of the fancy, modern gadgets of the first movie, and you can tell they were cutting costs. Much of the film was computer generated to cover the missing pieces. As for the plot - it was far too unbelievable and, dare I say it, actually quite boring.

This time, the prison is in outer space (!), and instead of those little metal tracking devices used in the first Fortress, prisoners are given a "behaviour modifier" than is implanted in their brain. These ones definitely can't be removed.

It is a rehash of the first. Christopher makes some friends inside, and then they help him to escape. None of the characters other than Chris are very likeable, and I found myself not really caring if they survived or not. Chris seemed to just cruise through the film without much effort - what more could he do?
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A Worthy Sequel, positive review. Minor SPOILERS.
themorfs3 March 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Being a big fan of the first movie, I was a little nervous as to the quality of a sequel. But today at 10.30am I was pleasantly surprised. The movie picks up 10 years after the ending of the first one. Brennicks child is now 10 years old. The child, Brennick, and his wife have been on the run from the Mental Corporation all that time. Without spoiling the movie - Brennick is captured and sent to a new fortress, one that orbits the earth.

Lambert is back as Brennick and is in good form. The only other recognizable cast member is Pam Grier, basically an extended cameo. The special effects are above average for a movie with a reported budget of only 10 million. The space fortress is very convincing, as are the docking shuttles. The film looks like it cost twice as much. The anti-gravity movement outside the fortess is very realistic looking. The story itself is quite clever, a few cliches, but hey this isn't oscar material. There are several terrific action sequences, and the ending is satisfying. To be honest this is quite a gem of a movie, it had no advertising, small budget, and basically appeared out of nowhere. I found the movie to be equally enjoyable as the original. 7/10.
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Follow-up in similar style , full of action , violence and technological elements
ma-cortes21 February 2011
This is a Prison movie with high-tech science fiction , following to ¨The fortress¨ directed by Stuart Gordon in which Lambert is imprisoned because another son was born and in the future it's prohibited . In a futuristic USA , it's forbidden to give birth to more than one child for each woman and then things go wrong . The motion picture is supposed to take place 7 years after the former , as John (Christopher Lambert) is a rebel whom the resistance asking for help , but he escapes to avoid the authorities in USA , which is exactly what he and his wife Karen Brennick (Beth Toussiant replacing Loryn Locklyn) were trying to do when with her second son (their first child was born dead) escape . When they think they have made it , he is discovered and put to prison . With those odds , John still plans to getaway . Prison's chief (Patrick Malahide , replacing Kurtwood Smith) , located in a space station , is a villain who punishes to inmates with tortures and using cruel technological security measures . This is a modern and more sophisticated prison called the "Fortress" where the prisoners are controlled by lasers , neutron-cannons , cameras , mind-scanners and electronic pain-causing devices in their stomachs . John/Christopher Lambert along with other prisoners (Liz May Brice , Nick Brimble , John Sharian) will face off the prison director (Patrick Malahide) and his wardens (Okumoto).

The picture blends thrills , suspense , violence , drama, action ,struggles and some nudism . It is set 7 years after the original when rebels are captured and sent to a new fortress prison , in outer space , there takes place an exciting final confrontation between the starring and baddies , it is very stimulating and gets some exciting surprises . Special appearance of the Blaxploitiation goddess , Pan Grier . Runtime film is adequate , it is fast moving and is neither boring , nor tiring , but bemusing . Atmospheric cinematography and adequate score fitting to action by Christopher Franke . The motion picture obtained little success and failed at Box office . This second part bears a similar plot to previous entry , but isn't as nice as the first . The picture was regularly directed by Geoff Murphy who also realized the second installment to ¨Young guns¨ with more success than this one . The film will appeal to Science fiction buffs and Christopher Lambert fans . Rating : 5/10 , average .
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Depends what you expect
phovusle26 November 2013
It's direct to video, which is a sub-genre on its own. And (at least I do so) this genre needs to be seen on it's own. If you compare Fortress II with the first one ... its of course cheaper. Claner, but cheaper. And the original was a trash-movie to begin with.

But I really had no problem with that. Within its options it was well made, and I liked the setting and idea.

If you go in, knowing that this was never supposed to be a "passion"-projecct from a filmmaker, then I really cant point out that much stuff which could upset you.

Maybe hardcore fans from the first movie. But then again: It's not like that part 2 totally destroys the original.

