Picking up where the first film leaves off, a new battle ensues inside the “fortress” in this film, one of Bruce Willis’ final films.
After stopping his archnemeis Balzary with the help of his son, ex-CIA agent Robert sits in a hospital bed in recovery. While Paul is planning another visit to the fortress to see Robert, Carole and Zoe, the mother and sister of worker Ellen, are arriving to pay a visit to her. However, Balzary, who was thought to have died after his encounter with Robert, is alive and well.
Balzary and his team launch another assault on the Fortress. Only this time around, Balzary has an ace in the hole. A young woman at the Fortress, Sasha, is revealed to be Balzary’s wife. Robert had saved her and decided to take her in. Balzary has also learned that Robert has taken his money and hidden it. Demanding both Sasha and the money, Balzary will do what it takes, and it will be up to Paul and the others to stop Balzary once and for all.
Shot back-to-back with the original film, released in December 2021 under James Cullen Bressack (Survive the Game), Josh Sternfeld takes over directing duties for this follow-up, which picks up right where the original leaves off. Once again, we have the father and son duo of Robert and Paul having to team up again to take on their archenemy, who in a twist of fate, has someone infiltrating the titular Fortress. While the first one was pretty action-packed, this sequel relies more of unleashing an emotional effect and has minimal action scenes compared to the original.
While the recent news of Bruce Willis’ retirement shocked the world, it is evident that something was going on because in this film, he spends most of the film either in a hospital bed recovering from the first film’s events or tied up to a chair and forced to face villain Balzary, played once again by Chad Michael Collins. Once again, Collins seems to have a knack for playing villain characters (Riverdale, A Madea Christmas, and Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman are good examples) while Jesse Metcalfe must once again play center stage, as he must unleash the action to protect his father, especially against Balzary’s goons, led by Ser’Darius Blain’s Ulysses.
Despite the minimal action compared to the original, the story complements the action pretty well. Natali Yura’s Sasha is the key element of the film, having been involved in a flashback scene where Robert basically rescues her and takes her in. When her identity is revealed, she is the most conflicted character, having a sense of dual loyalty; one towards Balzary, her husband and the other, to Robert, for rescuing her and taking her in. She becomes the story element that will change the outcome of the film’s events.
Fortress: Sniper’s Eye is not completely bad, but considering the circumstances, Bruce Willis makes the most of his role while Chad Michael Murray once again oozes villainy and Jesse Metcalfe playing your mild-mannered action hero. Not a great sequel, but not completely bad either.
WFG RATING: C+
Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment present an Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films in association with the Pimienta Film Group and Verdi Productions. Director: Josh Sternfeld. Producers: Randall Emmett, George Furla, Luillo Ruiz, Chad A. Verdi, and Noel Ashman. Writer: Alan Horsnail. Cinematography: Editing: Evan Ahlgren.
Cast: Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Kelly Greyson, Ser’Darius Blain, Welker White, Alyssa Julya Smith, Natali Yura, Gabrielle Haugh, Michael Sirow, Natalie Burn.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on April 29, 2022.