Jan 292022

Fortress is nothing that I haven’t seen before from these direct-to-video films with an uninspiring story and another mundane performance from Bruce Willis with his now usual blank, expressionless face.




Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate| R – 99 min. – $21.99 | December 21, 2021

Date Published: 01/29/2022 | Author: The Movieman

Director: James Cullen Bressack
Writer(s): Emile Hirsch & Randall Emmett (story), Alan Horsnail (screenplay)
Cast: Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Kelly Greyson, Se’darius Bain, Katalina Viteri, Shannen Doherty

Features: Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 24.09 GB
Total Bitrate: 31.41 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1¼/5

Plot Synopsis: Robert (BRUCE WILLIS) is a retired CIA agent living at a secret resort in the woods. One day, his estranged son (JESSE METCALFE) drives to the camp for a visit – but he’s followed by Robert’s old nemesis, Balzary (CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY). 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?

Review: I’ve come to the conclusion after so many years of these direct-to-video films “co-starring” Bruce Willis: this once A-list actor has been replaced by an android with the real Bruce is either being held hostage or maybe living the nice and retired life on some remote tropical island.

In all seriousness, Fortress is just the latest of the numerous direct-to-video films to feature Willis and it’s yet another one that is merely mediocre bad. Not so bad it’s funny, it’s in the so bad, it’s boring category. For his part, Willis does look pretty bored once again in his lackluster performance, to put it lightly. Along for the ride is Chad Michael Murray who had worked with Willis on Surviving the Night and Surviving the Game (not a sequel to Night, however), and at the very least he seemed to be having a fun time playing the generic villain. Jesse Metcalfe is no stranger to the hellscape that is DTV land having previously worked on the atrocious Escape Plan 2: Hades and Hard Kill, which also featured Willis. Surprise surprise.

There’s really not much to admire from Fortress. The rest of the supporting cast, including Shannen Doherty of all people, giving bland performances though I do have to chuckle that they have Kelly Greyson running around in a sports bra (her shirt clumsily is removed while fighting one of Murray’s mercenaries).  She’s cute for sure but really doesn’t get much to work with. From what I can tell, the movie does feature other mainstays of other DTV fodder like Katalina Viteri (Midnight in the Switchgrass, Robot Apocalypse) and Lauren McCord who had a small role in Out of Death (yes, co-starring Bruce Willis as well as Greyson).

Meanwhile, Fortress was directed by James Cullen Bressack (Survive the Game) and oddly enough, actor Emile Hirsch has a story by credit (along with producer Randall Emmett, presumably the pair hatched this up while working together on Force of Nature or Midnight in the Switchgrass).



This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only feature is the film’s Trailer (1:57).


VIDEO – 3¾/5

Fortress is presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. For the most part this is a standard looking picture though the color palette is a bit ugly at times (one scene between Metcalfe and Willis, the color was… well, piss yellow). Otherwise, detail was okay and black levels were okay. But this is on par with how the other DTV films have looked, moderately cinematic yet maybe only a step up from a TV movie.

AUDIO – 3½/5

On the sound front, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is mostly adequate but the on-location dialogue recordings at times was muffled, though not to the point you couldn’t understand what was being said. However, this occurred on a few occasions so it wasn’t just one or two scenes. Other than that, the action scenes provide a pinch of depth though nothing terribly impressive, and that goes for the generic score.



Overall, Fortress is nothing that I haven’t seen before from these direct-to-video films with an uninspiring story and another mundane performance from Bruce Willis with his now usual blank, expressionless face. Unfortunately this is not the good bad variety of film and you won’t be missing out skipping this.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>