I liked it, for what it is.
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Everything you could want and more in a Lambert movie sequel.
The-Evil-Dead26 April 2005
Well, lets be honest here, the first Fortress movie was nothing too special even though it was directed by Stuart Gordon and featured some excellent cheese filled moments. You may think that the craptacular enjoyment provided by the first movie would translate over to the lower budgeted, even more b sequel.

Sadly I was totally wrong with this assumption.

Things just happen in this movie... There's really no effort by the script or director to give us any characterization. We're stuck with " Brennick is in prison, now he must bust out " as soon as the movie starts.

There's plot holes galore, stupid scenes, and some terrible special FX.

Lambert must have been really hungry for the fifty or so grand he was paid to do this train wreck.

I'm a fan of cheeseball, low budget films... But they have to at least be entertaining in some form or another to be enjoyable to me. There are a few moments like that found in this film, but unless you want to see how NOT to make a movie, don't bother with this one.

1 out of 5.
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A good sequel to Fortress.
Rautus14 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Fortress 2: Re-Entry is actually a good sequel, it's nice to see Chirstopher Lambert playing as John Brennick again. The violence from the first film isn't in this one as much but it's still there in parts.

The idea of having a Fortress in space than underground was clever and adds something new. The prison director isn't as sinister as Poe in the first film but he is good.

The special effects were OK and the prison looked good. Another interesting thing was instead of having a device that causes pain in the body we have a camera that allows the prison director to monitor them and stop them from escaping.

But for John and a few other prisoners they can out smart this device and use a way to escape.

Fortress 2 is a good sequel and sci-fi movie.
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Not a bad action flick, but nothing like the first film.
michael_cowling4 July 2000
Warning: Spoilers
The moment my girlfriend and I finished watching this film, we said together, almost in unison "Not as good as the first one"..

The first Fortress film was original.. The whole movie centered around Chris Lambert's character trying his best to escape from the prison complex. Added to that was the twist of his wife and unborn child becoming a conquest for the main villain to master. In the first film, the other characters were interesting, each with his own personality and reason to be on Chris Lambert's "Team".

In contrast, Fortress 2 seems to plod along. The character seems to muck around within the prison for a long while before we see any movement towards escape. When he finally does escape (and if you consider knowing that he DOES escape is a spoiler, then you are naive, since it is obvious that the end product of the movie will be the character escaping) it all seems so easy and not really that difficult to do at all (unlike the first film, where a lot of movie time was spent planning the escape). He pulls of amazing computer-related feats as well as succeeding in kicking as many butts as possible, all within about 20 minutes.

The other characters in this film are kind of cardboard and one-dimensional. You never get to know the support characters in the film the way you did in the first one and therefore you don't really care whether they live or die. At one point in the film, a character removes his face mask and Chris Lambert's character recognises him. However, both my girlfriend and I were not quite so quick, and spend about 5 minutes trying to work out who the character was and why Chris Lambert's character felt so betrayed by him. This definetly demonstrates that the characters are not very memorable. I am not sure whether this is due to the fact that Chris Lambert wanted a bigger role in this film or whether it is due to bad script writing, but it is there never the less.

However, having said all of that, the film isn't a total loss. If you put your brain on hold for a couple of hours and just enjoy the action and suspense of it all (without trying to compare it to the first film), then you will probably come away thinking that it was an average bit of action film making with a very strong lead character (Chris Lambert).
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Want to learn how to hold your breath in space? Watch this movie to find out how!
crc_error27 April 2002
Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good SCI-FI flick as much as anybody. Especially when Christopher Lambert is the star. I really liked the first Fortress Adventure. But it seems as if they made a sequel just for the sake of making a sequel. The basic story line is the pretty much the same as the first. Brennick gets caught by Mental, hence Brennick is once again in a prison(fortress). This time in outer space. How will our hero ever escape? I won't say too much if you havn't seen it. But what i will say is that this movie opened my eyes to a new kind of science discovery, appearently a person CAN hold his/her breath in outer space without spacesuit or helmet........right... Anyways, if you are looking for a SCI-FI flick and have NOTHING else to watch. I recommend watching this movie. The visual effects are great. Sound is respectable. You might think I didnt like this movie, actually I own the DVD. Even though this movie wasn't a huge hit, do you think we will get to see a Fortress 3: Banished to the Planet Ziest....(it would be a good tie-in for Highlander 2 or not...)
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Fortress 2: Re-write
BroadswordCallinDannyBoy11 January 2007
A sequel to cult director Stuart Gordan's fun and campy film from 1993. This time Brennick is once again caught by the super-evil Men-Tel corporation and locked in a facility orbiting the Earth. Naturally he soon begins planning an escape.

