Fortress 2 [1999]

Christopher Lambert in a straight-to-video sci-fi film? You know it's gotta be good. Here he reprises his role as John Brennick, former leader of the Resistance and thorn in the side of the MEN-TEL corporation. In the first movie, Brennick escaped from and destroyed MEN-TEL's high-tech "inescapable" prison. In the 10 years since then, he's gotten himself a house in the woods and some horses, and has illegally procreated with his wife. When Resistance members find him and try to recruit him back into the cause, the bad guys are not far behind, and after some two-dollar action scenes he finds himself captured and thrown into MEN-TEL's brand-new prison, which happens to be orbiting the Earth. Surely, nobody could ever escape from this! Except maybe, just maybe John Brennick! The plot is even more predictable than the placement of the co-ed shower scenes, to the point that you can practically quote the dialogue before it's spoken, with the only surprises being which cliché they're going to use, and when. (By the way, these violent prisoners are actually being used to build and modify the satellite they're imprisoned in!) Pam Grier has an embarrassing cameo as the owner of MEN-TEL, and the dignity she tries to bring to the role is entirely out of place. The only fun to be had is if you watch it as if you're watching a bunch of adults play "action film," making for a strange entertainment, indeed. --Andy Spletzer

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