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As you've all said, we seen all of this before. I even think some of
Ford's canned, pathetic expressions are identical to those in many of
his other movies, such as the Fugitive and Frantic. The reason I don't
think he's at the level of Hanks and others is that he finds it
difficult to express sincere emotions. The facial expressions are
trite, and there will be moments where you can notice the same
exaggerated body movements and gnarled hand expressions that you've
seen in other movies. Sad. That's my 2 cents' worth.
However, the reason that I'm commenting especially is the really bad directing. There are many moments that are not even close to credible responses to the situation, but especially at the very end. Believe it or not, I've watched this thing a couple of times--okay the second time, in the background while I was on the computer--and looking over off and on. The behavior at the very end is so amazingly ridiculous that I had to get online to look up the director.
Still, we let these mediocre action movies run again sometimes. Now that's pathetic.
Humphrey Bogart did this movie in 1955. It was called Desperate Hours. Mickey Rourke starred in the remake in 1990. Ho Hum. Will someone please tell Harrison Ford that he's 64 years old and looks every day of it? I guess we're all supposed to buy the fact that he's that old but has a hot wife 20 years younger. He's old enough to be the kid's Great Grandfather. Gimme a break. Paul Bettany does a good job as the bad guy. Virginia Madsen's talent is totally wasted in this junkpile. It's a shame after she did such a great job in Sideways. As for this film it's an old plot with an electronic twist. Problem is, there were no real surprises since they didn't veer too far from the 1955 and 1990 scripts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Being a Harrison fan from way back, he did not disappoint me, but? I
felt he presented as somewhat awkward when confronted by Cox, who
appeared a polished crim. I think it was overall a good movie, plenty
of action that did not give one any respite, but possibly that's where
it fell down. How could a man that old physically keep it up? I think
He needs to find characters that have more talking and less action.
However, not being computer literate or understanding networking, a lot
was lost on me I feel.
I think using his name as Jack a reminder of his Patriot Games, etc., may have compared him with his character in those movies, that were far superior to this one in my opinion.
I thought the little boy acted very realistically. (He'll go far I think?) And the cute little dog too. It was just Harrisons almost continual pained expressions on his face that began to pall with me.
Sorry couldn't give it a higher vote than 5. This time out anyway.
As far as action-thrillers go, this offers a healthy dose of tension but is undone by its weak, all-too-stereotypical ending. (All that was missing was the slo-mo effect.) A little more attention to the technical side of carrying out the "evil plot" and a lot more believability in terms of characterization would have gone far. But it's always great seeing Harrison play a role that requires him to get physical. It covers up for his standard single-dimensional character development and patented moves and expressions. Paul Bettany delivered yet another rivetingly believable performance, though, so this flick was only half-bad. An OK time-passing renter for $4.
Loncraine's suspenseful film about a bank's security specialist(Ford) being blackmailed into stealing money for a criminal (Bettany) is at times exciting, gets the job done, but lacks the creativity needed to be regarded as a great films. Much similar to my view on films like Cellular but fails to impress me as much as the likes of Enemy of the State. Loncraine's direction is pretty, good the performances are decent, Bettany did real well as the villain and Arkin and Patrick did well in supporting roles. I guess my real problem with this is there is very little that makes it standout in comparison to a dozen of other suspense films, perhaps not enough originality from screenwriter Joe Forte. 8/10
"Firewall" is good old-fashioned entertainment. It's nothing more. It
doesn't attempt to become the next master-thriller; nor does it try and
achieve some type of infallible status, which is interesting since so
many people here on the IMDb message boards have taken it upon
themselves to dissect the plot to lengthy extremes. One user claims
it's a technical error that Harrison Ford's character, Jack, uses a
Windows operating system instead of Unix or Linux. People, it's a
movie. And for the record, it was a personal computer in his office,
not the computer the bank's database was stored on.
I think part of the reason so many people are picking it apart is because they're all computer geeks who feel the need to prove how unrealistic the technology is in the film. They feel offended that Hollywood would not accurately reflect their world. Well, now they will perhaps understand why WWII vets hated the movie "Pearl Harbor" and historians in general hate any historical epic that Hollywood puts out.