Aside from the opening action scene which is OK the film starts to sink pretty fast. Relying too much on computer effects that are really sub-par - the first film cleverly used set design more than computer effects - and then there are some glaring plot devices that pretty much overshadow parts of the plot that are enjoyable. Cheesy computer effects are forgivable and can easily be looked on as a new-age camp, but the silliness of the plot of is poor script writing and that is almost impossible to forgive. You need a tight script for a good movie. Period.

Also, if you thought the end to first film was cheesy then you'll like this film even less because the ending is even ridiculous by fairy tale standards. --- 4/10

Rated R: violence and profanity
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Corny but fun **SPOILERS**
Forever Damned21 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Not a patch on Fortress but in its own way still kind of fun.

Lambert replays his role as Brennick faithfully but the ridiculous plot lines do tend to get in the way.


Tapping into a Bug's nervous system by a TV repair man ?

Stereotypical Russians right down to the Rocky contender lookalike

What is the point of Pam Grier ? She serves no useful purpose as the President of MENTEL and after being flattened on the escape ship...what then ?

Unfortunately, an opportunity wasted but it's worth watching once as it's a fairly fun 90 minutes.
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I could be so good for you...
Leigh Loveday9 February 2001
So Patrick Malahide is Teller, the prison governor. Okay. However, Patrick Malahide was also Chisholm in Minder, and I don't think the filmmakers realised just how off-putting that would be - you keep expecting a spluttering Arfur Daley to be hustled into his office instead of a stony-faced Chris Lambert. Well, I did, anyway.

Of course, that wouldn't be too likely as this new Fortress is in orbit 26,000 miles above Earth, which, when it's suddenly revealed (to the horror of the oblivious prisoners/"labourers"), feels like it should have been a key twist that you couldn't possibly have seen coming... bit of a shame that it's given away in the tagline on the front of the video, then.

Anyway, yeah, what everyone else said: it's Fortress 1, only not as good. The sets and effects are basically fine, some of the set pieces are pretty tense (if ridiculously set up), but the flimsy script, non-existent pacing, absence of worthwhile new ideas and charisma-free supporting cast all seem to have come from a film with one tenth of the budget - Pam Grier excepted, though she may as well not be in it at all considering the total irrelevance of her character.

And does everyone really have to talk so quietly? I know they're in prison, but Mr. Lambert always whispers everything anyway - and here so does Patrick Malahide, so get ready for a lot of scowling and rewinding if you want to follow the few halfhearted shreds of plot on offer.

Oh yeah, and that very last scene is, basically, the worst thing ever. It's not even as if The Laugh can save it, as Chris has already put The Laugh to much better effect about twenty minutes earlier...

"YOU are going to pardon ME? Heh heh heh."

He hasn't lost it.
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Not as good as the first, but not the worst I have seen.
paladin-1126 April 2000
Although I gave this movie a ten, that was only because I believe it was better then the 4.7 overall it had received. I'd say it was actually a 6, but I wanted to give it a better score because some voters give movies low scores just based on one item, whether the movie has one stupid moment (Lambert floating in space) or because of an actor in the film (again Lambert) or because of a genre (sci-fi).

The movie has good explosions (i.e. not a chick flick), a decent production design and interesting sets, some reused ideas from Fortress 1 and some good fights and effects. However, the supporting characters were horrible, unlike the first film that had some interesting characters.
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A well made sequel
varghesejunior22 November 2012
Fortres 2 is Scifi thriller like its Prequel Fortress.

It is a very contemporary film, and a good sequel.

The story continues with John Brennick, who 10 yrs later is still hiding from the Mentel corporation (whose prison 'fortress' he had destroyed 10 yrs ago during his escape from there), living in North America with his wife and son, gets apprehended again by Mentel and is sentenced to death in 'fortress 2' which is a space based prison . But the positive minded and brave John sets about to find a way of of Fortress 2 too and save his family on earth.

Storyline great, music is good, stunts are cool.

