Friday, 27 May 2011



I don't mind movies being a bit implausible. Raiders Of The Lost Ark is implausible. Carry On Don't Lose Your Head is implausible. But there's a world of difference between implausible and actually ignoring scientific realities. Ye cannae change the laws of physics, as Scotty was wont to say every week (before doing precisely that), and you can't rewrite the universe's basic scientific principles unless you're making a Road Runner cartoon. So I don't expect to see people being able to hold their breath in outer space, because even in the future that's not possible. Not a question of plausibility - it's a question of possibility. Like defying gravity or walking through walls, you can't have your characters holding their breath in outer space and surviving. Granted there's a measure of dramatic licence available - in space no-one can hear anything, even Star Wars' huge rumbling spacecraft - but there are limits.

Fortress 2: Re-Entry is, like the original Fortress, a prison escape movie in which Christopher Lambert is once again incarcerated at the behest of an evil megacorporation for vague reasons - he'd already been sentenced to death and has nothing he can offer them - but this time the prison is on board a space station, and the only chance to escape would appear to be to get onto the occasional delivery shuttles. But all the inmates have had neural implants that trigger agonising pain if they transgress, or indeed at the whim of Warden Patrick Malahide. However, Lambert's not going to be separated from his family again and comes up with an escape plan that hinges crucially on a cockroach.

This is rubbish and nowhere near as much fun as the original. Even ignoring the blatant ignorance of third-form science, the cardboard characters and the general air of silliness, it's cheap (some of the effects work is terrible) and, despite a decent cast which also includes Pam Grier, and enjoyable if - here's that word again - implausible banter between Malahide and his Australian-voiced computer, it's not very exciting. I generally like movies set in spaceships and space stations (I even think Moonraker is underrated) but I really couldn't get behind this one. Best stick with the perfectly acceptable original.


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