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Firewall
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Reviews & Ratings for
Firewall More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

High on the Lame Scale, and, Insulting to women

5/10
Author: vpadgett (vp09@earthlink.net) from Whittier, California
27 January 2007

I am a big fan of Harrison Ford. But watch Witness, Mosquito Coast, Presumed Innocent, or Air Force One, before this one.

The DVD Special Features are worth watching, and thankfully short: Firewal Decoded, and, Firewall: Writing a Thriller. There is no commentary by director or writer or producer or set designer or whoever, but, you probably won't want to see it if you sit through all the film.

If you cut out the middle hour it should be more watcheable.

Specific problems for me:

That annoying dog. Would an annoying ugly yapping dog make it through the first evening, much less several days?

And how is it that the darling little boy is subjected to mistreatment through the film, but the wife and daughter character have status that prevents them from comparable threat? Does anyone find it believable that the wife and teenage daughter would sit around day after day in the house, captive with 4 or 5 men, and it would be the little boy who is the victim of mistreatment--"take him downstairs and break his knee," &c. Feed him allergenic foods so he almost dies, and so forth.

I took my daughter to karate twice a week for 5 years. I taught her to shoot rifle, shotgun, revolver, and auto pistol. If she were in this situation, I am sure she could do more than whine, ask her mom what is going on, stuff Trix in her mouth, and act helpless.

Next, those dopey gun-to-the-head scenes. OK I have never had a gun to my head and hope I don't in the near term, but how is it than when a movie character has a gun to their head they just fall apart and do whatever is asked? Might one not think-- So if he shoots me, then he can't get what he wants-- so where is the threat in the gun to my head ... Am I the only one to think of this?

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Deja Frickin' Vu

5/10
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
21 January 2007

Firewall is a movie so recycled that it doesn't even deviate into any individual territory as its own beast at any time. It's entertaining in the plainest and most detached possible way you can be by a movie. Harrison Ford must protect his family from the bad guys and outsmart them and vindicate himself at the same time. Watching it, I realized what movies have generally become. They aren't about expression or perspective anymore. They're about basic entertainment that requires the least amount of thinking possible. If you stop and look, a good three quarters of the movies that require any cerebral provocation or an individualistic story that branches into territory alien to most American audiences are given limited release, and we can hardly ever know ahead of time when they're coming to a theater near us. Firewall is one of these watered-down assembly line entertainments.

Paul Bettany plays a very effective villain. We hate him, we know how sophisticated he is, and we know how brilliant he is, but then we see his henchmen. They are generally stupid, they are overtly mean to the point where they almost compromise the cooperation of Harrison Ford and his family, and they are not nearly as elusive or sneaky as Bettany. What they are can pretty basically be described as stoner dudes who fancy themselves to be computer whizzes. Bettany, being the brilliant mastermind he is, knows not to be so mean and bullying towards the family because he's smart enough to know how to better control them, and he can forge a different personality within a split second when some strange employee or friend comes into the room, making him have to play it off like there's nothing wrong. Why would such a smart villain hire a crew of dunces so far below his intelligence and sophistication? Because the studio wanted Firewall to appeal to the teenage audience? This isn't the first movie to have a group of villains like this, which is exactly my point. Firewall is so cliché that doesn't even bother to take the much-needed liberty of improving upon or at least dressing up the less intelligent clichés, like this one.

Another thing that stood out in Firewall that aggravated me was the negligence of the dog. Not just by the characters in the movie but also the filmmakers. How many dogs are so nonchalant during an attack on their family's home? Even the ones who are are at least reactive of what's going on, or at least scared for the well-being of its masters. The filmmakers here don't seem to think so. Until the convenient plot device comes along wherein the dog is needed for a surprise in the plot very very late in the movie, the dog is only scenery. He may as well be the wall or the duct tape over the family's mouths. He can't even bark or be put outside by the bad guys for being so hostile towards them? And can't the family give the dog a second look? Aren't they worried about him, until that surprise device comes in of course?

Ford is enjoyable in that gravely-monotone, only-move-fast-when-you-absolutely- positively-need-to way that he tends to be in Air Force One. Oh, I mean The Devil's Own. Er, no, Clear and Present Danger. Or wait, Patriot Games? No, Frantic. Oh yeah, that's right, Firewall. Virginia Madsen is wooden as well, but in a different way than Ford. She's wooden in that she's so unassured of herself in her role. Every line she speaks is so visibly a line. If she were in a movie wherein she were playing an actress and we suddenly cut to a scene where she's filming a movie, one of her scenes in this would be what we see, only because her performance here is so unreminiscent of reality at all. It would've been a nice surprise to see Alan Arkin, a great actor who's always refreshing to see, but---and I know I'm getting really picky now, but I can't help it---unfortunately I was always repelled at the bow-tie that his character must wear, as if it's the replacement for the sandwich board he was going to wear saying, "I'm the old guy." The film is so badly directed, hardly anything about the film works at all.