Bad thing is some very explicit nudity, but only that.

Like The prequel ,this is also watchable
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You can survive in the vacuum of space for a short while
imdb-157481 October 2006
Sci-Fi fans love to think they are so smart sometimes. Everyone keeps bashing this movie for the scene where the main character survives in space without a spacesuit. To be honest, I have not seen the movie, so I do not know how long he spends in space, however I registered on IMDb just to point out that it may actually be possible to survive in the vacuum of space for a short time. See The Straight Dope for more details on that: Moreover, having a character survive a short time in space without a suit is not an unusual plot device. It was done in 2001: A Space Odyssey and also Event Horizon, and probably others. The concept is certainly not any more outrageous than diving through a plate glass window without suffering massive lacerations and not any more outrageous than a huge number of other physics-ignoring-action that Hollywood puts into movies every single day.
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Great fun
Zargo21 September 2002
John Brennick is back! And I personally think this sequel set in Space is considerably more enjoyable then the original. It may not be the most intelligent or original movie you'll ever see, but it has to be one of the most exciting flicks I've encountered. Throw in some nice dialogue between the guy in charge and Zed (the computer), and some agreeable nudity, you can't go wrong with Fortress 2: Re-Entry!
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I liked it better than the first.
midnight_wanderer23 July 2005
I think this one just had a better look & feel to it. I liked the atmosphere more than the first. I also would maybe watch this one again but I don't know about the first. It was too depressing. This one was fun. This director did what we wanted & didn't kill off all of the main characters. If Dday didn't die on the first I would have liked it more. It had too much of a mad max look to it which is a look I don't like. It's like a futuristic look but yet it's still dull looking. The second was just more fun to me. I just hate when directors will kill off my favorite characters one by one making it more & more depressing. I also really liked the whole space idea because I'm thinking to myself "how... is he going to get out".
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What Did You Expect?
jrfranklin0125 February 2005
Okay, so the first wasn't anything to boast about. Ergo, the sequel is likely to be only as good as the original, at best. Most sequels just turn out to be a flop or pale in comparison to the first. Fortress 2 is no exception.

Years later, Brennick and his family are being hunted down by the same Men-tel Corporation that build the first Fortress. Lambert returns again as Brennick, although he is starting to show his age. Pam Grier makes a surprising appearance as one of the Men-tel corporate big wigs. Brennick is captured and sent to a new fortress in space. There is a new ZED as the HAL9000 spin off from the first Fortress. Not as much detail (costumes, SFX, etc.)are given to this sequel compared to the first. The coed nature of the prison is a bit surprising as women shower next to men. So much for privacy and heaven help you (man or woman) if you drop the soap! Liz May Brice (Resident Evil, AVP) plays Elena Rivera and gives quite a memorable performance with her shower scene.

