Fortress: Sniper's Eye

**

Reviewed by: Jane Fae

Fortress: Sniper's Eye
"Did I care? Not really. There was a certain homogeneity amongst both villains and saints."

Fortress: Snipers Eye is not a great film. It is not even a great straight to Digital. In fact, major spoiler alert: unless you have reached that stage of the evening where you are flicking drunkenly between channels in hope of something, anything to entertain, while simultaneously picking bits of mayonnaise-flecked kebab out of your lap and wondering what that other stain on your couch was caused by…this is not for you.

So, jane. You are not too fond? No.

Copy picture

But before we get to the film proper, let us address the elephant in the room. The enormous, hulking, Bruce Willis-shaped elephant that just will not go away. To be clear, I am a fan of Bruce Willis. Over the past few decades, he has created and consistently delivered a pretty unique brand of tongue-in-cheek action films that have rightly earned him a devoted following.

Except, since c2019, he has turned in a load of utter stinkers. What happened? The answer, sadly, is that he is ill. It’s a degenerative illness, which is increasingly affecting speech and other cognitive abilities. And it shows.

That is sad. Exceedingly sad. Yet, even sadder, someone on team Willis decided that the thing to do was to milk the man’s stardom for all it was worth in these last couple of years before he could no longer act at all.

And it shows. As here. Apart from the fact that a chunk of his role is delivered from a hospital bed, the action scenes are lacklustre. The dialogue is leaden. Yet, still, the film gets to be billed as 'starring Bruce Willis'. I am so sorry that we have come to this.

As for the rest. It is not clear exactly why the film is named Sniper's Eye. It is sequel to an earlier Fortress and as best I can tell, a rehash of much that went before. At least, the same villains who darkened their doors in the first instalment, and were summarily despatched by the goodies appear to have come back to life (does nobody ever check for a pulse after they shoot someone?) in order to go through the motions again.

It's an uneven movie, with the first third (boredom meant I had one eye very much fixed on the clock) devoted to family reunions and chitchat. Several characters are introduced who might easily have been pruned with no damage done to the underlying plot. Then, from nowhere, the bad guys turn up, shoot the extras and take over the Fortress. Though it is never adequately explained why it is so named – or how come a structure with such an impressive title is so simply over-run.

Is there a plot? Well, it would seem that bad guy Paul (Jesse Metcalfe) is sore at good guy Robert (Bruce Willis) for killing him and depriving him of his ill-gotten gains (US$600m at last count). But along with recovering the loot, and recovering from being dead, he has to 'get his revenge', which appears to consist of slaughtering all those currently within the Fortress.

Did I care? Not really. There was a certain homogeneity amongst both villains and saints. The women mostly sport a certain glam, blonde (in spirit, if not in fact), beauty contest runner-up look. The men are equally cookie-cutter, with the stubble beard much in evidence. The exceptions, presumably for diversity purposes? One person of colour, a baddy who turns out to have a troubled heart. One older woman. And one very obvious redneck: you could spot him by the fact that he has a full ginger beard, is more generously proportioned and, of course, is the baddy who decides to go off-mission and attempt to rape one of the women. Yuk!

Since we are here, TW for some quite graphic violence against women, and threats of sexual violence. For some reason, the filmmakers were keen to make these scenes that much more realistic than any of the other violence going down.

What else? No-one, good or bad, seems to have a clue how to immobilise an opponent. They knock ‘em down, they tie ‘em up and…five minutes later they have escaped. Ditto shooting people. It seems that no matter how many times you put your enemy down, they will always get back up again, until the point where their resurrection is surplus to requirements.

Well, it likely saved on the extras budget.

The whole is directed by Josh Sternfeld. I mention his name en passant only so that you will know who to blame for this waste of film.

Reviewed on: 09 Jul 2022
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Fortress: Sniper's Eye packshot
The story of a top-secret resort for retired US intelligence officers.

Director: Josh Sternfeld

Writer: Randall Emmett, Emile Hirsch, Alan Horsnail

Starring: Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Natalie Burn, Ser'Darius Blain, Jesse Metcalfe

Year: 2022

Runtime: 97 minutes

Country: US

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