"What have you done
to my family"
Security specialist Jack Stanfield (Ford) has personally supervised
the online and computer protection for Seattle's largest commercial bank.
When his business partner Harry (Forster) introduces him to a new potential
client Bill Cox (Bettany), his interest isn't just about security. When
the meeting ends he reveals that he is holding Jack's family prisoner and
unless he helps him steal $100,000,000.
Harrison Ford's career has been on the slide as of late but
can his return to all out action see a return to his glory days?
At sixty-three years old, returning to his action roots might
not sound like the best move for Harrison Ford's aging limbs but in 'Firewall'
he proves that he can still hold his own in the action stakes. While the
film maybe a run of the mill action thriller and a mixture so many movies
from the genre that has come before, it is the presence of Harrison Ford
that makes the film all the more watchable.
'Firewall's' plot is an amalgamation of action film plots
that have gone before. We have the kidnapped family, the English villain,
the high-tech crime and the man who fights back, so absolutely nothing new
here but this does do enough to entertain. There are some major flaws in
the plot however, with the major one being the fact that even though the
criminals have been watching Jack for months to learn everything about him
and the bank that he works for, they don't know the that computer system
has been upgraded a week before they planned their job. This instantly makes
the rest of the film seem far too far-fetched.
What makes the film worth watching is the return to form of
Harrison Ford. After a string of flops like 'Hollywood Homicide', 'K-19:
The Widowmaker', 'Random Hearts' and 'Six Days Seven Nights', he really
needed a film that would give him some credibility back. As Jack Stanfield,
he plays the average man who gets caught up in an elaborate bank robbery
and then takes on the criminals at their own game. While this is nothing
new for Ford, it is a role that reminds us why he became an action star
in the first place.
The rest of the cast are a descent ensemble. Virgina Madsen's
return to the limelight continues with another good role as Jack's wife
Beth Stanfield. Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett are good as the Stanfield
children as they tremble in fear during their abduction. Robert Patrick,
Alan Arkin and Robert Forster are slightly wasted in smaller roles but they
make their presence felt. Mary Lynn Rajskub is good as Jack's secretary.
You have to wonder why a gifted character actor like Paul Bettany decided
to star as a stereotypical British villain but he does his best with the
role and makes Bill Cox much better than he should have been.
'Firewall' is a lot more entertaining than it should have
been because of the presence of Harrison Ford and his supporting cast. If
you don't expect much from the very familiar plot, this is worth watching
to see Harrison Ford return to form.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well.
Firewall Decoded: A Conservation with Harrison Ford and Richard Loncraine
The director and his star talk the development of 'Firewall'. They reveal
the problems they had with the original script and how they wanted to
make it as authentic as possible. The director talks about what it is
like to work with Harrison Ford and his approach to a fight scene. They
also reveal their opinions on current movies and the dependence on CGI.
Firewall: Writing a Thriller (3.16 mins)
Writer Joe Forte talks about the process of writing a thriller. He also
talks about the influences behind the film, including 9/11, turning technology
against you and the research that went into the script.
Theatrical Trailer (2.10 mins)
Watch the trailer that previewed the film in cinemas.
With only limited interview featurettes and no commentary tracks, fans
will be disappointed with the DVD treatment for 'Firewall'. While the
interviews are a decent watch, the lack of anything else will come as
a big disappointment to fans of the film that wanted to know more.
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