As it is, I was pleasantly surprised by the film's honest presentation of modern technology. Most computer-movies over the past decade (films such as "The Net") seemed to never show anyone using realistic operating systems, and - the thing that always bugs me the most - people in movies NEVER use a mouse; they just use their keyboards to seemingly do everything.
"Firewall" is different. Even the Internet browsers and screensavers in the movie are those used by average people. It lends the film a more authentic sense.
The plot is silly: Jack (Ford) works at a bank, where he oversees the security systems. His family is taken hostage by a gang of ruthless crooks (led by Paul Bettany) who demand that Jack assist them in breaking past the bank's security systems to steal $100 million.
A lot of it doesn't make sense. Apart from questionable technology (Jack hooks up a scanner to an iPod so he can store database numbers on the hard drive - "It doesn't know the different between 10,000 songs and 10,000 bank account numbers" according to the script), the crooks are some of the most incapable thieves ever. They spent a vast amount of time following Jack in preparation for their heist, but know absolutely nothing about the bank - and aren't even aware that the security system has recently been changed, therefore disallowing them from breaking in the way they had hoped.
Plus, there's no firewall in the movie, except for a lame metaphor at the end.
However, I was entertained. It's not great film-making by any means, and with better direction and scriptwriting it could have been more plausible a thriller, but it works fairly well as it is. Ford delivers a typically reliable performance and wipes the floor with Bettany, who was a major disappointment (what happened?! He should have made a fantastic villain).
It's not Hitchcock but it's not terrible either.
Firewall isn't as bad as many people claim but it's not very good
either. This is strictly a movie to pass some time with and forget
about. The level of film-making is about like that of an HBO movie.
Harrison Ford does indeed look tired and haggard in this film and none of his once-formidable charm comes through. His previous film, Hollywood Homicide, was downright awful. Firewall is much better but still doesn't make good use of Ford. Compared to the many very good films Ford has made in his career, this film is way down towards the bottom of the list.
I was disappointed that there wasn't more technology in the film, as the title suggests and I don't recall that the term 'firewall' was even mentioned in the film.
On the tiny, blotched screen in an airplane, I watched this wretchedly formulaic schlock only because the headset was free. Not that it is a poorly made film, but everything in the story line was so predictable I fell asleep twice before it ended. Therefore, I confess I saw only the beginning, the middle, and the end. On all the scenes, Harrison Ford looked grim. Has he ever made any film in which he did not look continually grim? Wait...I do remember seeing him for the first time in American Graffiti where he was actually smiling, albeit in a sinister way. And then there was the happy ending in 1977's Star Wars. Mea culpa. But has he shrunk over the years, or is it only that he plays in the present film with a group of inordinately tall cast members? Worth viewing only to fill time.
This film was not the best I have ever seen. It reminded me a lot of
the movie "Hostage".
It irritates me a lot when I see films made that resemble other movies. "Firewall" should not have been made. I will give it credit for having a good story line. However, a good film like "Hostage" should not have been copied.
Today's society is making so many remakes of movies and television shows that it becomes so irritating. For example, "Bewitched" and "King Kong".
If people, these days are working in the entertainment industry, they should definitely be more creative with the movies they make. I rest my case.
The story behind FIREWALL is just another variation of the 'thrillers'
that made Harrison Ford popular: that is not a put down because Ford
created a 'character type' that has been highly successful in
generating a lot of movies light of weight in script but heavyweight in
FIREWALL updates Ford's persona (though his physical presence now strains credibility that he could have young kids involved) to that of a computer expert, the man employed by a major back whom everybody loves and who just happens to be a top flight security brain protecting the bank's assets. At a meeting with a potential investor (Paul Bettany) our hero is kind and casual only to be kidnapped by Bettany and taken to his home where his wife (Virginia Madsen) and children are being held ransom by Bettany's crew (including handsome Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau who costarred with Bettany in 'Wimbledon'). The aim: get Ford to gain access into the bank's assets and transfer the funds to Bettany's off shore account. How this all tediously works out is the movies plot.
An odd factor here: there are numerous famous actors in bit parts (Alan Arkin, Robert Forster, Robert Patrick) that seem like PR padding. The script is flimsy, the plot wanders, the outcome is obvious, but Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Virginia Madsen prove that good actors can overcome weak material, even in formulaic films such as this. Grady Harp
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