Plot holes soon develop when Brennick and his cohorts hack into the video surveillance system. Then the film gets a bit cheesy when a retarded man gains access to ZED and recorded shower scenes fool the porn-hungry prison guards. The special effects are appropriate with such a low-budget film and the laws of gravity are stretched to extreme. All you can honestly ask after watching this is, "What did you expect?" 2/10
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Fortress 2: this time, Lambert is in space
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews23 October 2004
Christopher Lambert; the king of newer B-movies. The guy has been in every(I think) Highlander movie so far, despite the fact that only the first was particularly popular. He's done so many B-movies that one has to wonder if he is aware that the films are bad and doesn't care, or if he really doesn't realize their quality(or, rather, lack thereof). Here, he returns in a sequel to the fairly low-budget B-movie action-science fiction flick, Fortress. In the first one, the prison was huge, and underneath the ground. Here, it's... well, it's still huge, but this time, it's in outer space. I guess the writer thought, hey, the first time, it was underneath the ground... the only place that could be worse than that would be outer space. I hope he's right... I surely do, because if he is, maybe we won't see anymore half-cooked action-sci-fi flicks like this. Lambert portrays the exact same character, which I suppose is good, as he was a decent character in the first. A few somewhat big names also join the cast, most noticeably Pam Grier. The cast of characters from the first are pretty much remade(apart from Lambert himself), meaning that the new cast pretty much just fills the shoes of the characters from the first(anyone who knows how the first ended knows why). Unfortunately, that means that the film seems more like an overblown remake with the same guy portraying the lead, rather than a sequel. The hacker from the first(who was a neurotic, nervous guy, beautifully portrayed by great horror-talent, Jeffrey Combs) is replaced by an annoying black-guy stereotype. The female lead is replaced by a girl from the resistance(which Lambert's character is said to be a member of as well... odd... I don't remember that from the first... does that mean he joined the resistance after he got a kid? Who'd do that?), instead of his wife as it was in the first... apparently mainly because the scriptwriter couldn't find a good way to capture both Lambert and the wife-character, without capturing the kid. The Men-Tel prison commander(who was played by the cool bad-guy actor, Kurtwood Smith, from RoboCop fame) is now an annoying wimp with a ridiculous British accent that really gets on your nerves(as opposed to the cool Smith, who was a menacing and threatening presence). The plot is a rehash of the first. The pacing isn't particularly good. The very scenes in the movie seems to be(for the most part) remakes of the scenes of the original(talk about lack of originality...) and the action is mostly just rehashes of the first, just made a little less exciting(remember those way-cool machine guns with three barrels in the first? They're replaced with dull futuristic-looking stick-stun-guns). The special effects are decent at best. The script is a weak rehash of the first, with a few added sub-plots, none of which being particularly good... most of them are just there to keep the film going, or put it an action scene, in order to distract the audience from the poor writing. The dialog is pretty bad, with one or two exceptions. All in all, the film is just a tame rehash of everything the first was(which isn't even a lot). Somebody took the first film, said, "hey, this is popular... but it's not very good... how about if we try to do something of even lesser quality and see if people will like it?" Probably writer/producer/actor John Flock, who, going by the plot and the writing of this film, really is as dumb as he looks. I recommend this only to huge fans of the first Fortress, Lambert or B-movies. Everyone else; don't bother. There's a million better ways to spend 90 minutes, and there's at least as many reasons not to see this film. 5/10
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Christopher in Space * SPOILERS *
Coventry15 May 2003
Several years after he managed to escape the Fortress, John Brennick and his family are still hunted by the Men-Tel corporation. When they find him in a cabin in the woods, John's wife and son can escape. John is, together with 2 old fighting buddies, brought in a high tech prison. Escape is the fist thing on his mind, but this will be hard cause the prison is ... in space !! John and his fellow prisoners have to do real hard and dangerous work and can't understand how their supervisors manage to control everything they do and say. When they find out there are camera's inside their heads, this opens new chances to come up with an escape plan. Together with a black electricity specialist, a Russian undercover agent and his former buddies , John thinks of a plan to return to earth again. There where the first Fortress was an original SF story, this sequel's best points are the settings in space and a few very original twists. Sure you don't have to watch this for the amazing performance by Christopher Lambert. Fortress 2 is 90 minutes of low brain fun. No more, no less.
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I didn't think they made movies this bad..
roasti4 December 2002
There are so many things in this movie that make absolutely no sense. I won't even waste my time commenting on them. I wasted 90 minutes on this movie as it is. I liked the first one which would lead you to believe I can at least tolerate cheese Sci-Fi. Don't watch this unless someone holds a gun to your head.
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Christopher Lambert must be kept in this Fortress!!
Pau Rodriguez14 February 2008
I have vague memories of Christopher Lambert acting good.... I know he could do it..... With every new film from him, this memory becomes more and more diffuse.... I remember I saw Highlander and I was so impressed, then I saw Knight moves and I thought, this guy is great so I rented 3 more film of him, Druids, Adrenaline and Fortress 2.... I remember that evening as one of the most terrific experiences of my life, at the beginning I thought, OK, this film is so bad, but OK one actor can make also sometimes a bad film, so I saw the second one, then my fears began to grow, it was the worst movie ever !!! I couldn't recognize Christopher Lambert, acting was so bad and script so terrible that I almost started to cry, and then....... I put FORTRESS 2 !!!!!! I am still recovering of seeing this film, I know i will have some irreversible sequels on my brain, I lost all my respect of C.Lambert for the rest of my life, also I couldn't try to rent another movie, i was so terrified I could get another crap like Fortress 2.

