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REVIEW: Fortress: Sniper's Eye


 Apparently there was a movie called Fortress that was released in 2021 and starring Mr Bruce Willis.  I had never heard of the movie before, but that's not an odd occurrence when it comes to recent Willis films.  Without having seen the first movie, I dove straight into the sequel, Fortress: Sniper's Eye.  Yippee!

The Bruce Willis movie catalogue as of late is populated with numerous selections that have just stupid names.  Out of Death?  Seriously?  What does that even mean.  As soon as I saw the movie title, Fortress: Sniper's Eye, I jokingly pondered that it would be funny and yet not surprising if there wasn't a single sniper to be found within.  As it turns out, no snipers.  Once again, a title that is ultimately just ridiculous.

The story seems to be about a group of incredibly incompetent former soldiers whose lack of common sense means that the villains they assumed they killed in the first film have returned.  Why were they able to return?  Because these good guys and gals are just so inept.

The plot from the first movie tells me that it was set at a top secret retreat for high ranking military personnel, and some folks decided to go all Fortress on it and invade.  For being top secret, it seems curious that in the movie I witnessed one of the soldiers has her mother come to visit, and her angsty sister comes along.  Yep, this must be a super top secret fortress.  Of course, the security of this fortress comes down to a few guards in khaki shorts and shirts.

So the bad guys break in with no effort at all, because, you know... fortress.  The villain is Balzary, played by Chad Michael Murray, and is reason enough to watch this film if you have an attraction to horrible cinema. The performance he delivers is such an over the top cheesy spectacle that is filmographic charcuterie, but with much more cheese than meat.

Much of the 'set' is darkly lit, a technique that allows movie makers to get away with not putting effort into really making the set detailed.  The Asylum, the masters of simplistic and awful set design, look like Oscar winners in comparison to what we see as the interior of the fortress.  The same hallway is used for numerous shots, and I believe one could count all of the locations shot within the fortress on one hand.  At the end of the film, the police show up, and the production didn't even bother to put police logos or identifiers on the two vehicles.

Like some of the other Bruce Willis films I have seen lately (some also involving Chad Michael Murray and some other cast from Fortress), the story is lazy and relies on the characters to be horrible at what they do to keep the run time going.  Also, so much of this is just horrendously nonsensical.  Baddies tell a prisoner to kneel down so they can execute him with their guns.  The proud former soldier refuses, and the baddies then threaten to kill him if he doesn't.  What?  Yes, because, you know... fortress.

There was a single performance that I appreciated here, and the character dies as soon as this 'plot' goes pear shaped.  Natalie Burn played Sandra, the only person within the film that had a sincere charisma and engaging character.  Oh well... whatever.

This is the kind of movie that I both find myself compelled to view as well as finding that it rips my soul and dignity apart at the roots.  I do this to myself.  There is no magical puppet master that is forcing my hand.  All of this is because Scott does this sort of maneuver.  While I complain about these idiotic characters, I myself am equally short of brain power because I choose to watch this stuff while not under duress.

Rating - 0.5 out of 4 stars

P.S. - Yes, Bruce Willis is sitting down for almost the entire film, except when he is laying down.

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