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in the mid-1980s , following the splendid debut in hugh hudson's greystoke and relative success of first highlander film , it looked like christopher lambert's acting career might go somewhere .
but , it wasn't meant to be , which became obvious following highlander ii .
in this decade christopher lambert became associated with films with low budgets and even lower quality .
very often such films were science fiction , which meant that the fans of that genre learned the hard way what to evade anything starring christopher lambert .
whether it was because of real lack of talent , terrible miscasting or simple bad luck isn't important - the end result was almost always horrible .
the same can be said for fortress , 1993 science fiction film directed by stuart gordon , director who created cult following with his 1980s horror gorefests like reanimator and from beyond .
the movie is set in 2018 .
for some undisclosed reason , usa introduced strict population control and couples are barred from having more than one child .
jake ( christopher lambert ) and karen brennick ( lori laughlin ) broke that law and are caught by authorities on the border .
sentenced to 31 years in prison , they are both thrown into fortress , privately owned correctional facility , equiped with state-of-the-art futuristic technology and run by computer called zed .
although equiped with gismos that regulate every aspect of inmates' lives and make any escape impossible , prison authorities often use violence .
jake survives many ordeals and earns respect of some inmates which would help him when he begins planing the escape .
such escape should become necessity , because the warden poe ( kurtwood smith ) begins showing unhealthy interest in karen .
after rather intriguing beginning and some interesting special effects that depict the futuristic settings of prison , this film soon starts sinking into mediocrity .
the reason is in the screenplay that quickly degenerates into whole series of prison movie clich ? s and situations that are painfully predictable .
by the time brennick begins his escape from fortress , those situations not only begin to look predictable , but utterly implausible too .
of course , film never tried to explain why the country that lacks resources to support its present population happens to spend bucketloads of money on ultra-expensive supertechnology with sole intention of keeping alive most useless and dangerous members of the society .
the initially interesting plot is done even more wrong by stereotyped characters , played by not too interested or talented actors .
lori laughlin , although physically attractive , shows the acting ability of sequoia .
kurtwood smith as prison warden is rather uninspired , capable of solid , yet forgettable performance .
lambert's performance is also good , but even the bigger talent couldn't help this film , destined to end in oblivion .
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