Better than I expected
I'm all for cheesy sci-fi movies with pretty bad acting and so I was surprised when I was given more than I bargained for with Fortress. Sure, it's still dated as the effects aren't what they could be now but it is actually a very watchable movie. Christopher Lambert makes a likeable hero and even the character of Karen doesn't come across as your typical damsel in distress, being able to hold her own. Kurtwood Smith plays the part of the villain well as he displays some depth in the character but it's the cell mates that I believe steal the movie. Abraham is an interesting character, showing what happens to people if they are in there for so long and then there's the all-important computer whizz played to perfection by Jeffrey Combs. D-Day is one of my favourite characters of his, he plays him with such innocence that he ends up being the most likeable (and crucial) guy in the movie. Although Lambert is given the most screen time, these characters aren't too underused.
The action scenes are good and the idea itself is pretty scary, especially with computers being as advanced as they are now. Stuart Gordon proves that he can direct outside of the horror genre and still keeps up the tension, humour and action. I'm always up for an escape movie and this is definitely one of the better ones I have seen.
Overall, don't let its reputation sway you, it's a perfectly enjoyable movie if you don't expect too much out of it.