9 February 2001 | Leigh L.
I could be so good for you...
So Patrick Malahide is Teller, the prison governor. Okay. However, Patrick Malahide was also Chisholm in Minder, and I don't think the filmmakers realised just how off-putting that would be - you keep expecting a spluttering Arfur Daley to be hustled into his office instead of a stony-faced Chris Lambert. Well, I did, anyway.
Of course, that wouldn't be too likely as this new Fortress is in orbit 26,000 miles above Earth, which, when it's suddenly revealed (to the horror of the oblivious prisoners/"labourers"), feels like it should have been a key twist that you couldn't possibly have seen coming... bit of a shame that it's given away in the tagline on the front of the video, then.
Anyway, yeah, what everyone else said: it's Fortress 1, only not as good. The sets and effects are basically fine, some of the set pieces are pretty tense (if ridiculously set up), but the flimsy script, non-existent pacing, absence of worthwhile new ideas and charisma-free supporting cast all seem to have come from a film with one tenth of the budget - Pam Grier excepted, though she may as well not be in it at all considering the total irrelevance of her character.
And does everyone really have to talk so quietly? I know they're in prison, but Mr. Lambert always whispers everything anyway - and here so does Patrick Malahide, so get ready for a lot of scowling and rewinding if you want to follow the few halfhearted shreds of plot on offer.
Oh yeah, and that very last scene is, basically, the worst thing ever. It's not even as if The Laugh can save it, as Chris has already put The Laugh to much better effect about twenty minutes earlier...
"YOU are going to pardon ME? Heh heh heh."
He hasn't lost it.