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Fortress 2: Re-Entry Reviews

Given the current climate for business mergers, is it any wonder that Earth falls under the domination of a big corporation named Men-Tel in the not-so-distant future? A noble rebel, John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) keeps his wife and son safe from the tentacles of big business until former comrades show up. Seeking to protect a sympathetic Men-Tel accountant named Stanley (Willie Garson), they plead with Brennick for assistance but only succeed in leading Men-Tel troops to his isolated retreat. Although his family escapes, Brennick winds up in a maximum-security prison 26,000 miles from Earth. As Brennick chips away at possible escape routes, the warden, Peter Teller (Patrick Malahide), commences his plan to wrest control of the Men-Tel penitentiary from company president Susan (Pam Grier). Brennick and his jailed revolutionaries must escape before the inevitable showdown between Teller and Susan; that is, if someone in the inner circle doesn't betray their escape plans. Matters get complicated when Teller decides to blow the place to bits, and still more complicated when a group of Russian mobster convicts take a dislike to Brennick. This hackneyed sequel to the cult hit FORTRESS demonstrates how action picture cliches &#151 not unlike action perennial Christopher Lambert &#151 have the resilience of cockroaches. Up-to-the-minute sci-fi fodder, it gathers up cellblock staples and launches them into deep space, but despite the cosmic backdrop, you're still basically watching 1930's BIG HOUSE with Chester Morris. Back then, cliches meant something; here, they just fill up the downtime between fist fights and visual effects.