Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) is an average family man in Seattle who heads up the hi-tech security team at his local bank. But following a seemingly...
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Review of "Firewall (DVD)"
Giving opinions for several years and showing like a fine vintage
When I first heard about Firewall, all I could think about was how bland the title was and bland this movie would be. After seeing the trailer it looked like a very routine thriller that Harrison Ford seems to star in every couple of years.I'd love to tell you that I was wrong on both accounts but Firewall is a bland movie and plays out like the routine thriller Harrison Ford seems to do every couple of years.
In this movie Ford plays bank security expert Jack Stanfield. His job requires him to maintain the security of the banks financials and it's something he does very well. This is demonstrated in a brief scene where Jack spouts some dull computer babble and throws something into the works to stop a hacker. Needless to say Jack's knowledge is valuable to the criminal world. So a guy named Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) storms Jack's house and holds Jack's family hostage, forcing Jack to undertake his orders and hack into the banks systems. Cox's ingenious scheme involves skimming off money from every account and running away with $100 million dollars. Of course he'll have to deduct some of it as he has to pay his random bunch of goons and tech geek (who must be a tech geek as he wears dark rimmed glasses). What ensues is the usual predictable fluff with a few red herrings, a few random action scenes and a finale you could have seen a mile off.Firewall is just one of those movies that brings nothing new to the table but you can't say it's bad but you can't say it's good. It's just satisfactory and nothing more, it's the kind of film you'd only see at the cinema if your first choice was sold out. Other than that you'd happily just flick it on in a couple of years time when it comes on TV.
Harrison Ford now appears to be in a comfort zone, playing the same kind of character over and over. It would be nice to see him pick challenging material but the pay cheques he picks up probably keep him satisfied. Watching this movie, I knew there would be a moment where Jack's family would try and escape which would up the ante. I thought that Jack would at one stage get one up on Cox and it happened, it was also inevitable that the two would square off in the finale with Jack coming out on top. There is zero surprise and nothing to raise your interest.The supporting cast are given little to work with, Virginia Madsen plays Ford's wife but to be honest they could have just cast anyone and didn't really need a name. Robert Patrick turns up in a thankless role and I knew my enjoyment of the film would falter as soon as I saw that annoying kids from Hostage and Poseidon playing Jack's son. As for Paul Bettany, well I don't know what he saw in this role but Cox is not interesting and Bettany struggles to do much with it. Sadly he doesn't ham it up as at least that may have made the film a bit more enjoyable.
I'm not even going to elaborate on Jacks method of gaining access to the countless customer account numbers as it's completely stupid and even with a mild knowledge of computers I know that what he does isn't really plausible.So the verdict on Firewall is not wait for video, rather wait for TV.
- The DVD -2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen is the order of the day and I have to give credit to a nice transfer. But that's to be expected really of studio output in this day and age of home entertainment. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is actually a pretty lively affair with a good mix of score and plenty to entertain the rear speakers of any home cinema setup.
- Extras -
Warner Brothers probably predicted after the lacklustre box office that Firewall wouldn't be a flyer off the shelves on release.Firewall Decoded is a 15-minute conversation between Ford and Director Richard Loncraine. It's fairly routine although right from the outset you get the impression that not everyone was 100% happy with the script before shooting. The pair also seem to be under the impression that the film is actually a great piece of work.
Writing a Thriller is a short piece with the writer. He mentions 9/11 as a motivation although I see no similarities. I would have thought every mundane thriller of the last ten years would have served as the blueprint for this movie.Finally there is a the trailer, watching it after the movie just made me realize that it pretty much shows the best bits and takes out all the filler. So just watch the trailer online and hey presto you'll have seen Firewall.
- Finally -Worth a rental? Hmmm I'd say no, there's just better things out there to spend your money on. This'll turn up on Channel Five in a few years time, wait for it then.
Product Information : Firewall (DVD)
Manufacturer's product descriptionJack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) is an average family man in Seattle who heads up the hi-tech security team at his local bank. But following a seemingly trivial case of identity theft, Jack's life is turned upside-down when he discovers that his wife (Virginia Madsen) and two kids have been kidnapped. The ransom? A mere 100 million dollars, which the kidnappers, led by Bill Cox (Paul Bettany), want Jack to obtain for them via his expert computer skills. Initially compliant, Jack is soon irked by Cox and his cronies to the point where he decides to get his family back and bring the bad guys to justice. British Director Richard Loncraine (WIMBLEDON) uses this basic premise to orchestrate a number of frantic set-pieces, while Ford concocts a character similar to his take on Dr. Richard Kimble in THE FUGITIVE. With a mouthful of computer jargon and nimble fingers that tumble frantically over a keyboard whenever he's in front of a computer, Ford's character is an unlikely action hero. Meanwhile, Bettany's bad guy gives subtly sinister instructions in his clipped British accent, Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN) provides a likeable if underused ally for Ford, and Madsen slots neatly into her wife-in-peril role. As the film builds to an explosive climax Loncraine dumps the gadgets and carves out a delirious romp through action-movie conventions, ultimately infusing an old-fashioned story with a twist of 21st-century techno-fear.
Listed on Ciao since: 05/05/2007