Firewall, like I said, is entertaining in the most basic way possible. If you're like my mom and you enjoy flipping through channels waiting to be surprised by the sight of one of your favorite actors or actresses and settling on that channel for whatever movie they happen to be in, you will enjoy this movie. If you actually take the time to rent it, you will be left with a generally unsatisfied appetite.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Firewall has been breached!

3/10
Author: Installation_At_Orsk from United Kingdom
24 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pretty much the only reason I watched this was for Mary Lynn Rajskub (so entertaining as the grouchy Chloe in '24'), and here she played... well, Chloe from '24', only not quite as rude.

Apart from that, Firewall has really nothing to commend it. The villains' plot has so many potential points of failure that they would have been more likely to succeed by pulling stocking masks over their faces, donning black-and-white hooped jumpers and running into the bank carrying a sack marked 'SWAG'. And the villains themselves are a weak and stupid bunch - Bettany's character has Ford's family at his mercy, and to teach him a lesson for going against his wishes he kills... one of his OWN men!?! Hans Gruber he is not.

Great character actors like Robert Patrick and Robert Forster are wasted in one-note background roles, and there is literally nothing here which hasn't been done before - and better - in other thrillers. Actually, I take that back - I don't think any other film has ever been quite so stupid as to have the entire climax rest on a yipping dog wearing a GPS collar which can be tracked on the move using the world's largest and most reliable wi-fi hotspot!

"I'm going to find my dog" is not a catchphrase on a par with "Snakes... Why did it have to be snakes?" or "Get off my plane!" Sorry, Harrison, your days as an action hero are over.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Firewall your expectations first!

5/10
Author: Rebel Philos from Uruguay
21 June 2006

Lousy script packed in high quality and expensive Hollywood production results in this thriller only good to spend a rainy evening with a good stock of trashy snacks.

What seems to be at the beginning a high-tech commando of hardcore professional criminals able to set up a bank information security chief, rapidly and with no sense at all, deteriorate in a pack of amateur weak jerks.

The rest is a set of incongruences of this sort. Easy situations are hard to resolve when the impossible ones are resolved in a snap. That's how the sophisticated criminals turn dumb, and the dumb character portrayed by Ford (Jack Stanfield) becomes an action hero. Even though Ford manages to keep Jack looking dumb, since it seems that for the old Harrison this is the only mood he can pull out.

The only performance to mention is that of Mary Lynn Rajskub portraying Janet Stone, Jack's secretary. She actually reenacts her character in the TV series 24 (Cloe) and even her boss has the same name as it does in the series. But whatever, at least she reminds you of better things to watch.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What a waste of time

1/10
Author: gailhyer from United States
13 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What studio exec(s) greenlighted this POS? When the boy wants to take the dog's collar off and the mom says, no, he needs it -- my BS meter went off the chart! The dog has a GPS collar? How is this relevant? Then the merciless terrorists take the friggin' dog WITH them on their escape and, instead of shooting the dog when it's barking, RELEASE it 1000 yards from their hideaway, within sight of where they are staying!!!! So Harrison Ford can track his family and rescue them?!?!? Give me a flippin' break! And then the climactic fight scene -- men throwing each other out of windows, not unlike bad John Wayne movies of the 30s? With the same bogus sound effects?? It's laughable! And in the end, HF's family are miraculously no longer manacled and they all walk away free and clear? I hate to be the bearer of sad tidings, but HF is going to prison after what he's done! By the way: sorry, but HF is WAY past being a big, macho hero. He's shrinking and his neck is collapsing into his torso, which is natural part of aging, but it precludes his participation in macho hero roles. He needs to age gracefully and begin accepting Granddad roles! I mean it! Or at least character roles that don't involve having kids under 10 years of age! I wouldn't be so cranky about HF's physical liablities if it weren't for this fact: I only watched this movie because I believed HF still had some credibility -- well, it's shot now! This was a total waste of and hour and three quarters.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Hi Tech = Bad Technical Advisors

Author: lanewooten from United States
12 June 2006

This is a spoiler - I would like to comment on the technical aspects of the movie - Firewall. I work on routers and networks for a living. At the beginning of the movie when Jack is "saving the day" from the brute force hacker by typing in a couple of parameters, the screen is showing a standard Cisco Router interface with an access list that denies a private address and then permits any and all access. His "rule" that he creates only says "rule activated", after the permit deny entry without anything else being typed - pretty lame. I don't know where the technical adviser gets his mumbo-jumbo about a "Black Hole" ISM that will slow the hacker down and block "false positives". I was saying, "yeah right, whatever". Also they needed to get somebody that knew how to type when they showed Jack's hands on the keyboard. Any VP of Networking that writes security software and programs routers isn't going to be hunting and pecking like Harrison Ford.