Really it was one of the worst movies ever, no screenplay, no acting, crap special effects, crap editing, it was so awful that i will keep paying my psychiatrist for many years until i will be prepared again to see another movie of him.
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Surprisingly entertaining movie / a sequel not worse than the original
POGO (PogoNeo)17 October 2016
The first movie was a serious psychological dystopia on the topic of dehumanization, in particular of an inmate and in general of the society; that unfortunately after the first half had this very noticeable transition, ending with a rather disappointing finale in a style of B class action movies. And that shift was so profound, that even the (not so great) music (greatly) matching what was shown on the screen was practically removed during that transition, only to come back when the more action oriented last quarter of that first movie have started

And with this sequel, they took a practically different approach. The music is even worst and does not evoke any feelings in conjunction with the on screen events. Also the dystopic ingredient is somewhere in the back while the action is more in the front. But aside from the opening scene, the rest is coherent; unlike in the first picture of this duology. So if the viewer will enjoy the first 10-20 minutes (once the action is placed in the prison), then this joy will last to the end; unlike in the first picture of this diptych

Yes- there are plot holes and behaviors illogical to some extent, that normally would disqualify any movie from taking it serious. But that is the whole point- if you do not take it seriously, just in the terms of action comedy and not a drama, you will simply enjoy it. There are numerous great and funny moments, like when a female co-pilot is apparently learning how to dock under the supervision of the experienced male pilot. Both those characters are played absolutely great, especially given that the male pilot has only few spoken lines and the co-pilot only has one. Also, one of the characters from the hero's team of escapees that has a damaged brain is portrayed with such a craft, that he just makes the hero of the story look somewhat bleak

Aside from the cheap special effects and story that has only traces of being complex, this is a great entertainment. It is somewhat similar in style to the new "Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015): in that when put on paper it seems stupid and boring; but when put all together and presented on the screen, it is just so damn entertaining (and positively different from previous installments)
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Not bad, for what it is
Leofwine_draca19 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
FORTRESS 2 gets a lot of flak from a lot of people, but I think the criticism is unjustified. Sure, go into this film expecting CITIZEN KANE and you'll be disappointed. Go into this film expecting the same level of quality as the first FORTRESS movie offered and you'll be disappointed again. But there we go – sequels have always been subject to the law of diminishing returns and this film is no different. The cast are gone, apart from the lead actor; the story is a simple retread of the first film's, and there's less money all round which means the effects are worse and the film has an emptier feel to it as a whole.

Despite these negatives, the film as a whole is fun for a B-movie. It's short, fast paced, and never runs out of steam. There's plenty of incident along the way and, while most of it is derived from similar stuff in the first film, it was fun to revisit a B-movie classic. Stuart Gordon did the first film and while nobody can match his gory take on the genre, Kiwi director Geoff Murphy directed one of my all-time favourites, UNDER SIEGE 2 and does a perfectly good job here. The CGI space effects are pretty cheesy but then that's the film's tone as a whole: you can't watch Lambert battle a guy with a flamethrower or get ejected into space only to fly back into the airlock and expect to take it seriously.

As for Lambert himself, he puts in another sterling turn, one of his most likable yet. I've never not enjoyed this guy in a movie and I think he's seriously underrated. There's an interesting supporting cast here too. Brit Patrick Malahide is a bit subdued as the main bad guy – the trouble is, Kurtwood Smith did this stuff really well in the last film and Malahide doesn't have a chance to come close. But there are bit parts from engaging character actors. Pam Grier has an extremely weird extended cameo, and seems totally out of place; veteran nasty old guy Carl Chase is a prison thug; Nick Brimble, FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND's monster, is a fellow convict; Liz May Brice is a pretty prisoner whose lengthy shower scene – a running gag in the movie – is one of the highlights. Sure, it's not fine art, it's not even a great movie. But for a cheap sci-fi B-flick it never gets boring or too stupid, and I came away with a warm fuzzy feeling. So yeah, I liked it.
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What a load of crud
jimmycool2001200011 December 2001
I can remember watching the first fortress film and highly enjoying it. This was a film that should not have had a sequel made to it. I mean the film would have been remembered as quite a good sci-fi film but after this terrible sequel they will both leave a bitter taste. I mean this film is unrealistic, i mean it is supposed to be such a high tec prison so one wouls think that escape was impossible, not with Christopher Lambert. I can't remember all the absolute crap that happened, i can just remember being mindlessly bored and outraged at the scene when he jumps through space, that one part was just so bad that it would ruin any film. I realy enjoyed the first film as the characters were interesting and the way they escaped was clever and fairly realistic but this seqel is quite simply bad.

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