Fortress 2: Re-Entry (1999) — Christopher Lambert escapes from SpaceJail

“You said delete all casualties.”

Justin’s rating: This cannot be the most cost effective method of incarceration

Justin’s review: Straight-to-video sequels are always interesting, because they have “We’re Going For The Easy Bucks” stamped all over them. The actors email their performances in, special effects are kept at a bare minimum (so we can focus on the stilted dialogue instead), and the box the movie comes in is usually bright and shiny. These factors rarely make for a great, or even interesting, viewing.

Poor Christopher Lambert doesn’t exactly have a slew of projects lined up for the picking by the late ’90s. So, while passing up on A Few Good Men 2: Decapitation City, he gets sentenced to this very sub-par flick. The Men-Tel corporation captures Lambert — again — and imprisons him instead of killing his muttering butt — again — so that he can lead the prison population into revolt and escape. Again.

The big twist is that this time, the prison is in space and constructed by several poorly-created CGI effects. Very poor. I was frequently reminded of my first Atari 2600 video game system.

Still, it must feel like home in a way. The guards are properly sadistic, Lambert must beat up a prison bully to gain respect, there’s some nice gory effects, and even a co-ed shower scene shamelessly ripped off from Starship Troopers to keep the teen viewers somewhat interested. “Have the revolt take place entirely in the showers!” you can hear them shouting.

But really, I can accept the stereotypical characters and predictable plot turns if only the people had some FUN and used a micron of ORIGINALITY during this whole pointless exercise. There’s nothing worse than actors taking a bad film way too seriously. Be goofy, be Explicit Violence Parental Advisory Recommended, be something more than a stale serving of leftovers.

I will say that there is a subplot in here about a man’s love for his pet cockroach, and I do think that deserves a little respect. One of the brain-damaged inmates has a nice juicy bug that he keeps all to himself. The little critter is an aspiring slapstick comedian, as its schtick consists of mainly falling in other prisoners’ food. Mmm… cockroach applesauce. Of course, all true romance is doomed from the start, and Roachy takes a dive toward the end, much to the dismay of his keeper. Out of all the scenes in this movie, it was the closest to bringing me to tears.

RIP, lil roach. We will sing of your sacrifice forever.

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