Plot: What’s it about?
John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) just can’t seem to catch a break. He managed to escape from the maximum security prison known as The Fortress, and now he and his family are on the run again. As stealth and cunning as he is, Brennick is no match for the high powered forces hunting him down, and he is taken back into custody. The new prison Brennick is being sent to makes The Fortress look like Club Med, and chances of escape are null and void. This incredible prison is located not on Earth, but over twenty-six thousand miles off in space, with the facility orbiting around our planet. Of course, this is where the worst of the worst are housed, and the work these guys are forced to do redefines hard labor. Not only do these guys perform the hardest of labor tasks, they work right in the middle of meteor showers! And to think some prisoners in modern jails complain about no cable television, how would they like to have their head taken off by a random comet? Brennick knows this prison is not where he belongs, but getting out of this place is not going to be easy, in fact, escape is impossible, at least according to those who constructed it. With every type of blockade in his way, including a camera inside his own body, Brennick makes his attempt at freedom, because without his family, he has no reason to live.
This movie is a sequel to the film Fortress, which managed to capture a cult following, while never breaking through as a genre smash. Since I always enjoyed Fortress, I was excited about a sequel, but at the same time worried that the quality might be compromised. While this movie isn’t more of a success than the original, I do feel it will find a place with those who liked the first movie, which is really all you can hope for with a flick like this. I don’t even remember this film having a theatrical run, but I think it will have a home on home video, where it will reach its audience. I don’t believe viewers who disliked the original will find much to like with this follow up, since it seems happy to bring the elements from the first movie back again. Sure, the acting is not Shakespeare, but this is science fiction/action, where acting need only adequate. The effects are what I expected from a lower budget science fiction flick, decent, but not up to scale with big money blockbusters. If you are a fan of the first movie, I recommend you pick this up, you’re safe with a purchase, but a rental might be good for first timers. Those seeking a decent science fiction flick, this would make for an excellent rental disc.
Director Geoff Murphy manages to create quite a good follow up to cult hit, which is no easy task. Murphy makes sure returning fans will have plenty to like here, but also adds some fresh elements, which is a good sign for directing talent. When it comes to sequels and remakes, Murphy has plenty of experience, having helmed Young Guns II, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, and The Magnificent Seven prior to this. Making his way back from the original film is Christopher Lambert, and this is crucial to the film, without him the movie would lose much of the appeal to fans of the first movie. Lambert (The Hunted, Mean Guns) seems to have a home in these type of movies, so his work seems relaxed and natural. Maybe he couldn’t play Hamlet, but he can do action and science fiction, so his talent is justified in these movies. Also appearing in a major role in this movie is Pam Grier, who always pulls off the tough woman well. Grier (In Too Deep, Jawbreaker) is another actor who seems to found a niche in the action genre, and plays her parts well.
Video: How does it look?
Fortress 2: Re-Entry is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The visuals employ a lot of dark/light contrasts, so the contrast levels play a vital role in image quality. With only a few exceptions, the darker areas refrain from being too dark, and light areas keep from blooming. Some scenes show muddy shadows, but this is infrequent. Color is used sparsely in the movie, but when it is used it appears bright and full, with no errors popping up. The transfer shows some minor shimmering, but no other compression problems.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc uses a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, which proves to be quite active, providing an above average audio experience. When the action picks up, the speakers will open up, putting you right up in space with the events. The surrounds get some attention, with many science fiction style effects and such. Dialogue keeps it’s head above water though, never drowning in all the surround effects.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The disc includes brief talent files and two theatrical trailers, one for Fortress 2, the other for Resurrection.