It's 2006, and Mr. Harrison Ford is nearing the age of retirement. Amazingly, he can still pump out the occasional action movie, like Firewall. The problem is that it looks increasingly ridiculous to see him in fight scenes. Moreover, Ford (Hollywood Homicide, K-19: The Widowmaker) is not always the most exciting person to watch. Firewall begins as an interesting movie, but the script loses faith in itself and turns into a mindless action movie. The last third of the movie ruins the care taken into setting up everything that came before, but it is fun in a brainless sort of way.
Ford plays Jack Stanfield, a computer security specialist at a Seattle bank. The bank is merging, and Stanfield is annoyed because his new boss is an idiot. Stanfied is from the school where the customer service is paramount, while Gary Mitchell (Robert Patrick, Walk the Line, Supercross) believes in numbers and probabilities. Director Richard Loncraine (Wimbledon, Richard III) and screenwriter Joe Forte use this fact to throw suspicion on Stanfield's character later. Stanfield meets Bill Cox (Paul Bettany, Wimbledon, Master and Commander), whom he thinks is a prospective business partner.
Instead, Cox pulls a gun on Stanfield. They return to Stanfield's home to find Stanfield's wife Beth (Virginia Madsen, Sideways, Artworks) and kids Sarah (Carly Schroeder, Mean Creek, The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and Andrew (Jimmy Bennett, The Amityville Horror, Hostage) tied up at gunpoint. Cox has been following Stanfield for a long time, and wants him to hack into the bank's computers and transfer relatively small amounts out of the larges bank accounts. The amounts are small enough such that the holders probably won't notice, but the cumulative effect will make Cox and his men rich. Loncraine does a good job with the first parts of Firewall. Stanfield is just a regular guy. He obeys Cox because Cox threatened to kill his family. Still, he tries to outsmart Cox using his wits and the tools around him, all while Mitchell snoops around, suspicious at Stanfield's erratic behavior.
This part is interesting because it is a test of wills between the two. Stanfield uses his brains to try to stealthily attempt to outwit Cox. Yet, there are bunch of holes in the plot, including the fact that Cox seems to know everything about Stanfield (and can somehow remotely tap into his work e-mail), but doesn't seem to know that Stanfield's bank is merging, and that the security protocols change. He seems to have unlimited resources and information, so why would he need Stanfield in the first place? If Loncraine stuck with the plot, this would have been okay, but soon Stanfield turns into an action machine, kicking butts and taking names. It would have been really interesting to see Stanfield outsmart Cox within the confines of a bank. Instead, there are guns, explosions, fights, and breaking windows. It wasn't the best way (by far) to end Firewall, but it was certainly lazy.
|Haro Rates It: Not That Good.|
|1 hour, 45 minutes, Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence.|
Back to Movies