review by Bobby Blakey
For the last few years Bruce Willis has transitioned from A –list action star to a straight to video feature player. He has popped in cameos as well as star turns in these films with very few really standing out. His latest film Fortress is actually part of a planned trilogy with the first two films shot back to back. Alongside Willis, this first entry stars Jesse Metcalfe, Chad Michael Murray, Kelly Greyson, Ser'Darius Blain, Shannen Doherty and Simon Phillips, but does it offer anything worth fighting for or will it be a fortress not worth penetrating?
Fortress follows Robert, a retired CIA agent living at a secret resort in the woods. One day, his estranged son drives to the camp for a visit — but he’s followed by Robert’s old nemesis, Balzary. As the site is besieged by Balzary’s attack squad, father and son retreat to a high-tech bunker. But are its steel walls and advanced weapons powerful enough to match Balzary’s bloodthirsty plans for revenge?
My love for old school Bruce Willis action keeps me constantly hopeful to find that gem that brings him back to his glory. This film is far from that film, but does at least bring Willis as more than just another glorified cameo. The story itself has promise even if it follows the usual clichéd action flick tropes, but sadly never really finds its direction to offer up much worthy of the genre.
Most of the performances feel phoned in with Metcalf and Murray the only two seemingly trying to bring something to the material. Metcalf does a decent job at bringing the range of emotions of being caught in the middle of all this while Murray brings the over the top villain fun to it all. This isn’t either of their best performances, but help to make the film work a bit more
than it might have otherwise. Willis is fine here I guess, but once again felt like he is just going through the motions. With it being a series of films I had hoped maybe he was all in, but he is just in enough.
Karate Kid fans be on the look out for Karate Kid 3 baddie Mike Barnes himself Sean Kanan who is also here. This is one of those generic action flicks that is fine and will fall in the guilty pleasure section for some I am sure, but despite the cliffhanger ending not sure how many will be clamoring for a sequel let alone two. Decide for yourself and check out Fortress available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate.