We gave it a B
It doesn’t have the great gonzo overkill of his horror classics Re-Animator and From Beyond, but director Stuart Gordon’s futuristic prison-escape flick Fortress is rock-solid and occasionally thrilling. Too bad Christopher Lambert (Greystoke) has virtually no film presence as tough guy John Brennick, sentenced with wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) to an underground penal colony for the crime of trying to have a second child: At one point, he’s zombified by a device called the Mind Wipe, and I’ll be damned if I could tell the difference. Thankfully, Kurtwood Smith (Dead Poets’ Society) steals the movie as the delicately inhuman warden torn between his omniscient surveillance computer and an odd, aesthetic desire for Brennick’s wife. When Lambert is onscreen, Fortress is just an effective action cheapie. Whenever Smith is the focus, it approaches junk poetry.