Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1984 meets The Great Escape, 26 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Fortress [DVD] [1994] (DVD)
AAAAAAAAARGH! I'm in a quandary, I feel I should really be giving this film three stars, but I can feel my hand dragging the mouse over to the four star `click-point'!

So why does this deserve the extra star?

This isn't just an action film with a bit of gore chucked in for good measure, it deals with issues such as male rape, zero tolerance, and abuse of power. I'm a big fan of Dystopian fiction, from Day of the Triffids, to 1984 - I just love it, and this is a great example. We live in an age where over here in the UK we have private prisons (okay - nowhere near as many as over in the US) and it seems that an increasing number of public service institutions are being taken over by corporations in order to turnover a profit. And this film shows a great (albeit exaggerated) future if such constant corporate domination into politics continues.

Plus the story itself is a very emotive one....

...John Brennick and his wife have commited a crime. His wife is pregnant for a second time when legally, only one child per couple is allowed. Their firstborn sadly died and they try to bypass the system. Brennick is caught and is wife manages to escape (or so he thinks) and sent to a prison ran by the MenTel Corporation.
The regime is strict, with dreams monitored; and those which aren't authorised thoughts disrupted by pain, and each inmate is fitted with a device in the intestines. The device is automatically activated when a convict either crosses a yellow line (it inflicts pain) or crosses a red line (it explodes). Intestination can also be activated by the Prison Director, Poe.

Constantly watched by the prison computer and by the voyeuristic director - Brennick becomes involved in a fight and is brought to the Director. He learns that his wife is also in the prison, several floors above. Whilst using Brennick's wife to taunt Brennick, Poe falls for her and has her moved into his quarters.

With himself and his beloved in Prison - and his child to become the property of MenTel, Brennick plans to escape with his wife from a prison deemed inescapable. With the help of his cellmates, can he do it?

This is well acted with Christopher Lambert giving his usual sort of performance. Many claim him to be wooden and unemotional, but I really like him as an actor. I find his performances very compulsive, he has a unique presence.

Watch this film and just accept the silly bits, celebrate them and enjoy them. But appreciate the message of the film and yourself the question - why is it that Lambert finds himself in standalone films which end up having sequels?!!
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3.9 out of 5 stars (28 customer reviews)
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