Director: James Cullen Bressack
Writer: Alan Horsnail
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Kelly Greyson, Ser’Darius Blain, Michael Sirow, Shannen Doherty, Katalina Viteri
Fortress is the latest in a long-line of straight-to-video releases starring Bruce Willis. He’s starred in so many in the last few years that he has his own category at the Razzies this year for worst performance. Thankfully Fortress is a step above most of the other releases and turns out to be a fairly enjoyable action film.
This time around Willis played Robert Michael, who’s living in a retirement complex in the middle of nowhere. Robert’s son, Paul (Jesse Metcalfe), visits him in order to pitch his business in an attempt to get his dad to sign of on using his inheritance for a loan. During the visit the complex is attacked by a group of mercenaries and Robert’s secret past is revealed to his son.
This is pretty much what you’d expect from a low-budget action thriller. There’s a little built of character build-up in the opening act, with an estranged father and son reuniting, then once the bullets start to fly it’s all guns blazing. The characters are solid, even Willis seems to be putting in more effort here than in some of his other recent films. The action is completely passable, but there is nothing spectacular about it.
Plotwise the film moves along at a steady pace, and the film never feels boring. At the same time, it doesn’t ever really feel that exciting. The side characters, mostly a British taxi driver who takes Paul to the complex at the beginning, and a trigger-happy guard at the complex, add a bit of well-needed humour. Willis appears throughout the film and doesn’t feel like he’s adlibbing every line with the rest of the script built around him (which is what Apex Predator felt like). He still spends a fair bit of the film sitting in a chair, but it feels like he’s part of the main story.
Fortress is the first part of a planned trilogy, with the second part already shot and due out later this year. It’s probably not going to be on anyone’s most anticipated list, but if this one is anything to go by it will be enjoyable. Overall it’s a competent action flick that you can switch off to and enjoy.
Signature Entertainment present Fortress on Digital Platforms 28th March and DVD 11th April
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