Firewall (DVD)

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Firewall (DVD)

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)"

published 02/09/2007 | mummy2harry
Member since : 12/04/2007
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Satisfactory
Pro Paul Bettany and Mary Lynn Rajskub
Cons The plotline, Ford's acting, almost everything else.
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"Firewall? More like DIREwall"

When I was deciding on a film to watch last night, I fancied something with some action and an exciting plot line, and when I saw this, I thought it would be the best one out of my selection. How wrong could I be?! I really expected this film to be great, but I felt really disappointed by it, and here's why.

The basic outline of the movie is that Harrison Ford plays Jack Stanfield, a Head of Network Security at a bank, meaning he is a security expert. His family is held captive by a group of men who want him to steal $100 million from the bank, but things don't go quite to plan. Queue a lot of screaming, attempts at escape, ridiculous solutions about how to rob the bank, and some violent scenes between Ford and Bettany. Paul Bettany plays the brains behind the operation, Bill Cox, an Englishman who is determined to make Jack steal the money.

The film had a great cast list, and the fact that both Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany were in it made it a great watchable factor for me, since I usually love these two as actors. I think Paul Bettany did a fantastic job in this film as the baddie, his English accent really makes him seem quite sinister, and his evil facade doesn't drop throughout the whole film. However, I felt Harrison Ford's performance was below average. He seems to take the same sort of roles in films, and therefore they don't seem much of a challenge for him. His facial expressions didn't change much in the film, and he didn't seem to push any boundaries with his role, which really was a shame. I felt he could have done a lot more with the role, and he just didn't put much effort in.

Virginia Madsen did a good job with the small role that she had as Beth, Jack's wife. She was pretty limited in the acting skills she could show as she was either begging her captors not to hurt her children, or running away from them. The roles of her children, played by Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett were also very well acted, although again were given somewhat limited screen time. One character I felt was superb, and fantastically acted was that of Jack's secretary Janet, played the outstanding Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known for her role in 24. She gave us a fantastic performance in her role, and really brought her scenes to life. Some of the scenes between her and Ford were good sheerly because of Rajskub, as Ford was so wooden and had no charisma at all!

I felt the plotline of the film was quite good, but I did not feel that they did as much as they could with it. It seemed somewhat predictable, and it was quite easy to guess in advance what was going to happen, and predict when the hostages were going to try to escape etc, which somewhat spoilt the film because there was no element of surprise to it. One thing that I felt was ridiculous more than anything else about the film was the way in which Jack figured out how to rob from bank. I don't know that much about computers, but it didn't seem that realistic and it was not a main part of the film which seemed strange because it was kind of a major part if you see what I mean!

So overall, I felt that the film was a real disappointment. I felt that they could have done a lot more with the film, and although the plot revolved around a bank robbery, they did not put much emphasis on the solution to the robbery itself, which seemed a bit strange. The scenes with the family being held hostage were quite typical of a film containing hostage scenes, there was nothing new here, and nothing really stood out. Ford really disappointed me, he added no charisma to the role, and seemed to put no effort as in as he has played this sort of role so many times. Bettany did a superb job as the baddie, and I think he really showed up Ford as he was so much better as an actor. Disappointing, I really expected so much more. I wouldn't bother spending money on this, wait until it comes onto the tele!

Cast:
Harrison Ford ... Jack Stanfield
Paul Bettany ... Bill Cox
Virginia Madsen ... Beth Stanfield
Carly Schroeder ... Sarah Stanfield
Jimmy Bennett ... Andy Stanfield
Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Janet Stone

Written by: Joe Forte
Directed by: Richard Loncraine

You can buy the DVD on play.com for £5.99, or buy it on DVD together with The Fugitive for £4.99, so that is much better value considering how bad this film is! It runs for 105 minutes, and was released in 2006. It is given a certificate of 12A for the violence within the film.

Thank you for reading.

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Comments on this review

  • susie191 published 05/09/2007
    Agree, it was just OK ;o) xx
  • richb90 published 05/09/2007
    Good review, funny how it's so often a Brit playing the bad guy in American films? ;o)
  • vichar68 published 03/09/2007
    I might give this one a miss then. Good review - Vicki
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Product Information : Firewall (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

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 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.

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