The most laughable technical aspect of the movie is where Jack takes a fax machine scanner head and plugs it straight into an Ipod. First, there is no way the scanner head would interface into an Ipod communication port and function, especially using the original electrical connector attached to the scanner. I think Jack tells Cox when he is "designing" this MacGyver invention that "Files are files, the Ipod won't know the difference". Taping the scanner head to the computer screen to capture the screen information is a joke and wouldn't work. Even if the scanner head was hooked up to the fax electronics, anything captured would be unreadable.

Aside from the ridiculous technical lameness of this movie I was aghast that after Jack thinks his wife is leaving him for his best friend he and his wife are still "in love" and go running up to hug and kiss each other at the end of the movie. I would have saved the children but gave the wife "The Boot". Also the dog's GPS collar would have been obvious to the crooks, especially since they had a Techie "Guru" with them. The dog would have been fertilizer before they even left the house. Any dog that barks incessantly for no reason would have been shot by the crooks. I have to say this was the worst Harrison Ford movie I have ever seen and I hope the producers weren't stupid enough to pay him the twenty million I heard he was getting per movie. I give this movie about a two, only because of Jack's milfy wife and hot secretary.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Average but entertaining nonetheless

6/10
Author: jpwhite3 from United States
12 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Plenty of action in this movie to keep you awake, but one doesn't leave the theater with any special feeling like a good movie leaves you with. Hardly thought provoking. It's difficult to 'attach' yourself to any of the characters (well except maybe for the dog). Why the movie is entitled 'Firewall' is mystery to me.

Harrison Ford heads up the 'perfect family'. Successful businessman and husband, good looking wife, son, daughter and a dog. Ford's secretary is one of the main characters from the TV show 24, you know the girl that always looks like she is in pain (and probably is).

There are some problems with the storyline. How for instance did Ford reverse 10,000 thefts of $10,000 from the banks top 10,000 customers with just 4 hand typed commands? The original theft was for 100Million, but apparently only 80 million was stolen and subsequently returned. Why did the cops usher the 'getaway car' away when responding to a bank robbery at the airport, especially since Ford ran to it looking stressed? Not very believable.

My wife liked the movie, so for non techies the inevitable errors are apparently of no consequence. I did like the portrayal of Ford as a very competent technical manager who had his wings clipped as a consequence of an unfriendly merger, very believable, I felt his pain.

None of the good guys got hurt too bad while all the baddies got what was coming to them. The dog was rescued like you'd expect with any 'good movie', all together now.... ahhhhhh.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Ain't worth watching

4/10
Author: Oleg Astakhov from Latvia, Riga
11 March 2006

Oh gee, I really hoped this would be one of the movies I like, you know, there are certain types of movies you just like, for example, I like movies about bank robberies, casino robberies, where there are team efforts and careful planning, movie such as AirCon I like too, and simply well done movie without any obvious goofs, or just clumsy scenes. You know, after watching this movie, it feels like Harisson Ford is the only one who actually acted, unlike for example his wife (in a movie that is). The movie was simply unnatural, there were no seriousness, bad actors, I somewhat tried to compare this one with the Die-Hard, but this one is just incomparable, nowhere near as good as Die-Hard is. I'm very disappointed, I barely watched it till the end. Just don't waste your time, please :) Cheers, Oleg

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

a waste of time

7/10
Author: rbigalke-1 from United States
5 March 2006

I went to this film with my companion because Harrison Ford is one of our all-time favorite action/adventure actors. But at the end of this film, we looked at each other in astonishment. We could not believe we had actually paid good money to see such a hack-kneed plot, with such a lame ending. The next day I saw "Hostage" for the first time. It's basically the same story- a kidnapped family being held by bad guys to force an upright citizen into doing what the bad guys want. It was amazing to see how much better a film it was! Heart-pounding action, a sensible plot, and a much better hero- Bruce Willis kicked ass, while Harrison Ford was mumbling and stumbling thru this often nonsensical plot. And don't get me started on the product placement and commercial tie-ins. The 2006 Chrysler 300? Fageddabowdit. What was he driving when they got in the trail of the bad guys? A 1980's vintage sedan. Don't waste your time on this dog.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

meh.

Author: simons-27 from Long Beach, CA
4 March 2006

This movie was very underwhelming for me. Harrison Ford was great, as he always is, but after seeing this, it made me wonder why he'd agree to do this film.

First of all, the one thing that irritated me that I absolutely could not shake was the fact that this movie had, quite possibly, the wimpiest badguys I have ever seen in any movie, ever. Not even one of them was remotely menacing. Paul Bettany looks like a kindly Conan O'Brien-lookalike - and what was with that skinny little guy with the black plastic emo glasses? He looked like he was more likely to be playing guitar at a Starbucks than holding a family hostage. I'm sorry, but I like my badguys menacing, and this movie flopped miserably in that respect.

Second of all, the daughter had like, one line the entire movie. I know that teenage girls are usually pretty boring (Lisa Simpsons, Meg Griffin, etc.) and that this fact is often made light of, but come on.

This wasn't really a horrible movie, overall, but I can't help thinking that if it were anyone but Ford in the lead, it might have been.

** (two stars out of four)

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