5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The firewall has been breached,
This review is from: Firewall [DVD]  (DVD)
I am not a movie buff to any extent and do not go rushing to read the reviews/releases in the paper so when this film was advertised on Sky it looked so good simply because I had never heard of it (for those who have Sky it's on Sky Movies premier at 8pm each night until Friday, 8 June). Then it got me thinking that how could this have been on at the cinema and I hadn't noticed, after all Harrison Ford is a huge draw.
After watching it I now know why I hadn't heard of it and why it was pulled from the cinema screens after a week or so and straight to DVD.
Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) is a Head of Network Security for a Seattle bank (basically he is the head IT guy) and the movie starts with Ford leaving home for work with a typical "have a nice day" goodbye kiss for his wife Beth (Virginia Marsden), orders for his teenage daughter Sarah (Carly Schroeder) to feed the dog and ruffling of his son Andy's (Jimmy Bennett) hair with orders not to tease his sister ie, totally as expected and mundane and already I am thinking what the hell I have I let myself in for?
He then arrives in work to find some guy in to see him without an appointment and he is a debt collector for some online gambling debts in Jack's name although Jack is adamant that he knows nothing about it. Little does he know this is the start of the nightmare to come.
Ford by this time has slipped into character in his quintessential role as a serious man with the weight of the world on his shoulders who takes his responsibilities very seriously. You certainly cannot fault his abilities as an actor although they all feel a little bit "samey" for me. There is also an element of The Fugitive in this movie but without the plot.
The story itself is largely about a bank robbery/kidnapping but not where the bad guys are able to waltz into the bank and walk away with millions in cash. This is different in that they kidnap Jack's family in their own home whilst he is at work and when he returns he then finds out what they want. That is $100m wired from the accounts of the banks 10,000 richest customers and the robbers/kidnappers themselves will have very little to do with how this is completed, ie Jack will have to do it all and without going to the authorities. The chief baddie is Bill Cox (Paul Bettany with his cut glass English accent that seems all the rage at the moment) who heads up a handful of rabble rousers who don't give the impression they can mug a grannie never mind pull off an audacious robbery like this one.
The next day Jack is allowed to go to work as usual and get on with his day job and to prevent him going to the authorities he is wired for sound, has a video feed through his pen in his lapel and the bad guys are monitoring his computer and all the while they have his family as hostages with the threat of death so Jack feels he has no option at all other than to co-operate. I am also a bit put out that Jack, with all his security experience can not come up with even some minor way of circumventing the situation he finds himself in to buy some time.
In addition, Cox visits him at work on the pretence of being from the Federal Bank and they have carte blanche to basically go anywhere and do anything in the bank. I am still not sure why Cox has to visit Jack at work given he doesn't have to be there other than to keep him in line.
How he obtains the information about customer details is nothing short of garbage and the film losses all credibility at this stage (not as though it had much anyway). Any person who doesn't even know how to turn a computer on will probably think the way he does this is stretching the realms of possibility to it's maximum and it is really asking a lot of the audience to allow this. The director, Richard Loncraine, is really questioning the viewers intelligence with this bit.
It's a very predictable plot but with some minor twists. You just know his family will make an unsuccessful run for it, you know Jack will try something along the way and you also know that at the end there will be a showdown between Jack & Cox and you are pretty certain who will come out on top.
Undoubtedly, this is a movie that will find an audience and will appeal but unlikely to be to the masses. Ford keeps the film together with a rugged performance and the story line itself it just far enough away from a totally predictable bank robbery plot to keep it interesting, without you ever thinking it's an original movie with an original story line.
In essence. It is a movie around the two central characters Ford & Bettany and the rest of the cast are superfluous to some extent and to be blunt, anyone could be cast in the remaining roles as there was little to do and little that they could add. There are some lighthearted moments between Jack and his secretary Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub from '24') but little else.
Ford put in his usual performance and you can imagine him leaving and breathing his character whilst even not on set (although they are becoming that similar he could probable do it without thinking now) and Bettany, whilst not looking like your stereotypical bank robber puts in a decent performance but the character itself is not at all interesting.